So, today is my thirteenth day of retirement and last night was a first for me. I vividly recall thinking: “This is exactly what I wanted retirement to feel like”. Why it took me almost two weeks to get there, I don’t know other than the fact that we lead busy lives. I don’t expect that to change, but I do want to embrace last night’s experience again and again. I can’t think of any way for it to be improved.
Early morning yesterday, my daughter and son-in-law dropped off their two dogs for us to entertain while they ran a few errands. They had a crew working at their house and the younger of the two dogs would have barked incessantly to get outdoors. He would have wanted to interact with the workman. Besides that, Andrea and Kevin believe their dogs are like kids. The more significant adults they have in their lives, the happier and better adjusted the dogs become. Who can argue with that concept? I know it is true for children.
Andrea and Kevin are both actively involved in the lives of my grandchildren. Weekend before last, they spent the weekend in Cat Spring participating in a myriad of activities involving the kids. When they first arrived late afternoon on Friday, Jake wanted them to swim with him. He said: “Let’s go ahead and swim now. When the party starts later, it would be better if you weren’t in the pool. It would look a little strange for two adults to be in the pool with thirteen kids”. They laughingly agreed.
Jake’s parents were hosting a party for members of the baseball team Jake played on. Of course, in addition to the players, their families were invited as well. Reportedly, it was a fun party with lots of food. One of the things that Andrea and Kevin noticed was Jake’s sense of being hospitable. Whenever a car turned into their drive, Jake was immediately out of the pool and greeted each family as they got out of their car. The kid has never met a stranger and he was intent on welcoming their guests. Before the evening was over, Jake invited Andrea and Kevin to join them in the pool. They declined. After all, it would look a little strange.
Getting back to Gram and Granddad’s “Doggie Daycare”, the dogs were absolutely no trouble. I go with the notion: “Let sleeping dogs lie” and so I did. The dogs don’t appear to be depressed, but they laid on the tile floors and slept most of the day. Of course, they were both up and moving when Andrea and Kevin returned.
We were visiting and Andrea mentioned that she’d be ready for another hamburger soon. I responded: “Let’s do it tonight.” She said, “No, that’s too much trouble, but let’s do it soon.” Enough of that! There was no time like the present. I said, “It will only take a moment. I’ll make a quick trip to the grocery store”.
I invited Andrea to tag along. She suggested I take Kevin, so we were out the door. At my insistence, he drove my car. Neither he nor Andrea had yet ridden in my retirement car, much less driven it. I don’t care if they do have a Porsche convertible and in comparison my car seems inferior, what it lacks in horsepower, it makes up in the sound system. The sound system is awesome. With all nine speakers blaring and the drum sounds alternating from one side of the car to the other, we listened to Neil Diamond. Unlike the General who doesn’t allow me to play the radio loud enough to hear, Kevin didn’t seem to have a problem with the volume.
Yesterday was perfect convertible weather. It was also a great time just to be outdoors. The evening wasn’t rushed and it rolled out as though it had been perfectly planned. That’s when it hit me. “This is exactly what I wanted retirement to feel like.” After all, it was a Monday night, but it felt like Friday night.”
Nothing, I mean nothing is more relaxing than a Friday night. You don’t have to rush off to this or that on a Saturday morning. You can stay up as late as you want and still get up in time to write your blog before the General knows it is morning. It doesn’t get any better than that.
I like living impromptu. Nothing is more enjoyable than sitting around a table with folks you enjoy and having dinner. Honestly, the burgers were pretty good. Besides that, it was inexpensive. For $22, I was in and out of the grocery store and that price included chicken thighs for the dogs to eat. Somehow it is always twice that amount when the General and I go out for dinner. Just think of the money we could save if every night were Friday night.
At some point during our visit with Andrea and Kevin, I asked Andrea if she ever felt like she was semi-retired. I mean, she and Kevin seem to have a lot of free time. When Andrea worked for Apple, her life was pretty one sided. All she did was work.
Her response to my question was something other than I anticipated. Instead of answering my question directly she asked: “So why didn’t you ask that same question of Kevin?” Oops – What was I thinking? Kevin responded: “Andrea does a lot of work during the hours she can’t sleep. She may be up half the night or up by 4:00 a.m. and taking care of the workload. That answer worked for me. After all, she is her father’s daughter.
She did add: “Recently I went to H.E.B. and I couldn’t remember where I parked”. She went on to say that it felt really strange. At first she thought her car had been stolen. In the process of managing the onset of panic, she had the thought: “I really am like my dad. I have him to thank for this. He has this experience often.” Actually, she’s giving me way too much credit, but I do vaguely recall the experience.
Reportedly, Andrea had a basket full of groceries along with 8-gallon bottles of bleach. A lady seeing her pushing the basket-cart said: “Wow, it looks like you are going to be doing a lot of cleaning.” She replied: “No, the bleach is for the swimming pool.” The lady responded: “Really, we’re putting in a pool. Tell me more.” Andrea replied, “My husband takes care of the pool. I’m just picking up the supplies. I have no idea how he uses it.”
Andrea did confess, “Since I’ve been working with Kevin, I seldom have an occasion to drive. Kevin does all the driving. At any rate, I drove somewhere recently and realized the car needed fuel. When I stopped to purchase gas, I couldn’t remember where the button was to open the fuel cap. In addition, I couldn’t remember how to negotiate the pump. It took me a minute to figure out what I was doing”.
That is really funny. If Andrea really is “her father’s daughter”, she’d take delight in being behind the wheel. I bet she’s never even driven their Porsche. I suspect she’d enjoy it immensely. Consequently, I’m planting the thought in her head with this blog.
At any rate, my definition of a perfect retirement is an environment where every evening feels like Friday.
All My Best,