The Nitty Gritty
The Happening of Our Daily Lives
The Nitty Gritty
The Happening of Our Daily Lives
Changes & New Beginnings
Life is always changing. Sometimes it's only subtle shifting as we transition into and through different stages of our life. Whatever the magnitude though, change happens.
This is where we currently find ourselves.
For starters, we thought our adult son was settled on the west coast of Canada.
Ya... Not so fast!
It turns out a shift was in place and he's now heading back, to not only our province, but our city! His industry is competitive with not an over abundance of jobs, so he has to be willing to move where the jobs are. Turns out there was a great opportunity for him here. Bonus! It will be the first time in almost nine years our whole family has lived in the same province and city.
Our daughter is getting married in a few months and will obviously be moving out. She had a rough go of it too -- schooling, starting her career etc. and has been wanting to go on a vacation forever. Turns out our son had some time between his jobs so the two of them have headed to Australia!
I'm so jealous! his has always been on my bucket list! Maybe next year!
Not all is lost though -- hubby and I are heading out too -- any guesses where? We are so excited! Some place warm, tropical which has also has been on my bucket list forever. More to come on this... stay tuned :)
We are still trying to work out our permanent living arrangements. Kids moving back home short-term until the job situation is more clear and until some place else can be found, kids getting married and moving out, kids working out their career choices, travelling and decisions on where we all want to live. To complicate it, the price of housing in the area we want to move to is outrageous. We found some gorgeous homes, reasonably priced, in a different part of our province but far away from our immediate and extended families. Sigh. Right now it's all jumbled up but hoping things fall into place shortly.
So it appears, many changes are on the horizon for us!
We're Still Here!
I've had a few inquiries to see if we're still here.
The good news is, yes we are!
The even better news is, I am reviving this old blog and plan on posting more often !! (although, I realize I wouldn't have to post too much in order to be more active than I have. Hoping to change this - promise!!)
Lots of changes going on with us -- more of which I will update in future posts.
Empty nesters, not-so-empty-nesters, changes and plans, plans and changes -- ei yi yi yi yi!
Confused? Well...stay tuned as we work through bringing some order to things!
Where To Next?
So, it turns out we don't actually "LOVE" our new locale. We like
it, but don't LOVE it.
We're actually ok with this
as we didn't really view it
as a permanent spot when
we moved. There were
some important reasons we
needed to move here but
thankfully, those situations
have been pretty much
Don't get me wrong, there are things we really like about here. The house itself, while older, has been totally renovated inside with a very up-to-date design. It is open concept with a beautiful new kitchen containing granite counter tops and beautiful cabinetry, brand new bathrooms with state of the art fixtures, new flooring etc.
The property manager and owner are both wonderful and work together. It takes only one call about a problem and they're on it immediately. They respond either by text or phone and are then at the door the next day (or as soon as the part comes in) to fix the problem.
We live on a quiet, mature street with respectful neighbours. Because it is an older area, the lots are much larger than newer city lots are. The street is lined with large, mature trees and each house is a different design, not the "cookie-cutter" effect that happens on all new streets today.
However, even though the lots are larger giving each home more space, it's still difficult to get used of having neighbours so close by.
In our previous location, we had 200 ft of ocean front property -- never a soul out there -- total privacy.
Here, it feels like we're living in a fish bowl -- we can see people no matter which room or window we look out. That doesn't include the people we see when we're outside, whether in our back, front or side yard.
We miss the clean, fresh, air (no smog!), the ocean (salt spray and all it had to offer)! Whales and icebergs make wonderful neighbours!
Perhaps we'll move back there!! :D Just kidding of course! There were a lot of other issues about living there which can't be accurately described in words. One has to actually live there to grasp it and even then, it's difficult to get your head around.
I am not even exaggerating this point at all...my words do not do it justice. It *MUST* be experienced. Besides, even *IF* I wanted to move back, Mr. would have a fit and divorce me I'm sure... so, we won't be heading back there anytime soon.
There are other options though, similar scenery etc. It's kind of fun looking around, researching availability, prices, cost of living etc. of the different areas. We did sign a lease so will be here for several more months, which means this won't be an immediate thing.
So, who knows where we'll end up??
