Thursday, June 29, 2006

two years into retirement

siskiyou summit
two years ago we arrived at our new home in wa state after a two day trip from santa cruz ca in a big u-haul truck towing a trailer carrying my pickup truck, during a heat wave. robin's twin bro and his wife quite graciously volunteered to drive our car, bringing the cat. the truck had to be the oldest in the entire u-haul fleet. an ancient cornbinder (international harvester, what kinda name for a truck is that?) with lap only seat belts, no radio, and of course no a/c. the truck was crammed full. the pickup truck was crammed full, including the cab. the whole shebang would cruise along nicely at 60 mph on level ground, but lose speed rapidly on hills, requiring much downshifting of the manual transmission. the highest pass on i5 is siskiyou summit at 4310 feet above sea level. the road ascends for about 8 miles (i'm guessing here, and choosing 8 to make the later math easier) and most autos can cruise on up at 60 mph, tho many go faster. now the math. (8/60)x60=number of minutes to go 8 miles@60mph. alternatively, 60 mph = 1 mile/minute. okay. 8 minutes to drive up that hill in a car. our truck slowed down to 8 mph, which would mean that it took us, yes, one hour to attain the summit. big semis passed us.

in the fullness of time, as the cliche goes, we arrived. we survived. the cat survived. our precious stuff survived. we have visited friends and family in ca twice since then, once by train and once by car. the train, as one might imagine, is more relaxing, but the schedule is rigid--always late--and the food is not nearly as good as that which we bring along in the car. while it was fun to see people there, we are not even remotely homesick for it. too many humans moving too fast.

moving on, as the talking heads say to cover a strange segue.

i don't work any more. well, not for money from other people. since we have retired and moved we have built a sauna, fenced a large chunk of our 2 and 1/2 acres, changed big chunks of the garden area, added a large veggie garden, moved a greenhouse, and we are currently partially through the rather large project of removing all the exterior siding and painted window trim on our house and replacing it with shingles and unpainted cedar trim. we have also taken up blogging, which does consume some time. it's not just that we (i bask in reflected glory from my darling robin) produce a post every weekday, we insist on reading many other blogs. my morning is not complete without checking on my blogging friends to see what nugget of wisdom or pearl of great price they have uncovered. no pressure there, you know who you are.

i have read of men, or women, who retire and realize that their entire being is wrapped up in a job, who are unable to fill the long hours of each day with some way to pass time. no hobbies. no intellectual curiousity to be slaked. no solace in relaxation. well. i'm no better at "relaxation" than i am at organized, intentional exercise, but my days are full. i must admit that i have slacked off on reading actual books lately, even tho my list of books-i-wanna-read keeps growing. but the bookends of my day are still reading, nowadays from the glowing screen. the rest of the day is filled with gardening, bird watching (we have two eagle nests, swallows nesting in a birdhouse, and house finches nesting in a cedar in the yard to check on), home improvement projects, walking, exploring our newly adopted state, housework (i do toilets, showers, and garbage. we share the rest, tho robin is always ahead of me about laundry), cooking and eating. we have agreed that it would be marvelous for our health to do a half hour of yoga every morning. so far, nada. too much other stuff to do.

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