Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where to live next

Sightings at 60 wrote a great article about his ideal retirement home.

S and I have been discussing this far more than S would like.  I, on the other hand, have been looking. We figure we have two more moves in our lives - one to our retirement home and one to our last place to grow really elderly. This, very well, could be the same place.

First, why not age in place? We love our home. S adores his barn. What carpenter wouldn't? 3200 sq feet of his big stuff. 15 acres for him to mow and trim. He is in heaven!
We moved here from Flagstaff where we had built our dream home after renting the first 16 years of marriage. The problem was there were not any jobs that could sustain putting two children through college. With both kids though high school, S searched and found a job here in Kansas. He packed the house and moved the two of us here while I was working on the road. After seven years in my idea of heaven, I was ok with being around green and water again. (Flagstaff is a high desert). We were both employed here until two years ago. We managed to help two birds leave the nest on their own terms and save quite a bit for a nest egg.

BUT! Our children do not consider this place home. There are few jobs in their professions if they should leave where they are now. After spending the last five years traveling to help my parents and sister back in Phoenix, I am acutely aware that proximity is going to be important as we age. A serious surgical mishap three years ago told me just how isolated we really are. Plus, we are missing the everyday moments with our grandson.

That leaves dreaming.

Like Sightings, we both love the sea. S actually likes any body of water he can fish in. The ocean is my desire. There is something about sea air that drives me to happiness. We have lived by the sea three times- in Alexandria VA, Monterey CA and Hong Kong. I can walk for miles in sea air.  Sea is second on the list after proximity to one of our children.

Next is size of house. Main floor bedroom/bath, movie room, small sitting room, big kitchen, two spare rooms upstairs and a huge garage for the woodworking. I'll let you know---we will have to build it.
I don't want a yard- but my husband will go wild without one. Both of us have gotten used to not having curtains for the last 14 years! Unfortunately, the yard will be an issue for my next wish.

Last on my wish is close to a town that I can walk or bike to. It has to have a good library and a decent place to eat breakfast. I would prefer that it had public transportation to a larger city that offered plays and concerts. A good church is important as well. A pastor who is open to discussion and a parish who is willing to open itself to new people.

Do you know of a place? We will be looking in the next three years. How did we ever get so old without roots?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Going down to part---part time next year

The decision is made
This year my position was two days a week for four hours at one school.
There was daily volunteer time with a student who struggled in reading.
And there was always substituting.

Next year the two day a week schedule will stop.
It cut into my spontaneity of travel
it left them in a lurch and me feeling guilty.
Back to only subbing.
Travel will be over longer periods of time
but less moving around.

My first trip begins before the school year ends.
Sitting with a friend while she heals
and having her teach me how to quilt.
It has been a long time and picking up the quilting has not been going as smoothly as predicted.

Do any of you live away from your grandchildren?
Am I the only one who pines for time with the grandchild?
We will see him (and his parents) in May, August, September, December and April.  It just isn't enough!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Budgets and all things dull

Second year

A favorite picture of the Nomadic Navajo Nation.
I continue to be nomadic- even in retirement.
Our largest expenditure was travel---SURPRISE!
With our son getting married and now living in Washington State,
and our daughter's family in Maryland,
and my mother and nephew being ill in Phoenix,
and our 30th anniversary trip
while we live in Kansas,
travel came out to 22% of our budget last year!
We saved specifically for travel long before we retired- so we don't see that as "nest egg" money.

Next, in almost equal proportions were expenditures for taxes, woodcrafts, gas, food and gifts.

Pets came in a quick seventh in the expenditures.

Income dribbled in. Pension, substituting, a gift from my mother and some investments all were in line to help keep our fingers out of the long term money.

Third year begins in two weeks.

I plan for more time in Maryland. Subletting is my choice of staying.
 My husband continues to woodwork.
Our son's family moves to Alabama. A trip there will happen in the winter.
Our daughter's family contemplates a trip to Italy.
If I want to go I had better put in many more hours with the school district!

We know we will live by the water within five years. Will it be the Pacific Northwest or MidAtlantic states. Time will tell. We are looking at both places.

We have to clean out the barn!

I have miles to go before I sleep.

While the earth was sleeping

The full moon setting outside our window

                                                          We chose to play

Moving out of winter blues into spring hues

On the front porch. The Scott chairs

Papa Mullan's roses. Twenty one buds and still counting

Spearmint growing where ever it wants

The first of the pears

My favorite tree with heart shaped leaves

The tree we lost last year to bag worms. A slow and sad death

New life goes on and smells so sweet.

Friday, April 06, 2012

If you would just go around the corner, you will be free

Sometimes we need perspective.
I was helping a wasp out of my house. I opened the window. He climbed from the screen to the window. Then he proceeded to walk around the window frame
slower and slower
finally he stopped.
 I got up from my chair and fanned him.
He hunkered down.
Last I reopened the screen and scooped him off the frame with a post card.
he was gone.