Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Adventure 101

We're back home - in our nest. Which is now clean enough to be sanitary, but not fabulous. And we have non-curdled milk and yogurt with dates that haven't expired and lunch meat that isn't slick and slimy. And clean underwear.

And we've been home together for two whole days living the retired life and haven't killed each other yet.

It feels weird - good but weird. We forget what day it is - vacation does that but not having to get up and go anywhere does too. Rolling over in the bed at 8 am and seeing a man lying there scares the beegeebees out of me then I remember, oh yeah, he lives here, he's mine, and he doesn't have to go anywhere. I don't know if I'm going to recognize this man once the bags disappear from under his eyes, they've been there so many years.

Breakfast comes and we don't know what to do - this man who used to eat breakfast at his desk over morning emails now sits at the coffee table with the paper. He still eats the same thing and I'm pretty sure he's already wondering where the bacon and eggs he dreamed of went. And he's drinking more than his share of the coffee which is a good thing but still strange.

Today was clean the apartment day. Twenty-nine years ago Don told me his part of cleaning the house would be to not get it dirty. So I warned him last night I was going to clean this morning, and he manned up (I'm pretty sure he was terrified he'd joined the cleaning crew and I'm pretty sure he'd rather go back to work than clean bathrooms and vacuum) and asked me at 9 am how he could help. I asked if he would please straighten the garage, make sense of all the moving boxes, find out if we need to buy more and then could he please take the car and fill it with gas, pick up prescriptions and check out renting a U-haul for our upcoming move.

I figured it would give him a break from me for a good few hours, and after about ten days straight of looking at me I was pretty sure he would be ready to be gone for awhile. We're down to one car now, having lost the company car he drove for the past 29 years, and I quickly told him he can have ours. It can be his - feel free to keep it clean, oil changed, current on maintenance and full of gas. I don't really need a car, just a driver most of the time!

At 4:30 this afternoon I started to make supper and realized I was three hours early. This evening we watched three episodes of Lost and two of American Idol. Because we can. And we sat and just talked a couple of different times, about finding a church, trading in a vehicle, whether to have a pet, physical therapy, finding doctors, etc. etc. etc. Talk is good - lots of talking will keep us together, knowing what the other one is thinking. Thank you, Pastor Ron, for your marriage class five years ago. We're reaping the benefits of it now, listening to what's on each other's minds. Sharing fears, concerns, dreams.

So we're not very good at this yet, but there's hope. We're cutting fresh paths together and enjoying staying up too late, sleeping in, making plans.. This path we're on has a few potholes in it, but that's okay. A road that is completely smooth makes for a pretty boring ride. That's half the fun of life, isn't it - not having it figured out all the time. Maybe this is what being a Newlywed felt like and I'd just forgotten - Adventure 101.

Two nights from now I've got an evening out with 19 girlfriends for dinner and a play. I'm certain I'll have a blast. We'll giggle and talk and eat and sing. And that newly retired man of mine? He may take his car to the back parking lot and do donuts, or drive to the steakhouse by himself for a manly meal. Or zap a TV dinner, stay home and watch a dozen episodes of CSI. A bit of absence that'll make the heart grow fonder, then we'll come back together for yogurt and coffee and the newspaper while we figure out another day. So far we're loving it!


Karen said...

So happy for you guys. Sounds like things are falling into place for your big move. It would be a little strange to have hubby home all the time. I guess it takes time to get a rhythm going. At least you'll be pretty busy for awhile. My hubby will probably retire in 2 years, but we will still have one kiddo left at home. She will only be 3 1/2 at that point. Can you even imagine? Have a great week. Blessings!

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

Of all the wonderful things to make note of and take away from this post, I think I'll leave always remembering 'a road that is completely smooth makes for a boring ride'. I may have to qutoe you on this one. Actually, I am pretty postive that I will. How right you are. Thanks my friend.

Kelly said...

It does sound like being a newlywed again:-)

Val said...

Sounds like you are having some fun adjusting. My father retired in 2005, and my mother is probably going to be done working in June, which means that they will both be home for the first time ever! They are excited, but a bit nervous.

Theresa said...

May I just say that I am a little envious?? My hubby and I took a week of vacation recently, and did pretty much nothing but hang out together. It felt so good! I'm really looking forward to retiring with that man!

Enjoy your time together. The moving will keep you pretty busy for a while.

Becky said...

What a treat! And I know the feeling of seeing someone sleeping on the other side of you and wondering who that is. I had that when my husband when from Bakery Manager and 4:00 a.m. start times to Pastor and 9:00 a.m. start times.

I am so glad you are enjoying things. You sound like you are keeping just busy enough to keep it interesting. And that will get even busier soon, as moving day approaches. I just read Sarah's post. Get ready ... she is going to need you :)

leslie said...

I agree with "Just Another Ordinary Miracle." The road line is a great one, Mama!

So happy for you two! Praying for Daddy's procedure today! :)

elizabeth said...

I think it sounds like heaven! We are inching ever closer to that day and looking forward to it with open arms. 30 years of marriage has not dimmed our love and I think it will be great to linger over coffee.

Congratulations on your new phase of life!

Sarah said...

The secret to making this easy would've been to have a child at a late stage, say, about 18 years ago--then you wouldn't have had all these years of being alone in the house! You'd be sending the last one off just as Dad was coming home!!

I think your days sound super nice, especially the parts about having loads of free time and no pets. And if you're serious about getting another one, please stay at my house for a few days and take care of mine for me. I'm pretty sure you'll be cured :)

Robin said...

Sounds like adjustments are being made - but what fun adjustments they are! I'm totally looking forward to those days. I think once you guys finally "settle down" whatever that means, you will find a rythmn that works well for both of you. And you will wonder how you ever, ever, ever lived any other way.

Bev said...

Dear Sarah, if we'd had a kid 18 years ago he or she (I'd go with a boy since we could have used another of those) would be just off to college, at $20 - $30,000 a year and they'd still need to have a wedding and packages mailed to encourage them to study instead of despair and phone calls throughout the day to check and see if they were studying - so I'll go with this plan - I got 7 years to myself after Dan left and we now have some money to spend on fun stuff instead of educations.

Re the pet - spot on! I told Dad to make me think about it for at least a few months, no matter how lonely I might get - cats stick around for 15+ years and good gracious I'd be 70 by then - not sure I want a cat when I'm 70..... so maybe start with a gently used cat?!

Ms. Kathleen said...

It sounds like I have missed out a bit of your life... Shame on me. My blog name has changed. I hope you'll stop by.

Larry and I are moving we think in the fall... Retirement and an empty nest are falling upon us but I like the line in the movie Far and Away, "pretend we are just starting out instead of ending up!". So, I am sorting through things, what to take, what to give away. We are heading west once the house sells... We think the camp will buy our acreage and this is our last summer as directors... Life is EXCITING! http://www.mskathleen.org/

Susanne said...

Aren't you smart sending him out to do the running around chores.

It sounds like you are off to a great start on this retirement thing. :v)

Glenda said...

Lots of good stuff in this post! Stuff that newlyweds could really benefit from hearing - as well as those of us traveling the not-completely-smooth road called retirement.

Sammy said...

It's really interesting to read such honest thoughts from you as you enter this stage of your lives. It makes so much sense to me that it would be a real adjustment. I never thought about it before, of course. Retirement is many years away for my husband. But I really appreciate reading about your experience and that you write about it so candidly. I'm interested in hearing more.