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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Learning to do nothing and other stories of retirement.




It all started when we began to talk about retiring, sorting through our lives, anticipating leaving L.A. for good.  The first thing that came up was the wish to travel.  Both of us love to get up and go, at a moment's notice, without any plans, any baggage.  As a matter of fact, that was our honeymoon trip.  But, I'm digressing.

We looked at RVs and  travel trailers. We had traded in a comfortable passenger car for an SUV as our preparation step.  Hubby wanted a truck, a big one, with power. We compromised.  The SUV, we reasoned, could haul a travel trailer as well as transport passengers and gear. Neat uh!

We moved to Oregon with our books, computers, clothes,  and a telescope,  filling up the SUV.  We had moved a few times across the nation. Each time we moved for a good distance we ended up ditching every thing else.  You see, most of the stuff we owned came from Goodwill Industries; we just returned it for others to us.  But, our last move was different.  We had lived in one place for over twenty years, and had accumulated good stuff that our children were happy to take off our hands.  Since we were moving to a small cottage by the sea, smaller digs, we didn't need much, and didn't want anything that reminded us of our working days. 

In Brookings, sixty miles from Port Orford, a town big enough to have a furniture store, we stopped to purchase a bed. My American Express card was denied and it took a few manuvers to get that credit approved.  We bought three beds, one for each bedroom, just in case our children would rush up to visit and spend time with us. We also picked up lamps and a working desk. We bought kitchen utensils, plates, life vests and rain gear from the local hardware store.

We looked at RV's and trailers for months, driving to every lot. hours away, tried every model and we agreed on the one we wanted.  It looked like the one pictured above, a one unit that drove like a car, no set up problems, no worrying about hooking up anything.

Our house came with outdoor furniture and a canoe. Hubby and I would sit out on the deck, captivated by the whitecaps out on the Ocean visible from our deck.  We couldn't get enough of those views.  In the morning, we'd sit with coffee and the newspapers, and the evenings, we took out our telescope and stared at the stars.  Life on that deck stretched out like that for weeks until the rainy season.  The canoe waited for our children to visit.

It was after that first storm that we entertained the idea of purchasing an RV again and return to visit the children in L.A. Weeks of rain makes you want to escape for a while. 

Stay tuned for the continuation of this story.

41 comments:

Helen said...

Oh, how I love a good story - especially yours! Thank you so much for the wonderful words and your visit.

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

I wish to be nomad And today I learnt a new subject:
telescope and stared at the stars - Thats nice. Will do the same one day And will remember you.
Thankyou for sharing.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

This is good!! Can't wait to read more! :)

Jennifer said...

Your cottage by the sea sounds perfect. I can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

Beth said...

I hope my life is as interesting as yours when I get to retire. I love hearing about your travels.

Brian Miller said...

i have dreams of one day retiring to an RV and traveling the world with my wife...i guees i better focus on becoming employed first so i can retire still young enough to enjoy it. hope you had a great weekend!

Eva Gallant said...

As you may know, we're retired, too, and just finished a 30-day, cross-country, sight-seeing tour. I love retirement; wish I could afford to travel more!

Man of Roma said...

Dear Rosaria,

the way you do things out there is fascinating. You buy a SUV, fill it up with books, computers, clothes, and a telescope (!) and there you go, leaving a place you've lived in for 20 years and setting out for a cottage over the ocean.

I have just retired but it seems like I'm instead tied by thousands of invisible strings. I am starting to do nothing - so to say, I still have tons of things to be concluded - and I feel guilty about it. But something is about to change, I feel it, although my wife and I have different ideas on retirement, I being more on the contemplative side while she is very dynamic.

My ideal life too would be spending my days contemplating the stars and the sea, together with my music and my computer.

Looking forward to the continuation of this story.

potsoc said...

Doing nothing in retirement is, when considering Rosaria, MoR and myself, an euphemism. I sometime wonder where I could find time to work during my so called active life.
Rosaria's garden and school board, MoR's research for his elaborate blogs, my group animation at McGill I.L.R., etc, have us checking our calendar and agendas to make sure we are not double tasking at the same moment. You call that doing nothing?

Wander to the Wayside said...

You may be among the last people to be able to retire, and are so lucky to be able to do so! We are 61 and will be working til the age of...hmmm, death. Many of us are coveting your retirement plans, and your ability to give up your 'stuff'. I'm way too attached to my few material things, and pets, and grandkids (not necessarily in that order) to be able to pack up and follow a dream of what I think retirement should look like. I look forward to the rest of your story ...

Dimple said...

It's very good not to be bound up to things, and I'm glad your children helped you divest yourselves of the accumulation. 20 years worth of stuff can add up!

Natalie said...

Sounds like a fun way to move. I'm hanging around for the next installment. :D

Maggie May said...

Look forward to the next episode.
Wish we could see the stars. Light pollution prevents it.
I would have loved to get a camper when I was younger. Now I like home comforts too much!

Nuts in May

The Things We Carried said...

