We’ve been busy!
Early retirement is a series of doing and planning projects that you never got to while you were working. In Bob’s case, this included working on his 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. I will let him describe what needed to be done, but suffice it to say – he did the work himself within a few weeks of being retired over the course of many days. Well, not that many. It’s just when you usually have access to your car and then don’t, it feels like a long time. That’s a California thing.
We have another big project that’s been a back burner one for a long time. When we bought our townhouse it had hardwood floors in the formal dining room and kitchen, but the living room, landing and stairs were carpeted (along with the bedrooms). Frankly, we’d wanted these areas to be hardwood, but the builder had made their selections and it was a done deal.
Fast forward eight years – eight years of multiple teenage and young adult men, cats and now a dog and just living (including one tumble by yours truly down the stairs with a full cup of coffee – !!!) – and builder-grade carpet doesn’t look so great.
Plus, although a great thing – we got a Roomba for our birthdays from the kids. The one that picks up the pet hair. Amazing! It does a great job and has begun to pull up the old stuff buried within the carpet, including old dander and other noxious stuff. We’re sneezing more. Ugh.
All of this is to say – it’s long past time to get that darn carpet up and out and put down hardwood. Not an inexpensive proposition, of course. We were going to do it ourselves, and may still to save money, but we’ve got a decent bid from Lowe’s. It’s still a pretty big job, like all home projects often are.
And the other ongoing “project” we have is our elderly parents. Both of us are lucky enough to have parents who are alive. People in our age group often do not. There’s longevity there, too, especially in Bob’s family. His mother comes from a long line of long-lived Estonians; he has both an aunt and uncle in their 90’s. Bob’s parents are in their mid-80’s.
My dad is 83 (more about him) and lives in Florida. My mom is 79 and lives down the street from us. My parents are not in the greatest of shape, due to long-term smoking on both of their parts. Ironically (I guess) neither has gotten lung cancer, but smoking affects more than just that – it affects the entire cardiovascular system, too. Yet, even with their medical issues, they are still alive.
And they all need us more, not less. Three out of four relatives are local to us which helps, but I am an only child and Bob only has one sister, who does look out for their parents quite a bit (thanks, Karen Sue!). But now that Bob is retired, we expect more involvement.
So with parents, projects, grown up kids who need help now and again (some more than others), and a grandchild, and trying to fit traveling and writing and all the other fun stuff into a life that still includes laundry, and groceries and keeping our cholesterol and blood sugar down to reasonable numbers, there’s honestly no dull days.
Whoever has time to work?