Seniors: When Does the Fun Begin?

Oct 26th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

This weekend the fun began.  It was right there, the instant we picked up our two grandchildren (ages 15 and 16 ) and off we ventured to Kartchner Caverns, a pristine living cave in southeastern Arizona. Along the way we stopped for lunch at an authentic Mexican restaurant in south Tucson. A treat as well.  Our grandchildren are vegans and they have never complained about any restaurant or menu when we have been with them.  They are healthy in mind and body.  They keep us laughing.

The trip resumed toward our destination, only to find that the Department of Roads had decided to close  all but a single lane to the southeast.  It was a grueling trip, complete with detours taking us we knew not where.  Our two best friends never uttered a protest.  Just a question now and again, about our whereabouts. They handled the interruption with grace and calm.

Finally at our destination, which required a much longer journey than we had anticipated, the afternoon’s promised excitement began.  We watched the video about the two men who discovered the cave and the story behind its acquisition by the State of Arizona as a protected site.  When it was time to enter the cave, our excitement was elevated.  We were surprised that upon entering the cave it was hotter and more humid than we expected.

Our guide was a multirole staff member who knew his jobs well.  When not guiding groups, he does maintenance in the cave.  Clearly he loves that rare treasure and does all he can to educate and protect. Our grandchildren were in awe and totally respectful of the multifaceted wonders before us. They are bright and absorb information very quickly.

While the cave, by some standards, i.e. Carlsbad Caverns, is quite small, it is absolutely stunning. From entry to exit the visitor passes through  an indescribable journey of millions of years, witnesses the continuing, plodding growth of the cave as water incessantly and very precisely drips, forming more wonders to the eye. 

It is an experience in reverence.  Not one child or adult made any untoward movement or sound.  Questions were allowed, but the respect showed in every utterance.

Following on the fantastic other worldly excursion, we departed the cave full of exclamations and recall of our recent experience.  Our journey back toward Tucson resumed and all seemed well,  until, before very many miles, we were being caught once again in the serpentine trap of traffic’s slow procession on a super highway.  The detour had been switched from east bound to west bound lanes.  It was as if we were in a never ending funeral procession.

Our extended and delayed return required our revising our strategy for getting back home, calling once again upon our collective patience and just buckling down to the inevitable delay. 

When at last we were extricated from the traps of the interstate, we found a wonderful restaurant, had a delicious meal and more enjoyment together with nary a complaint.  We arrived at a respectable hour and swiftly made our way to bed.  It was the sleep of the deep.  And today, we are quite revived and still mesmerized by the company of our two resilient grandchildren.

So, you ask when did the fun begin?  It began from first mintue and continued to the last. The gift of being with companions whose personalities invent and create and inspire laughter and sheer joy is always an occasion of explicit and  spontaneous fun.  The very fact of being in each other’s presence is reason enough for a good time.  No one needed to be sour or disenchanted.  The enchantment, along with all the natural experiences we encountered, is in being together.  That’s when the fun begins.

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