We have talked about moving very seriously. The recession has hit us HARD. It is moving farther from our children that gets to me, but we would like to live on way less... I will be tuned into your story!

mel u said...

Great post-I retired three years ago-at first I treated my time like a long weekend-then I decided to begin a whole new phase of my life-retirement is not a long weekend

Zip n Tizzy said...

We already fantasize about traveling around in RV though we're hoping by then, they'll be offering fuel cell or at least hybrid versions :)
We drove across the country when we moved back from NY to CA. We took the I 80 and drove non stop, but it was still a really fun trip.

Man of Roma said...

Well Paul, I don't know. I thought, as Mel U well said, that my retirement would have been similar to a long week end, or, to the 'Land of Play' in Pinocchio, in the noble sense of the word (music, writing, nature etc.) Well, it seems my idea was naive or not compliant with my mental wiring, which is a bit Calvinistic, despite the fact I am a Roman lol.
We will see.

Diane said...

A cottage by the sea... that's my dream... one day...

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Looking forward to it. What an adventure.

willow said...

You sound like an adventurous duo!

RNSANE said...

I retired, not very happily, when my forensic nursing position with the city and county of San Francisco ended in massive budget cuts to the Dept of Public Health. I am still hoping to work again as the $100,000 annual reduction in my income is overwhelming. At 65, after so many years in such a unique specialty, it is hard to find a nursing position. I truly enjoyed reading about your retirement, though!! Maybe I will see mine in a more positive light!

Nancy said...

Can't wait. We are dreaming the same dreams.

Marguerite said...

Your cottage by the sea sounds lovely! I lived on the Atlantic coast, for a long time, and there is really nothing quite like those ocean views. I love the way that you stopped and bought the beds, on the way. Great pioneer spirit! Can't wait to hear more!

Snowbrush said...

I should think the short, and usually gray, days in winter would get you down after sunny L.A. Or maybe I project. Coming here from Mississippi, they had that effect on me. After 23 years in Oregon, they STILL have that effect on me. Tell the kids to set two more places at the table, and Peggy and I will journey south with you some wintry day.

Shadow said...

damn i want to retire, heee heee heee. i like how with each move you started 'a-fresh' so to speak. new place, new things, makes perfect sense. looking forward to more...

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

A cottage almost anywhere sounds good if confronted with continuing rain or dark dreary days. Winter is often like that. Glad you are out and about. Interesting post.

Gaston Studio said...

How wonderful that you never placed much importance on tangible items so that you could pick up and move at the drop of a hat! Always thought it would be fascinagting to tour America in an RV... but who would drive it for me? ;-)

Can't wait to hear more!

Reya Mellicker said...

Fantastic post/story. You lived in L.A.?? Imagining that is kind of hard, but wow, wow. So looking forward to part II and onwards.

Thanks for including me in the sistership award. I've been scattered lately and didn't get the image posted on page before Blog Awareness Day came and went.

I love it that you're not attached to things, they come and go from you life. That's true liberation.

xx

Ribbon said...

I love your youthful energy. It is to be admired.

Looking forward to more of this story.

best wishes
Ribbon

Lyn said...

Rosaria, I can't wait fo rthe next installment .... and if I may add -- my dad says that there is no such thing as doing nothing - just the illusion of such. Often when we are doing nothing, we are merely being quiet and still - both required for introspection and reflection. Judging by the many energetic, impassioned posts on this blog - I would say you found a constructive, creative way to fill your time!

NitWit1 said...

I and staying tuned. Don't know where I'll be but I can get the latest as my trusty notebook will be with me.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

In a perfect world I would have such a cottage on the Oregon Coast, I used to think I'd want a little condo down here, so we might visit the kids as frequently as we'd like, but my brother bought a bunch of land and he says we can stay in his fifth wheel. So maybe that's what we'll do, when the time comes. Great post, I love living vicariously through others!

Renee said...

I love that and you know what dear friend I always wanted to retire.

Come by tomorrow I am having a giveaway.

Love Renee xoxo

Journaling Woman said...

Two words (after these words) I'm jealous!

Hit 40 said...

My parents must have failure to launch on their retirement travel dreams!! They also talked a big game about travel. The only travel has been to casinos in neighboring states to Ohio. My mom chickened out of flying after 9/11. It gave her a good excuse to stay home.

Sandi McBride said...

Why is it that when we retire we can't be satisfied in one place but must just, really have to...get up and travel around...gypsy feet is what my Grandmother called it. Now I know what she means...loved this post!
Sandi

Gran said...

I just can't wait to hear the rest!

Lori ann said...

oh, I love campervans! Looking forward to part two.
you are so cute where you said just in case the kids rush up to visit. we can always hope.

vicki archer said...

Rain will do that to you every time....looking forward to the next installment, xv.

the walking man said...

The first 5 years of being retired were hard on me. I bought an RV now I have to wait another ten years or so until the wife retires before we will use it the way it should be used.

Oh My Goddess said...

What a wonderful adventure you two allowed yourselves! Good idea!!