Archive for the ‘Retirement’ Category

The Hideout

Roaming Wood Lake

Roaming Wood Lake

We are chillin’ at the Hideout, that is to say in Hamlin (Lake Ariel) with the Mrad family. Good to see them all. Dave and Aaron (yes, this is the correct spelling) haven’t changed a bit. However . . . the kids have. Dave says regular feedings and plenty of water made them grow so big.

We took a walk down to one of the lakes this morning and it was pretty cold and windy. Not used to this kind of weather but now the sun is out and the sky is clear as a bell, which is a welcome change from yesterday’s rain.

Dave in all his glory

Dave in all his glory


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IMG_6468-1Gerda took this picture (unedited) of the Blue Ridge Parkway our first day out. It’s typical of the scenery encountered around every curve in the road. Driving the Parkway was like watching a National Geographic special in an IMAX theater, only better. Toward evening, you welcome the dimming light as relief from color overload.

We started out on the Parkway just north of Roanoke, VA. I thought we would make it all the way to the end the first day, see the Sky Line Drive the next and be in West Virginia by dinner time. I suppose it would have been possible to push on and do just that, but each overlook was too inviting. Pretty soon in the day we realized we would want to spend more time relaxing and enjoying the trip so we did just that.

We hadn’t covered a lot of miles by the end of the day . . . but everyone one of them was beautiful.


Near the end of the day.

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More on the Road

It’s early and still quiet in the motel we found at the end of the day yesterday. It looked better than the handful of others in Staunton, but looks can be deceiving. In this case, the place looks new from the outside, but isn’t. Not all of the rooms have internet connections and I had to use a wireless adapter. It is SLOW and I can’t do much with pictures, let alone watch the latest episode of Rosenheim Cops.

We drove 209 miles in four hours on the first day of this trip, and 82 miles all day yesterday. But these were the prettiest 82 miles I’ve ever seen. The weather was perfect all day, warm and sunny – not a cloud in the sky. Hope this keeps up but won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t. It is fall, after all.

I’m going to try and get a few pictures ready for posting. We’ve taken so many I am in danger of being overloaded with editing work. Probably spend half this coming winter just working on that. Gerda took better pictures with her little point and shoot camera, so anything I post that looks good was probably her shot.

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. . .  bet you wish you were here!

We found the drive yesterday to be much too beautiful to hurry through. The weather was absolutely perfect and the scenery even more so. We stopped at “Peaks of Otter” and walked around the small lake there, finding a great place for a picnic lunch and some relaxing before getting back onto the interstate to find a room for the night. The internet connection at this motel isn’t what it should be and I am having a lot of difficulty posting any pictures.

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No More Looking Back

No-More-Looking-BackLeaving Lee and entering Scott County, the view doesn’t tell half the story.

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Let's go!!!

We finally got on the road around noon today. I wanted to leave at 10:00, then realized this wasn’t going to be possible. And when you are retired, any time is on time. We said our final good-bye’s to the neighbors who became like family to us, and headed on down the road.

After a quick stop in Abingdon for coffee to go and to drop off the modem and cancel our internet, we got back onto I-81 north. Had a quick break in Pulaski, then decided to push on to Roanoke. It wasn’t really much further, and traffic wasn’t a problem at all.

We are spending the night at a newly opened Holiday Inn Express, and the place in great. I managed to break the chain on my pocket watch, but they had the tools to fix it at the front desk. High speed internet in all the rooms, wired or wireless. Huge room, very nicely appointed and all that. Gerda loves it.

Dinner at the Cracker Barrel right across the street. Lesson learned – don’t order a burger at a country cooking restaurant, order country cooking. Gerda did and it worked out better for her. Anyway . . .

In the morning, we just head down the road (no more Interstate for a while) a little bit and jump onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Really want to get an early start but won’t sweat it if we don’t.

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SoldiersHad my retirement party last Saturday, and everyone showed up. Jack, Jim, Ron, even the Captain was there. Later on, some of the locals brought out desserts including apple pie and something with peaches in it. I think that was what did me in, but who knows. I’m just glad that part is over with.

The weather was great, food was plentiful and everyone had a good time. I really didn’t want to do anything like this and would have preferred to just not show up for work after my last day. But retirement parties aren’t for the retirees, they are for those who aspire to be retired but haven’t yet reached that point where they realize they are about to join the ranks of the fixed income folks.  When that senior’s discount at MacDonald’s isn’t such a bad thing after all. And when someone asks what you do for a living, the conversation turns past tense. When the road ahead is shorter that the road behind.

So I went to my own retirement party to spend a moment as the center of attention, and for the swag, before heading down the road. I only have a few “work days ” left, and will do whatever I feel like doing. Even if it means working.


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When I finally hit the lottery, one of the first things I will do is go out and find the Airstream of my dreams. I have loved these travel trailers since I was a kid. There is something about the classic design and that vintage aircraft look that catches my eye every time I seen one on the road. 

It will probably be one version or another of this Airstream Classic Limited. It is available in exterior lengths from 25 to 34 feet, though I will have to actually try ’em on for size before I decide which one is for me.

These things aren’t cheap. A new 27 foot Airstream lists for around $66,000. I’m sure the options list is long and expensive, and of course I will need something to tow it with. But what the heck, the Mega Millions jackpot is up to and estimated 130 million this week. I should be able to afford both an Airstream AND tickets to Disney World.

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I am now officially (what does that mean, anyway?) retirement eligible. I will keep working for another year, but with a “KMA” outlook on things. I’m just a little curious how it will feel when I get to work today. I suppose now I work because I want to, not because otherwise we’ll be homeless, starving and freezing. Out in the cold with nothing, or on welfare, living it up for free.

When I look around the neighborhood, I see drug dealears, welfare cheats and just plain bums. We work so they don’t have to. And these non-productive souls have absolutely no incentive to change. Why should they, as long as we continue to support them?

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