polar bear, waiting for the first snowfall of the season
east of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Tomorrow is my five-year retirement anniversary! It is hard to believe that much time has past already. In many ways, it seems like just yesterday. But it also seems so long ago. Do I regret retiring? Heck no! I wish I could have retired sooner! I am very grateful that we scrimped, saved, and invested for many decades so that we could both retire when we were still young enough to enjoy hobbies and travel.
So what exactly have I been doing for the past five years? Let’s just say that I have managed to keep busy! Here’s a short summary, not in historical order.
- Maintained our country cottage on six acres.
- Sold our country cottage on six acres. (Yeah!)
- Built a smaller country cottage in a villa subdivision. (Another yeah!)
- Lived in a rental home while we built our new cottage.
- Moved our household twice. (Ugh.)
- Sold and donated a significant amount of household furniture and belongings.
- Slipped and fell on a concrete floor, resulting in the final demise of my bad left knee. (Ouch.)
- Underwent knee replacement and manipulation later on to break scar tissue. (Not nearly as good as the original equipment.)
- Endured four months of knee rehabilitation and therapy. (Ouch, again.)
- Performed engineering contract work with my former employer three different times (~50% of time since official retirement).
- Managed the household while Mr. Jim recuperated from hip replacement surgery.
- Started doing digital photography, first with a Nikon D70 and then upgrading later to a Nikon D90.
- Taught myself Photoshop Elements and then Photoshop CS4, CS5, and CS6. (Whew!)
- Enjoyed my studio room, puttering around with sewing and craft projects.
- Successfully stopped an interstate from being built in our beloved valley.
- Frequently traveled, ever mindful of our “bucket list.” (Hooray!)
- Started this blog three months after retirement and maintained it faithfully ever since! (Another hooray!)
- Tennessee, extensively (including Smoky Mountain National Park)
- Kentucky, extensively (including the Bourbon Trail)
- North Carolina (Seagrove)
- Virginia, extensively (including Colonial Williamsburg in the spring and at Christmas)
- Ohio (Cincinnati)
- Indiana (to visit family and see covered bridges)
- Arizona, Utah, and Colorado (canyonlands, mountains, and National Parks and Monuments)
- New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, and National Parks and Monuments)
- British Columbia, Canada (Vancouver and Tweedsmuir Provincial Park)
- Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Canada
- Manitoba, Canada (Churchill and Winnipeg)
- Alaska, twice (interior, coastal, and Inside Passage)
- Montana (Glacier National Park and Kalispell)
No wonder I have been a bit tired lately! The past five years has been action-packed! Thankfully, it’s been filled with more "ups" than "downs." And, like a polar bear looking forward to the first snowfall of the season, I am looking forward to many more years of happy retirement!