Last Saturday, my wife and I got back from our yearly 2-week vacation to Pennsic. My SCA friends will know what Pennsic is - for everyone else, Pennsic is an annual 2 week SCA camping event held in Slippery Rock Pennsylvania that brings over 10,000 SCA members from around the world together onto a campground called Cooper's Lake. For 2 weeks, a medieval city materializes complete with markets, a university, walled encampments and a host of martial and battle fields - it's pure magic.
In the past, Pennsic meant for me nights of wandering from camp to camp, singing songs, telling stories, watching the belly dancers and fire dancers and getting pissed drunk with my friends. Now Pennsic means spending everyday in front of a blazing forge, blacksmithing everyday for 2 solid weeks (except for one day I take off to be with my wife on our anniversary). At night, I come home to our camp tired and sore ... and happy ... and spend my nights with my beautiful wife. We still visit friends in other camps sometimes, but my days of drinking and partying are long past. We're often quite happy to be in bed by 11:00.
Pennsic has become my creative pilgrimage instead of my booze-soaked playground. I spend my days smithing with good friends, creating beautiful and useful things with steel and hammer and fire - and my beautiful wife is happy to let me play, even though I don't spend nearly enough time with her during the days as I should (... I know, I am very blessed).
Pennsic has become a time of contentment instead of craziness. Maybe it means I'm getting old ... but I'm okay with that ... so long as I have my beautiful girl to grow old with me ... I'm okay with that.