Being past a certain age and a divorced parent can change your perspective on holidays.
You adapt to circumstances with occasions like “Grand-Christmas,” which is basically the weekend closest to December 25 that you have the kids and your folks are available to share in the family celebration.
It can work the other way for Valentine’s Day. My girl and I have the same “kid” weekends, so, basically, twice a month we’re empty-nesters. And we both work in fitness, and enjoy an active lifestyle. So we celebrated our romantic holiday with a hike on the Pleasanton Ridge on Sunday.
It was a magnificent day, framed by a not-so-balmy Saturday and a similarly cold, grey Sunday evening. But the weather was kind to us mid-day on Sunday and there was a sense of joy and gratitude in the crisp mid-day air that seemed to be shared by the many fellow hikers we encountered along our way to the peak.
The fact is that we are all pretty darn fortunate to live so close to this natural beauty and we owe it to ourselves to enjoy it as much as we can.
So what made this day so romantic? It wasn’t flowers, cards or candy. It was the chance to share some quiet time with the person whose company I enjoy more than anyone else’s (my kids aside), and to do something we both enjoy in the town we love.
And we weren’t alone. We passed and greeted several pairs and small groups of hikers, including Jim and Irina (and their dog Sashka, who I’m convinced is a direct descendent of the legendary Toto).
At one beautiful vista where we wanted to capture the incredible view on film, we caught a jovial quartet who assured us they didn’t mind us including them in the picture, and jokingly told us to make sure their backsides looked good.
As we made our way down, back toward the car, we passed a charming older gentleman who noticed with a big smile that we were holding hands and chirped “Wow – holding hands. You must really like her!”
I assured him I did, and quite a lot.
So this year we had just the kind of Valentine’s Day we both wanted. Right here in our own backyard.