I often hear or read about unusual getaway places that some people have. Some folks have luxurious second homes in exotic locations. In the summer my next door neighbors lock up their 3500 square foot home and move into their 1200 square foot cottage on the beach. The two houses are within a 30 minute drive of each other.
A story which appeared in the NewYork Times a couple of years ago intrigued me. The article talked about how a woman named Sandra Foster renovated a 9 by 14 foot cottage in the Catskills. The cottage was an old hunting cabin that Ms. Foster turned into a tiny Victorian shabby chic retreat.
As I was in a reflective mood this morning, I thought about the effect our retirement of 10 and 12 years has had on us. Even though Ross and I are fairly healthy and mobile, we seem to be doing less and less.
Part of it has to do with the major cruel and unfair life changing challenges that we have had to face in the past four years.
The past three months have been excruciatingly difficult.
I thought about how much we used to fit into our busy and exhausting schedules when we were both working. We went into the city (New York that is) frequently. We saw plays on and off broadway. We took tango lessons so that we could take a turn on the dance floor on Fridays at La Belle Epoque, an elegant French styled bistro and restaurant in New York City.
We traveled. We thought nothing of getting into the car on a Saturday morning and driving for 6 or 7 hours. And then after a stay overnight, we would get back in the car and head back the next day.
Our common interest in antiques and collectibles led us into the eBay world and later turned into a little business.
Ross retired two years before me. After I retired we moved into an active adult community. Barnegat is quite a distance from NYC, so the trips into the city pretty much came to a halt.
At first we participated in the different activities the community had to offer. Ross became the chairman of the pool committee and joined the men's club. I tried my hand at ceramics and took a quilting class. We went to the shows put on by the Mirage Players, and attended the St. Patty's Day dance. We gave the Italian American club a whirl. Ross was on a committee which had the daunting task of rewriting the communities' By-laws. This turned into a two year project.
We both joined a health club. I became a member of the Tuesday Morning Ladies bowling league.
We rented space in an antique mall so that we could sell our finds that we acquired from the estate sales and auctions we frequented.
But, slowly things began to change.
Ross is no longer on the pool committee. The By-Laws project has been completed. However, he still belongs to the Men's club and attends the monthly luncheon meetings. I stopped participating in community activities. No more Italian American Club. We have found that the dances and shows have become repetitive and we are no longer interested.
I quit my bowling league. Ross quit the health club.
We sold all of our antique and collectibles at auction in January and gave up our booth in the antique mall.
Our routine has become, breakfast at 10:00, linner at 3:00.
At around 7:00 p.m. we sit down in front of the TV and decide which shows we are going to watch and which ones we are going to DVR. Then it's off to bed at 11:00.
The next day is the same ol' same ol'.
Our one escape has been visiting the lovely spots in our area and capturing their beauty with our camera.
Of course, it goes without saying, that writing my blog is something I have become passionate about.
The support of the blogging community warms my heart.
But, as I was being reflective this morning, I decided that we need something to get us out of this funk. Something to look forward to. Something different. Something new. Something which would light a spark. A project.
I think it's time to find our "cabin in the woods". Then perhaps we can tango once again.
Here is today's entry from Anna's diary:
Sun. March 3 1929
Bad nasty head cold. Missed Mass. Went to Grandma M's with Junior after dinner. Home about 7. Jewel and Rick over evening. Jean at Peggy's overnight. Billy with us.
Here is the link to the post where I first introduced Anna's diary:
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