We'd love to hear them -- please leave it in a comment below!
Part of our reason for moving to this particular locale was to support one of our children. She was trying to finish post-secondary school while facing health challenges and it was taking a toll on her.
Even though, her third and last year was brutal for her... she made it!
This means two of our children have successfully completed college -- two down and one left to go :)
Being closer to family was one of the main reasons we moved here. While we are still a few hours away from them, it sure beats the several days away from them like we were in our other locale.
My dad is 90 now and starting to face a few challenges. He is still sharp as a tack mentally, but has difficulty seeing and needs a cane to walk. His wife (my step-mom) is currently in the hospital waiting for a spot in a nursing home to open up so my dad is on his own in their apartment.
It's challenging balancing my father's needs from afar while still addressing my family's needs. This was the case this weekend as I knew our kids wanted to spend Father's Day with their Father and I wanted to spend time with my father. Distance and work schedules always make it next to impossible to all get together.
Mr. and I decided we'd spend a couple of days with my dad and then be back here so our kids could spend Father's Day with their dad. Friday morning, hubby and I were on the road by 6 am heading off to my dad's. We spent all day Friday and Saturday with him, visiting, going out for dinners, stopping for coffee and lots of drives . One such drive took us to his old family farm (it was my grandfather's farm, my dad was born in the house and lived there until he was 77). He was so pleased to look around the barnyard at the barn and other buildings, to see all the changes and improvements the new owners have made. It really touched him on a deep level.
It was an enjoyable couple of days and I could tell he really enjoyed our visit. After supper on Saturday, we said our good-byes (why are they always so difficult??) and headed for home. We made it in time to sleep in our own beds and for the kids to spend Father's day with their dad. Neither of them had to work (which is rare, both in the fact they didn't have to work but also that they both had the same day off -- Bonus!)
We spent the day hanging out with each other, first by going to church together, then home for pizza, garlic fingers and presents. Mr. had a lot of phone calls (from his sisters and our older son) . All in all a nice day and a great weekend.
It was wonderful to spend time with both Fathers in our family. I am fortunate to still have my dad at age 90 and our kids have been blessed with a great dad. It's great to be able to honour both of them!
Happy Father's Day!
It's been a long, stressful year (well 13+ months, but who's counting?) waiting for our house to sell. It was a depressed economy and housing market so things moved slower than slow, even though we had a gorgeous spot on the edge of the ocean. The sunrises were spectacular with never the same picture two days in a row. Rainbows and double rainbows over the ocean were quite common and so vibrant and bright. Moon rises the same and as they reflected on the ocean, well simply gorgeous. Moose and other wildlife were part of our daily lives and we'd quite often have visits from a great variety of various creatures. Whales were a common sight too so wonderful to watch them in their natural habitat, spouting and breaching as they swam and frolicked in their ocean playground -- really no words to describe it all.
Over the year, we had a few offers but for one reason or another, they always fell through. On top of it all, the locals who lived there did not have the same appreciation for the beauty of the area as most others do. There were other differences too and to put it mildly, it was difficult to live in a place with such a different culture and outlook on life in general.
It was a hard decision to make and equally as difficult to give our little spot with the breath-taking views. We know we will never have another spot like it. For the most part, that's ok as we hope to travel to many different oceans and see what they all have to offer.
Once returning to our new home, we needed a week or so to catch our breath and regroup. Loose ends to tie up as well as wait for the moving truck with our items.
We're choosing (or should that be trying) to not look back with regret but forward with anticipation.
It's a deal! Yahoo!
We will miss our little spot on the ocean, the gorgeous sunrises each morning as the sun climbs up over the ocean's edge, the icebergs that get "stuck" right behind our house and just the general beauty of the spot.
It was a quick sale with a quick closing date (24 days from Offer to close) and so a lot to do in a short period of time.
With our initial "to do" list completed, off we flew in the great blue yonder to finish cleaning out the house. Fortunately, we'd done most of when we moved, but a few things still remained. Most of it we were junking and the rest we packed for the moving truck.
Everything looked pretty good when we arrived (it had been about six months since we'd been there). Turns out, we'd actually left more stuff than we'd remembered and it was a bit more work than we'd anticipated. However, we managed to get everything done, even had time to meet up for lunch with old friends and visit our favourite restaurant.
