Thursday, September 24, 2009

Planning ahead

Last night, I attended a retirement party for a close friend of mine that is retiring at the end of the month. I am SO jealous. Dick is like a brother to me (which only makes sense; he's a month older than my own brother) since we have so many common interests.

His retirement has gotten me to thinking about what I want to do when I retire, which if all goes according to plan, should be in about 4 years.

So here's a list of the things I'd like to do after retirement:

Move to a rural location - We've talked about Vermont, but western Massachusetts has it attraction as well. I'd like a place with about an acre of land, maybe a little more, that has some attraction to a wooded area, so that there is a chance of seeing wildlife in the yard. A place that has a sunny area to have a vegetable garden. I'll probably have lots of flowers, too. A mountain view or a broad valley view would be nice, but not necessary. Heat will be provided primarily by a wood stove. The kind that takes real logs, not wood pellets. I want the ambience that comes from the occasional wisp of smoke that escapes and reminds you where the heat is coming from.

The place will have to have a large, well laid-out kitchen. I love to cook and can't wait to try some of the many recipes I've found that take more time and effort. It's tough cooking for two, but lately we've found that it's just as easy to cook for 6-8 and freeze the leftovers for other, more hurried days. I'll probably keep that up, but I'll change 'hurried' to 'lazy'.

I want to preserve the produce from the garden; make pickles, can string beans, tomatoes, freeze berries. There's just something about the fact that later in the year, when using these products, knowing that they came from your own labor, makes them better than anything bought at the store.

Travel a bit - I love to fly, but unfortunately, that costs money, but I'm sure I could afford it once in a while. In the meantime, we've suddenly come across the idea of getting a 'teardrop' trailer. That's more than a pop-up tent trailer, but not all the way up to being a travel trailer. In most that we have seen, the galley is under a hinged awning that opens up from the rear of the trailer, so that using it is outdoors, but under a cover. In considering this, a nice pick-up truck with a cover over the bed to hold all the incidentals that go along with a camping trip would be nice to pull the trailer with.

There are so many places we'd like to go in the United States and Canada that it's almost impossible to start naming them. And most of them aren't 'tourist destinations', just some place I'd like to visit. Seattle, the northern plains states, the plains provinces, Prince Edward Island, Louisiana, parts of Texas, British Columbia. Oh, the list could go on forever. Not to mention, returning to Scotland, southern Germany and the southern parts of England we never got to on our previous trips over the Atlantic.

Obviously, I plan on reading. I do that now, but I'll have time to do even more. I'd like to take some college courses. Some of the things that I'm interested in are the same subjects that I hated when I was in school before: History, particularly 20th century; Math, another try at figuring out what is so confusing to me about Trig and Calculus, perhaps even some classic Literature.

I think I'll also have time to improve my skill at stamp-carving. After doing letterboxing for a year, I started carving some of my own stamps. It's easy to do, but hard to do well. And some of the work I've seen others do just blows me away.

And mostly, I want to just sit and watch the weather, the change of the seasons, the birds on the feeders and just reflect on life and how good it's been to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment