Pages

Monday, August 13, 2012

The plans of a retiree.

(past winter-water submerged garden)
When you retire, your calendar changes.
You no longer have five days on, two off.
Your calendar is now filled with frequent doctor'a visits, dates when your social security check is deposited, and the chores associated with your present weather patterns. 


Last winter, this garden plot was was under water for months. Hence the many activities that followed in the spring, when everything was dug up, removed, cut and disposed of, to make room for planter boxes that are elevated and moved to higher ground. Our calendar from that point on indicated these phenomena and how everything else in our lives had to subjugate to that!

What was divided between work and fun, now is divided between fun and dread.

Yes, five days, or five weeks of fun, against a month in crutches, a week on cereal and water before you have enough money to go to the grocery store to pick up coffee and milk again; the dread of something braking in your body; something else in your house that needs fixing. 
(We lived in Southern Calif. most of our adult lives. Now, we realize that maintaining a house is quite different when the weather is so harsh!)

  
I hear the price of meat will skyrocket because of the drought in the Midwest. The price of fish is already up because there are dead zones that are now off limits to fishing. And, in a situation like our port, too small to get automatic dredging to maintain the dwindling fishing industry, we are looking at many folks losing their livelihood, in a town where there are few jobs already.

Those folks who travel and talk about the next journey between journeys are rare birds.

Most retirees I know journey to the next town, to stock up on essentials. Their long-distance travels are necessary evils, like visits to hospitals, specialists.

We usually take a trip down to California during our wet winter or spring. We manage to get ourselves organized enough to close our home, and travel down to visit our son and family for a week or so. We count that week as our yearly vacation; and if everything works out, they can come up and visit us in the summer when our weather is better than their weather.

Long term planning?
Sure!
To continue using our limbs and all our organs.
To continue to enjoy eating the things we love before something interferes with our digestion.
To keep our vision and our acuity so we can continue to drive and get ourselves around.

And, to see the world......

23 comments:

Eva Gallant said...

the reality of waiting for that social security check....it's very humbling.

Brian Miller said...

i think in many ways you do see the world..in all its shadow and light...it aint all pretty for sure...

Mona said...

I think what you write here is more of the true reality of retirees.. as I get older I am realizing some of this myself...

Mona

cheshire wife said...

How did you find the time to go to work?

Tom Sightings said...

No doubt about it, as we get older our world shrinks, geographically speaking, but hopefully our mental, emotional and psychological worlds expand and become richer and deeper.

Joani said...

I've always wondered why retirees move to such areas. In Arizona, I remember a couple had moved to MeadeView...1 hr from Kingman...and she took the shuttle in to the doctor I was working for...she couldn't drive....I asked her..what possessed you to move way out in the middle of no where....she said her husband wanted to. No grocery store, no hospital, no doctors, no nothing save for the desert & water. I'm staying close to a metropolis area. At least I would be able to call a cab or call dial a ride & hope they show up on time. Have a great week. Hugs.

cloudia charters said...

Brilliant. Honest. Brave.
You speak eloquently for many. I wish that Mr. Romney and his running mate could really 'get' what you are exposing.

Bless you. We will carry on together in gratitude as long as we can.

BTW, since moving off of the boat, I have been able to buy bulk beans, spices, etc, and produce HUGE amounts of high-nutrient, delicious food. Soup? in a can? for $3? Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!



Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
<(-'.'-)>

> < } } ( ° >

> < } } (°>

><}}(°>

Linda Myers said...

The geography gets smaller, whether for want of funds or declining energy.

Hopefully the wisdom grows.

the walking man said...

We do not travel preservation of capital is more important. We eat but only for nutrition not for savor. We spend freely but freedom dictates we spend wisely.

Retirement ain't what I thought I'd wind up spending a third of my life working at.

dianefaith said...

Long term planning? That's something we worried our way through for 30 years. Now, it's one grateful day at a time.

becky said...

Fun and dread. What a combo...but it's the awful truth.

Rian said...

..."dates when your social security check is deposited"
I do find this now an important date on our calendar. And one surprise of retirement has been the sudden realization that although unexpected expenses continue to turn up, unexpected windfalls or bonus checks do not.

Helga said...

I think I have to be very grateful for the health we (this includes my husband) still enjoy, for my wonderful family, for the food, the roof over my head, my eyesight to enjoy the beautiful nature and my photography, for the many occasions to do and have what we want. My life is, in fact, very good, despite plenty of problems, miseries and disillusionments and some aches and pains. But compared with the troubles and hardships of many, if not millions, I am blessed with abundance, insights, opportunities and abilities like never before in my life. If only I would always remember that!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It's so interesting that we look forward to retirement and find that it has its losses along with its joys, its challenges along with new freedoms. What you're saying is so true. We're trying to focus on enjoying each moment, each day of health. My husband was hurt in a fall today, but the fall happened on his fourth mile running in the desert! So he is nursing a skinned knee and hand, but grateful that he is still healthy enough to run. Long-term, we know there will be so many more challenges and limitations. So today is especially precious.

She Writes said...

I am moved by this post. This is honest, thought provoking, and eye opening. It seems life becomes fragile in so many ways--your partner, your resources, and your body. I wonder what it is to share these years with someone you have loved so much of your life as you do, Rosaria--someone you have known through so many seasons and phases of what it is to move through this world. I am humbled and left thinking and softened for reading here. Thank you.

ellen abbott said...

I know there will come a time that I won't be able to work anymore. or perhaps because I am so old, no one will want what I do. What will be will be. I chose this artist lifestyle and now I must see it to the end, whatever and however that may be. but I don't worry over it. right now today, I have work and food and good shelter even if I don't have much else. this is enough.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm sure you'll realise all your plans including the long-term ones, Rosaria!

Helen said...

You have summed up retirement for so many of us ... most of my visits are reserved for family members in other parts of the country. The best of both .. inexpensive lodging (chipping in for food, etc.) and the joy of spending precious time with loved ones.

Lydia said...

Yes. To see the world is the biggie...that I'll likely never realize.

"Now, we realize that maintaining a house is quite different when the weather is so harsh!" = Boy, do I hear ya on this one. Our house is peeling so badly that we absolutely cannot let it go another winter. I will dip into small savings to get it done.

This was a sad, but important, reality check.

potsoc said...

Reading all these comments confirmed my belief that I must, every day of the rest of my life, thank God for putting me in our despicable SOCIALIST inspired Providence state of Qu├ębec and more generally in Canada.
I can now enjoy a relatively worry free ripe old age and even travel a bit without checking if I will have to go to the Food bank to eat at the month's end.
May you all be spared the Tea Party regime post November 4.

Vagabonde said...

It is hard in this country, unless one is of the 1%, to have a great retirement. What you say is so true – the days are free, but we are too tired to do much and there are so many doctors’ appointments. As for travel, the travel budget may become a priority when one of the partners has an incurable disease and don’t know how long they will live.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Oh yes, we all sing this song, different voices, my refrain is, "how did I have time to work, those long commutes in CA, etc." Elderly neighbors said when we moved here, "good thing we are retired, we wouldn"t have had time for all our doctor appts." So far we are blest, not too many md's but a real difference in what we get done...Life's great if you don"t weaken!

colorado tile installation said...

I see the beautiful side of our planet.