Since our beds had moved with us, there was only the old pull out couch left to sleep on. It was in front of the fire (brrr...it was cold there...even had a bit of snow!) but it all worked out better than we'd thought. A lot more comfortable than we remembered.
We had to cart the old pull out to the curb on our second last day there, which made our last night there 'interesting'. With everything being either packed or junked, all that was left for sleeping on was an old piece of sponge we used to use for camping and the floor. The fact I didn't want to oversleep (early flight plus take care of final details), coupled with the fact our sons were returning from California that night and were encountering some delays (there was 4.5 hrs difference in our time zones which meant their texts were coming in the middle of our night) and we were on the uncomfortable floor (we were on thick carpet, in our old bedroom overlooking the ocean) made for a very short night.
We did manage a few hours sleep however before getting up at 3:30 (that's am!) to take care of the final details. We carted the last of the stuff to the curb, checked everything one last time, then closed our front door for the final time. It was bitter sweet as we drove away, along the winding road that followed the ocean's edge, knowing it would probably be the last time we would be there.
We stopped for breakfast -- COFFEE!!! -- then on to the airport where we dropped off the rental car, made our way through security and then on to our plane.
When we landed back in our new city, there was voice mail message from our lawyer's office saying the deal had closed without any issues.
Did I mention it was bittersweet? We loved our spot, sad to leave it but the time had come for that chapter of our lives to be closed.
Onward to the future adventures that surely await us!
I can't remember if I've shared elsewhere on this blog (fleeting memory -- bonus of getting older lol!) but we recently moved from one area of our country to another. The real estate market where we lived is very slow and because of that, have not been able to sell our home there. It is a lovely spot, a couple of acres on the ocean but when the market is slow...it's slow.
We've had a few offers that have always ended up falling through, usually because of financing etc.
However, we've received yet another offer..... hopefully this one will work out!!
East Coast, Here We Come!
Our eldest son lives and works on the east coast and has done so for about 13 months now. It took him a couple of years after graduating from college to find this job, but he LOVES it!. I am almost embarrassed to admit that we've never made it there to visit him. We've wanted to, but because of many different circumstances, never have.
So, Mr. and I decided, almost at the same time but independent of each other, the time had come -- we should make the trip to visit.
Our son was over the moon happy (I think he's wanted us to come for awhile now, but isn't the kind of person to squawk about it).
Plans were made.
Bed and Breakfast was booked.
We were very excited to be *finally* heading off.
Then, as quite often happens with us, the day before we were to leave, I received word my 90 year old dad was in the hospital.
Should we go? Should we stay? What to do...what to do???
After much thought, we decided to continue on with our plans. Almost every single time over the course of our marriage that we've planned a trip, some sort of tragedy has struck which has caused us to cancel.
Since my dad was doing some better and today's technology makes it very easy to keep in touch, we decided to carry on.
Off at the crack of dawn -- East Coast, here we come!
The trip there was fairly smooth, other than the snow we encountered in Quebec... yikes! (see pics below) . Smooth that is, until we arrived at our friends' (who live along the way) and found that my step-mother too was now also in the hospital.
Great! That's all we needed! NOT!!!
Since we were almost to our son's, we once again decided to carry on keeping in constant contact with those back home.
Finally we arrived and found the bed & breakfast. The first few days with him were rather tense, wondering how my dad and step-mom were doing. We knew the possibility of having to return home quickly was a real thing but we soldiered on.
Thankfully, they both improved (my dad even got released! Yay!!) and we were able to enjoy the rest of our trip.
The bed & breakfast was wonderful !!
Our son took us out for lunch, gave us a tour through the studio where he works, a tour around the city he works in. He introduced us to his girlfriend and his landlady -- both who are very nice. His landlady even had us in for a meal. We went to his church and he introduced us to his friends there. We went out for lunch after church and then down for a walk along the water front.
As the saying goes though, all good things must come to an end and eventually it was time to head for home.
I am so glad we made the trip and did not choose to stay home. Tragedy could have struck and we would have had to come home, it didn't.
Thankful for a week long get away with Mr., for the chance to visit our son and see his new life and for an all around (mostly) pleasant trip.
