Thursday, September 22, 2011

What are we smiling about?

In just 8 days the Lovely Elaine (background) retires. She has worked for the same company for the past 21 years. I think the longest I worked for any single company since age 22 was 12 years, and I cannot really explain why I stayed there that long, BUT that is another long!

So, about 5 days after Elaine retires we are flying up to Spokane to spend a week with my sister, brother-in-law, and their two amazing daughters. Spokane is a great place to be in the Fall. We plan to do so bicycling, and just decompress a little, especially Elaine. I think it will take me a few weeks to get used to NOT hearing the names of familiar co-workers, or the many issues she dealt with over the past few years with her employer, and supervisors. So, to some degree, I am retiring too....from being a sounding board.....haha!

When we return from Spokane it will be just 2 1/2 months until we pull anchor and set sail for unknown territory. Our tentative plan (which has been evolving over the past 6 months, and continues to do so) is to get on Interstate 10 and head southwest eventually over a month, or so hitting the Gulf Coast around Corpus Christi, and then meandering eastward as the spirit moves us. How far east we will get this time around we don't know, and, "frankly Scarlett, we don't give a damn"! Wherever we are in May we will begin to head north by northwest to the great Pacific Northwest and spend the summer there visiting with friends, bicycling to our heart's content. In late August we will head down to Lake Tahoe to meet my brother and his family for a week, and then we're not sure. The NOT BEING SURE is really the cool part, because we don't have to be sure....maybe we'll head to Colorado for a few weeks of Autumn weather, maybe we'll head to Yellowstone after the summer crowds have gone. We will just make it up as we go, and isn't that the real reason we "all" aspire to this lifestyle? I've known where I'm going to be everyday for the past 41 years. As a soccer referee my life has been proscribed by the length of each match I do....90 minutes at a time, 80 minutes at a time, 70 minutes at a time, depending on the age group. I yearn for the days when I don't know what time of day it is exactly, and I may even forget what day of the week it is, when I don't have to be anywhere unless I choose to be there, when I can wake up one morning and decide it's time to move a 100 miles to a new view, and new adventures. I look forward to the day when I can chase the almost endless in short pants, t-shirts and flipflops, stay up to 2am if I want, and sleep in if I want.

I have been gradually reducing my time in the office to a few hours a day, and 2, or 3 days a week, but that has been a psychological adjustment. I went through feelings of being a slacker, because I wasn't physically in the office, even though I was working from home. However, I am happy to report that I have gotten over those emotions and have adjusted to my new semi-retired, part time schedule. Through attrition I have been reducing the number of customers I will continue to service whilst on the road. Obviously, I haven't been adding new customers in quite some time, by design.

The weather here in Rancho Jurupa Regional Park has continued to be very moderate this summer. We've had a few days of triple digit temperatures here and there, but generally it has been in the high 80's and low 90's with low humidity. Autumn officially begins today so here's hoping we escape this year without an "Indian Summer". I remember years ago...maybe 10, we had a 4 day Indian Summer when temps hit 110 degrees on November 1st! Obviously, that is an extreme, but until we get into November there are no guarantees that it won't get really hot, if only for a few fleeting days. For today, anyway, there is a crisp feel to the early morning air.

Well, that catches you up to date on our fulltime life.....thank you for reading!