Monday, May 23, 2016

Reflections of my Retired Life:

This retirement is a good thing.  Even if I had hoped to work a few more years, I did not due to my health, and am glad for it.  I have had five years now of retirement as I am 68 and retired at 63.  It has been a nice journey, with thoughts, challenges and changes, but all lessons learned through it help me be the person I am.  The important thing is, even if I don't please everyone else, I am pleased with myself.  Many people can and don't ever say that, but I have learned that it is okay to like yourself.  It is not arrogant or selfish or evil.  It is a good thing.  

When I first retired, I was sick, and my heart was giving me problems.  I could hardly make it up the basement stairs and then they told me not to even try.  Years ago when being in an auto accident, they told me because of damage to arms and neck muscles, I would never knit or sew.  I worked at it and proved them a "good" wrong.  So I have knit since 12 and still knit for a total of 56 years, and I knit everyday also.  I also go up and down the stairs.  I do yoga, I swim, I walk, and I did camp for a few years after retirement.  I go on trips by myself, traveling by train and plane.  Life for this retired person is good.

People do invite me to many things.  I have tried some.  I did volunteering at the Humane Society and also was on the Friends of the Library and part of the book discussion group.  I belonged to a community group of women called the Centerrettes from Center, Missouri.  I also joined a knitting circle . I asked to volunteer at our little library to read to children or have a children's reading group.  The answer was no to anything suggested there so I soon realized I was not a welcome fit for the librarian.  It is a small community and a small library and I am still, after living in the area for 23 years, an outsider...."not from here" syndrome.  That is how it went with the local ladies' group also.  I volunteered my home, my talents, and gifts, and there was always something wrong with it.  So as time went on I begin to omit some of the things I was trying to do.  I quit the Centerrettes, but still have several good friends from it.  I did not go to the local little library any longer but just the library in Hannibal.  Eventually I quit the friends group as they had so many disagreements, and they were really not even associated with the national friends group.  I quit the book discussion group as they soon became just a session to argue.  There was only one other person besides me who turned in book suggestions for the next year's list.  We did have opportunity to do this, and many of our books were selected, but others complained that we had too much to say.  I got tired of grown people acting stupid, especially when they were not.  

Anyway, I found the same with going to yoga at the YMCA as the women spent the first 15 minutes of class talking about the management and how they had painted or changed our wonderful room.  Really, I did not need this either.  I can swim and do  yoga at home so am doing just that.  I missed the calm and meditation of what yoga is to be, but don't any longer.  My routine and time is greater and much more relaxed.

I still go to the Humane Society now and then but not weekly and this is a good thing.  They now have a full staff and good people so they do not need as many volunteers, but they are always happy when I stop down with food or just to pet animals or visit with them.  Now this is a good thing and it makes my heart happy as I have two wonderful dogs from there and my Daisy Mae Foxhound came from there also.

My knitting circle is interesting and I enjoy the woman.  I don't enjoy being in town for lots of hours as it is a day I also do errands and shopping, but doing so allows me to be home the other days, or having other days to go and do things with my husband.   I do have some struggles with some of the things one of the people says when I cannot be there, like tomorrow, I will not be there as I fell yesterday and plan to take it easy for a few days.  Plus, in the spring/summer months I have lots to do at home, so will save my good energy to do those things instead of running to town.  One person does not seem to understand and made a comment that when she heard about my fall, she figured as much that I would not be coming.  REALLY.  How about, hoping you are okay.  One of the good friends there is moving and I believe another will come visit and remain my friend even if I don't go.  The woman who made the comment is one that says she lives for her Tuesday.  I suppose I could understand that, but I live for each and every day I have.  I enjoy that time, but I enjoy my life.  I enjoy being home and I enjoy going when I want to.

Here lies the problem I believe.  I try different things, and if they do not work out too well, I can easily discontinue them as I am retired.  This is my time of life to enjoy myself.  When things become a hassle or stupid or selfish on others parts, I do not need to be involved.

