On Simple Pleasures

“That was the best part of my week here,” said the gentleman walking down the trail with us.  I smiled, but didn’t comment as it wasn’t my compliment to take.  The compliment was meant for the other two people walking the trail with me: my friend John and his father – who had, just a few minutes before, put away their guitars after playing and singing around a campfire.  “I’m going to be sure to tell them that they need to keep you guys playing here,” the guy went on.

As wonderful a compliment as this was, here’s what makes it even more special: This wasn’t two guys playing music at a state campground.  No, far from it.  This was a $400 per night resort.  The kind of place where the men still have to wear suit jackets to dinner.  A turn-of-the-century building far enough from civilization that they have to have their own fire company and generate their own power.  The kind of place where guests don’t build campfires themselves – the activities staff builds them.  And if you want a s’more around that campfire, you don’t go get a stick on which to roast your marshmallow – the staff provides not only the heavy-duty metal prong but also the marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.  And they pay two guys to come in and sing campfire songs with you.  So here was a guy getting waited on hand and foot at a top-of-the-line resort and his favorite part?  Sitting around a campfire singing songs.  Thank God for small pleasures.

But you know what’s even better?  You don’t need to spend $400 to get the experience.  There are state parks and campgrounds all over the country where, for much less money, you can sing to your heart’s content.  But you might have to bring your own s’more supplies.

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