Friday, June 12, 2009

Fun on the Muskeegon

What a great day today was! We awoke to -- get this -- SUNSHINE! First sun we've seen in several days. After Jack got back from his morning meeting, we loaded up the truck with more stuff and then drove it up to the Osceola County dump off 2-mile road. While it was $10 more to dump there, they are much easier to get to, and the access to the site was easier. Yucky job, nevertheless.

We took the truck and gassed her up, washed it, and returned it to Chuck and Kay. What a really important and wonderfully thoughtful thing they are doing, letting us use their truck! (And the answer to "why not just get a dumpster?" is this: It's over $300 for the first WEEK, and then a daily charge thereafter. As long as we would need it, it just wouldn't be practical .. not for this job.)

After that, we came back to Ruby, changed and gathered some provisions, and headed back out. This time, we were off to Paris to meet some friends, and arrange logistics for kayaking!

We set sail and kayaked from Harold's house near Hersey down to Paris Park. Great fun on a fine day. While there were clouds, the temperature was perfect. The water was high and fast, and there actually were some small rapids in places. How I do love kayaking!

We made our way back up to Harold's with the kayaks on trailers, and then set up food for our feast. Brats on the grill, potatoes, salads, pie and cookies left us all happily full. The Tres Amigos (3 of the guys) played and sang, and a good time was enjoyed by all!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Should I Retire?

I got this question from a fellow in my Navion Yahoo group. He was wanting to hear opinions on this topic as he considers his own path. Here is my response:

Hi, JD!
I am writing from the other side. I mean.. I wish that I'd been able to convince my dear husband to retire and hit the road with me full-time sooner. Now, don't get me wrong; we had lots of travel time together. Michael and I traveled together for 25 years, going on month-long journeys across this country every year, in various RV's. We saw all four corners of the country, spending at least one night in every state of the union, except Alaska.

He'd promised that he'd retire when he was 59 1/2, but that day came and went and he did not retire. 62 came and went. Finally, he said that he'd retire on October 10, 2006. He was 63. But on August 15, 2006, we found out that he had a brain tumor. A malignant brain tumor -- the sort of thing that does not get better.

We had 14 more months together, full-time, since he was no longer able to work. We did continue to travel, although I was now doing all the driving, all the hooking and unhooking, and making all the arrangements. Just 6 months before he died, we traded our 38' RV in on our little Navion, and he and I traveled 8,000 miles in that, before he became too incapacitated to travel.

Now, don't be sorry for me, please. :) Michael and I had 25 wonderful years, and, while it was shortened, his life was happy and good. We were fortunate in so many ways.

My point in sharing this is to say, without hesitation, "DO IT." If you have things that you want to do, do them. Dance like no one's looking, because no one is. Say "I love you," more. Laugh all you can. Learn something new today. Look at each other more. Love each other. And, yes, retire. No one ever lay on his death bed saying, "I wish I'd spent more time at work.

Of course, we all are going to die. But don't die before reaching for that dream for yourself.

Retirement's like a long weekend. I daresay you don't get to the end of the weekend with relief, because you were bored over the weekend! The only people who are bored in retirement are those who are bored with work and life in general. Bored = boring. If you're interesting, you'll be interested, no matter what you do.

Good luck to you!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Pitter Patter

This is the color of the grass and leaves where we are, in Paris Park, just north of Big Rapids. This was a lazy day for us, as we awoke to rain, falling heavily onto Ruby's roof, creating small lakes in the grass around us.

We've had a good weekend. On Saturday, we participated in the church's "work day," and stayed busy till about noon. I mostly trimmed trees and tore out vines around the edge of the parking lot. Today I can feel this in my arms! After the work, we all went to Pizzeria Vivo -- that new Italian place! It was fabulous again.

After that, we went out to "the house," where we did more work in the garage/workshop. Jack was flattening out the rails and stiles for the cabinet that he's making for Ruby's cabover area. I also did a load of clothes, and pulled stuff out of one of the cabinets in the kitchen. Urf. There were some VERY old spices in there. At this rate, it'll take me another 3 weeks just to get through the kitchen.

Sunday was church and then a potluck to honor Pastor Jon's 30th anniversary of his ordination. He is much-loved here and it was a happy occasion!

It was beginning to look rainified, so we decided to go to a movie in downtown Big Rapids. Night at the Museum II was playing, and we heard it was good, so off we went. $12.50 for matinee tickets. And ... are you sitting down? LOL it was $13.00 for 2 bags of popcorn. Just popcorn. And it wasn't even all that good. Sheesh. Jack says "That won't happen again!"

Last evening, we played dominoes till we were tired of it. We both love Mexican Train. :)

Thank goodness the rain held out till today, when it's been coming down in buckets nearly all day! We've just hung around here, mostly. Jack made a plan for Annette's deck and then we put together a materials list. Then we went shopping at Lowe's and Menard's to see who's got the best stuff and the best prices at this time. (they vary.) Looks like Menard's is gonna win, Annette! You DO have a Menard's down there, don't you? (Yes, looking at, I find that there are a couple that are close! :))