Today I hurt from my fall in the garage, stupid as it was, it was a fall when I hit my head on the garage door that was not all the way up when I kept trying to walk throw it, while looking at my letters in hand instead of watching where I was going.  I was hit hard in the head, pushed back and hit the car with my hip, which then sent me to the concrete floor.  I landed flat and just laid there for a bit, with letters thrown all over the floor.  I got up and had to laugh at how well I bounced, but today I am sore and tired and glad nothing is broken.  I need to be home, do my things with my energy, time.

The bottom line is that this is my time, and I have only so much of it left and after giving and giving to others, I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.  I do not think it is because I don't like being social because I do.  I enjoy travel and shopping and talking with people and having company, but I also like doing things when I want to .  If I belong to something and don't want to go to it that one week, then I don't and I won't because someone thinks I should.  It makes me turn away from the whole thing.  Maybe it is that I have so many things I like and want to do.  I have said before that I quilt, read, write, paint, embroider, sew, knit, and having a circular sock machine now also for knitting.  I read lots and love to cook and bake.  I garden and swim and do yoga and walk.  I have four beautiful dogs.  I enjoy taking day trips with my husband and by myself also.  We usually go somewhere for the day once a week.  He goes in to the Y three mornings a week plus a coffee club.  My garden and potato patch and flowerbeds call me this time of year as does walking in the woods and playing outside with my dogs.  I believe you are never too old to play outside.

With all this said, I feel a bit better.  I have concluded that I am "not a stick in the mud" (and I do like walking in the creek and mud), but I am jealous of my time. 

Here's to me....I read a book a few years ago called "Your Best Yes"....and it was learning to say no.  I am retired, I am not tired.  I am social on my terms after years of dealing with everyone else's problems.  I like to travel and I like to be home.  I am artistic and I also can just sit and think.  More people should actually.  So, look out world, this retired older woman knows who she is and what she wants, and it is not to be locked into making someone elses day they live for.....but my days I live for.

Now, I am going out to swim.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hemingway needed a Playmate:

Because my little Hemingway needed a playmate other then me, I headed back to the shelter just before Easter and met and adopted a little mini whippet, actually a whippet/chihuahua mix which they are calling a mini whippet as he looks more like a whippet.  He is smart and sweet and a good little two year old guy.  He was kept in a crate by owners most of his two years so had some things to learn and overcome, but now is doing well, just a little afraid of some things like hair brushes.  He is enjoying the big fenced in yard, sleeping on furniture, having treats, and sleeping in bed at night.  He loves playing with his friend, Hemingway.  They are grand friends already.  And, of course, he has not seem a crate at this house.

I named him Mr. Molesley after my favorite servant character from Downton Abbey, Mr. Molesley who often said, "I am feeling a little fragile today."  And our Mr. Molesley actually looks fragile but he is strong, a fast runner and a real go getter.

Update photos of my dogs:

Mr. Hemingway is a yorkie that I adopted a few days before Christmas in 2015.  He is now ten months old and such a sweet little guy.  It took me awhile to even think of getting another dog after losing my Daisy Mae Foxhound, but I finally decided that it was because of how wonderful she was that I wanted to have another dog friend.  I finally decided it was a compliment to her and not taking a thing away from my relationship with her.  I lost her in August of 2015.
Mr. Hemingway, to me, looks like Ernest Hemingway, with the grey,black, and tan streaked hair and the big round dark eyes and the bushy white beard, thus he became my Mr. Hemingway.  Of course, Ernest did not like his first name so people called him just Hemingway, and we call our little guy, just Hemingway.


Me, myself and I went to the big city of Chicago.  I do enjoy heading there by Amtrak from Quincy which is an hour from here and then a little over a four hour ride by train to Chicago.  So you put some time in to go just for a day, but I have done that many a time just to enjoy a few things plus the ride and head home.

