I’m down to 39 working days left until I retire. I am methodically shutting things down, per se, and weaning myself away from the internet, since we do not have internet access at home. Which begs the question…why did I start this blog knowing my internet access is going away soon???
Well…*shrug* Good question…I guess I just wasn’t thinking that far ahead. I can imagine a time when we will sign up for internet access; my granddaughter is 6, so she may need it for homework and whatnot. But I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. I can use the wi-fi at my husband’s shop, but not during working hours. I can use free wi-fi at several places in town, but I am not about to make a special trip into town just to keep current with writing this blog.
So what’s going to happen with this blog? I honestly don’t know…I have 39 working days to figure it out.
My dear mother in law has dementia; she was officially diagnosed about two years ago, although we started seeing signs 4-5 years ago. We have finally gotten her into a very nice care facility, where only dementia patients reside. It is a locked facility, meaning there’s no chance of her wandering off (recently she had started walking for blocks on end, and not remembering how to get back home). Her placement in a good facility is a relief to my husband, as you can imagine–one less (big) thing to worry about.
On top of dealing with my mother in law, my brother in law (who lives with us) had a heart attack, the week of his 59th birthday…some birthday present. He is a truck driver (OTR), and was in Louisiana when it happened. The cardiologist there categorized it as “massive”, however praised my brother in law for acting very quickly (as he could easily have died). So now he has a couple of stents, is doing cardiac rehab, and will be off work for at least another month. Despite almost dying, he’s in good spirits, and has retained his wicked sense of humor.
So, if you are of a mind to, prayers for the mother- and brother-in-law would be appreciated, and also for the rest of us, who are dealing with both of them.
I have been thinking a lot lately of developing a cleaning routine or schedule for when I retire. I know some things will fall into a natural order once I begin to clean on a daily basis. In other words, I will have to see what chores work best on which days. Also, I’ve been remembering how my mother did her chores. Mom had chronic, severe asthma; she had to clean daily to keep down the dust to which she was allergic. So she would work a little while, rest a little while, and then work some more. I have watched some home cleaning videos online and most of the “experts” do the same…work for 15-20 minutes, rest, then work again. It seems my mother was an expert, a fact that does not surprise me. Of course, most women of my mother’s era were experts of homemaking including, but not limited to, cleaning. Most girls these days are not taught the art of homemaking (for it is an art), but they certainly need to be, in place of some of the useless blankety-blank stuff they are taught.
(Sidebar…Yes, I am in favor of traditional roles for men and women. It’s the way God formed us. The feminists think that means we believe men are better than women; we do not. Men have certain strengths, and women have other strengths–we compliment one another.)
And since the public schools no longer teach proper home economics (cooking from scratch, sewing, cleaning, manners, etc.) it is up to mothers and grandmothers everywhere to re-assume the reins of educating our young ones. Actually, all families schooled their own children before centralized education emerged. “Home schooling” was not a novelty, but standard practice. Don’t think for a minute that the school system has a vested interest in helping your young one to turn into a fine human being…most of them could care less. They’re only looking at the numbers, like big corporations do. Now, I am not saying everyone should yank their child out of school, indeed I am not. We all pay taxes to help keep those public schools open, so let your child learn as much as they can there. What I am saying is that you’re going to need to supplement the basic education little Susie gets from that public school with important lessons of your own. How to cook from scratch, how to hand-sew, how to build a fire, how to vacuum and mop, how to wash and iron clothes, etc., etc. These are important life skills everyone should know. Just my opinion and I could be wrong…but I don’t think I am.
Having worked in an office setting for the last 37 years, I always needed what I call “dress” clothes. Nothing fancy, but they had to be office appropriate; slacks, tops, shoes, skirts, etc. I don’t have a closet full of clothes, mind you, but more than enough to get me through two weeks of work without laundering (if for some reason the washer broke or whatever). When I retire though, I reckon 70% of that stuff can be donated, as I won’t need it anymore (–maybe 90%, if I give til it hurts). Oh, I’ll save a pair of slacks and maybe a couple of skirts, in case of wedding/funeral/occasion/whatnot. (Don’t say “save them for church”–I don’t go to church.**) I think it’ll be nice, having my daily uniform consist of jeans, t-shirts, and aprons. There was a time a few years ago when I wore long skirts every day, and I might find enjoyment in resurrecting that style again…once the heavy-duty cleaning and painting is done. I’m simply relishing the thought that, being a stay-at-home-grandmother, my wardrobe is going to become super simple, and I am ALL about simple these days.
(**I believe in God, I consider myself a Christian; I simply do not attend or belong to a church. No need to write me, or try to save my soul. It’s already saved, thank you very much.)
Currently I’m floating in what I like to think of an “in-between space”. I have to wait to complete my application for retirement, have to wait for the first Friday in December (last working day), have to wait for a lot of things. I’m in-between working and not working, and it’s sort of a weird place to be. Take Facebook, for example…I joined Facebook several years ago to kill time while I was waiting for something to do at the office. As you can imagine, I have found and liked several pages pertaining to various interests. Now however, I find myself hesitating to start following any new pages or groups. Why? Because I do not have an internet connection at my house. We live in the country; internet connections are not cheap. Besides, the spot where we live is not always conducive to cell phone service, so I’m not even sure internet service would work. So after I retire, I’m going to have to use the wi-fi connection at my husband’s business (in town) if I want to browse around the ol’ interweb (which is a 20 minute drive one way). Which, again, makes me hesitate to like or bookmark anything new. I have to admit, the lack of immediate computer/internet access is one thing I will miss.
Now, on the other hand, I do not want you to think that I’ll be stuck out in the middle of nowhere. I’m used to the 20 minute drive to town; it’s really not terrible. Also, I reckon I won’t miss Facebook after a while because I’ll have plenty to do! I’d rather be working on improving my home than killing time on Facebook any day!
Today is my last “first day of a fall term”. When you work at a university, as I have for the past 37 years, time is marked by the beginning and ending of terms, and the first day of every fall semester is always a major event. I know I’ll be doing this a lot in the months to come, counting the “lasts”…the last time I do this, or the last time I do that. I’m looking forward to them. Yet I realize some lasts may hit me hard–the last time I unlock the office door, or the last time I leave the office–for good. It’s all a part of making the adjustment to retired life.
I’m 74 days away from never having to work again (outside the home–God willing), yet I am already formulating a plan of action for daily activities. I believe I’m one of those people who function better with a set routine. And while I plan to enjoy a leisurely retirement, I still intend to have a daily agenda.
One of my primary goals is to get the house clean and keep it clean. A clean house is important on many levels, not the least of which is that The Mister is allergic to dust mites, of all things. I have not been the best housekeeper in recent years; when I have enough energy, I don’t have enough time; when I have enough time, I don’t have enough energy. When I retire though, I can work on the house a little at a time, rest when I need to, then do a little more. The house also needs to be painted–the inside walls, I mean. Would you believe our house is 36 years old and the walls still have the original paint on them? Thank goodness it’s a good neutral color! And the kitchen wallpaper…bless my poor mother. I’ll post a picture of it in a later post. This was my mother’s house before we moved in–the house was built in 1982, and the wallpaper is definitely a throwback to that era! So all that will have to come down and the walls painted. I’ve never stripped off wallpaper, but I can learn. (Luckily The Mister worked years ago as a painter/wallpaper hanger, and he knows all about that sort of thing.) I’m thinking the kitchen wallpaper-stripping/painting job will wait until next summer, when The Princess (i.e. granddaughter) can help me. The rest of the rooms though, I could start on as soon as December. The great thing about retirement is having flexibility to do what I want when I want.