Can hardly wait until the next time we can visit with him!
Different Retirement Scenarios
As I look around the web for various retirement blogs, I see a wide variety of retirement pictures. Yup...retirement looks very different to everyone. Some spend it full of leisure activities -- travelling, book clubs, lunch with friends, shopping, yard-sale-ing, volunteering etc., while others are more about being at home. Still more spend a lot of time helping their adult children, usually in the form of providing daycare for their children.
Yes, it looks different to each one.
I guess I find this surprising as I've always envisioned retirement, especially *my* retirement to be full of doing fun things only. I didn't realize there would be any transition into it. Done work one day, full social life the next. Didn't really seem that difficult. As usual though, things are quite often different than they appear.
Many retirement blogs I've came across, probably most of them, focus on the financial aspect of retirement only. That's probably because, well let's face it, finances are very important. We're conditioned throughout our whole life to be so focused on the finances -- is there enough money to pay the mortgage, the endless bills, buy food and clothes for the kids, car repairs, put money away for college and money away for our retirement ......on and on it goes. Then there is the job, getting there, keeping the boss happy, getting home, responsibilities at home. On and on that list goes too.
It's difficult, I think, to change our focus, but I know it can be done. I look to my own father. He was a hard-working man all of his life and the definition of hard-working as it pertains to him goes above and beyond what most people would think of when they hear "hard-working."
He had to drop out of school at the ripe old age of 13 to help on his family farm. His dad was ill and unable to maintain it, so my father took over running it. No fancy tractors and the like back then either. Horses and walking behind them for all field and garden work. Homes were heated by wood only, wood that was also cut by hand (no chainsaw) and drawn by horse out of the woods to the house.
He was a farmer for most of his life. Once into his mid twenties, he also got a job in a local factory to pay for some much needed upgrades to the farm. Not luxuries, but things like putting hydro into the house. What was to be a short term gig, turned into thirty years so on top of all the farming, he held down a 40 hour work week in a factory located 40 minutes away from our home for 30 years.
We had our own vegetable gardens which spanned half an acre or so. For 'relaxation', he built a cottage on a very rough piece of property that required a lot of work. He'd spend his 'holiday' from his factory job working at the cottage and was quite often glad to get back to his factory job because it was less work than the work on the cottage and cottage lot.
His day went something like this: Up at 3 am and out to do barn chores. Once they were completed, in for breakfast and off to his factory job. At the end of that day, there was the drive home, supper and then back out doing more farm chores. Animals to feed, clean out and care for, haying to do, the list was endless. Back in and in bed by 10 pm, only to do it all over again the next day. Day after day, week after week.
Weekends were spent on more farm chores and yard chores. The lawn itself took over three hours (on a riding lawn mower) to cut. Vegetable gardens to till, fertilize (with manure), plant, weed and harvest. Sunday afternoons were spent resting. On and on it went. Seriously, I don't know how the man did it all (and he was never sick a day in his life)
I really thought he'd have great difficulty with retirement, doing anything most people would call fun and leisure. He seemed to like to work -- it was who he was, it's what he did for fun.
However, he surprised us all. Now at age 90, there is a very different version of him. Now it IS all about fun with absolutely no work involved. He goes out at midnight or so, to the local coffee shop for coffee, just because he can. He's been retired longer than he worked in his factory job and he enjoys life to the fullest. He plays cards and goes out several times per week to various card games. He's travelled a lot, nothing exotic but to the places he wanted to go. He play solitaire on the computer. He goes out for meals. His life after retirement looks nothing like it did before retirement and he enjoys it.
This is what we're hoping for. It's proving to be a little more difficult than what I'd thought it would be. Those old habits of thinking only about work, die hard! Who knew it would be so difficult?
We are making progress though. Letting go of the somewhat depressing feelings of not having a job, is getting easier. Sleeping in is getting easier lol. We've got a couple of week long trips planned (one of which is visiting our son who lives in a different part of the country).
Not sure we're at the 'going-out-for-coffee-at-midnight-just-because-we-can" stage just yet, but....we're working on it!
Mr. & Mrs.
We are Mr. & Mrs. documenting our journey and transition into retired life.