This time I decided to take a three day vacation in this wonderful city.  I went by myself again, as I enjoy doing that more then with a group like I have done sometimes for a day trip.  Anyway, I got off the train and took a taxi to Hard Rock Hotel on N. Michigan, amongst the Magnificent Mile.  

My hotel room was on the 21 floor and was wonderful.  I had three large windows to view the buildings, especially pretty with all the night lights.  I was right by the Chicago river so very pretty and sparkly at night also.  I must say I took lots of photos and enjoyed just leaving the drapes open and going to sleep looking out at the lights.  This is very different from the country person I am.  I like it dark and only the lights of the moon and stars.

My first day I headed to the Art Institute as I wanted to see the great exhibit of Vincent van Gogh, with paintings from other museums on lone, some from Paris, which I had seen last fall.  They had a bedroom exhibit, with the three paintings of his bedroom, and even a bedroom set up to scale so you could walk and imagine how he lived and painted also as often he was painting from the spare room with the chimney in which was right by his room.  This was all in the yellow house in Arles, FRANCE (southern).  They had some special Monet also so took so much in.

After this I headed for a cold windy walk, about 1.5 miles to the Adler's Planetarium.  I was able to take in the sights and also the last showing of the night sky.  It was so enjoyable and educational.  It is all done digitally with computer now, no big machine turning in the middle of the room like years ago.  You can tell I have not visited a planetarium for years.

I headed to catch a taxi to the hotel and ate in the hotel's American cafe that evening.  The food was wonderful and service great, and it was a bit pricey.  However, it was vacation and only me, so I splurged for great steak.

My next day was to tour the wonderful Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio in Oak Park.  I enjoyed this tour so much more then I thought I would.  It was beautiful, educational, well done, and small groups in each tour.  I had to travel by taxi, my choice, as I did not trust I would get to where I was to be at 10:00 for the tour if I went by metro or bus.  I am not "that" big city savey.

After I finished the tour and buying out the gift shop, I headed by taxi back to Chicago city, and to North State to a wonderful Barnes and Nobles.  I ate there and then spent time looking and purchasing a few things.  I do enjoy field trips to bookstores where ever I travel.  

It was then back to the hotel to rest a bit and then get dressed up, wearing an outfit I had purchased in Paris by a locally known designer with three small shops in the Paris area.  I took another taxi to Hard Rock Cafe, and it was  a grand treat for this old hippie and liker of some of the rock and roll famous people.  I was excited to see things from the Beatles, and also Steve Tyler.
The food was wonderful, having a sampler platter and some soda.

The  next day I was scheduled for a shoreline tour by boat, but the weather was very cold, 30 and raining and the boat had an open upper deck and lower deck was open at window areas (no window glass in them), so I called and asked if they were going, as the water was also choppy.  They called a bit later and cancelled so I will be reimbursed for my ticket purchased online.

This left me to go walking, dressing in layers and heading out to go many blocks down Magnificient Mile to shop and then back on the other side, and going around some blocks also.  All this before heading to the station and going home, leaving at about 6:00 p.m. to get back about 10:30.

Roy picked me up, remarking my large suitcase was much heavier.  Little did he know how much I purchased.  I also took lots of photos and had such a wonderful time in just a simple three day trip by train to a state next door to mine.  

I do encourage all that can get out and see some of our great country to do so.  Time goes fast, please note that there are simple things that can bring you great joy.  You do not have to go far and you do not have to spend lots of funds.  You can camp, go for a day trip, stay in a more reasonable hotel, eat bag lunch.  I have traveled all sorts of ways.  This trip I did splurge on myself as I just felt a need to do so.  Next trip, maybe to see the fall colors in my home state of Wisconsin, I will take a cooler and drive the 10 hours and then stay in a Days Inn during the week days when it is about $45.00 a night.  Sounds good to me.  Seeing those northern fall leaves is so much brighter then the ones in Missouri, not that ours are not nice.....just like the hills and mountains of Wisconsin with so many different colors.

Get out and explore.