20 Years Retired (Part 2)

August 3

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. ~  Will Rogers

So, we’re retired and living in Minnesota now. It wasn’t long thereafter that I got cocky and started writing ‘how to retire’ letters to those taking that plunge. Such as: “1) Choose your final retirement location with great care. We have just finished our worst winter in generations; 2) You will continue for some time to awaken early each day.  Get used to at least 4 cups of coffee every morning.  Then, do not stray far from a porcelain facility until at least 10:00 am.; 3) If you’re still in your bathrobe at noon, something’s not right; 4) Establish a routine.  You will find it cathartic to leave the house on a daily basis for scheduled activities. You will find this becomes even more important after spending more than the usual amount of time with another person in the house; 5) You will find it does not take long for fund-raisers to find you – either for donations or to volunteer.  There are worse things you can do; 6) Learn your immediate geographic area.  You will need to know where you can put up flyers for school functions, fund-raisers, association events, senior suppers, et al.  Coffee and doughnut shops are always good. 7) Go to the gym and go mall walking.  You will discover these are the best places to keep up with all the local gossip; 8) Write letters.  It helps release the inner curmudgeon.  You will now have the opportunity to tell policy makers what you really think.  What fun!; 9) Adopt a girls’ high school hockey team.  It’s great fun and helps pass the winter; 10) Keep the e-mail addresses of all your work colleagues.  Send them e-mails often from home.  It reminds them that you are retired . . . and they’re not!”

I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left. ~  Voltaire

[For the sake of the FB cover photo, our first winter photo . . . ]

[This was our new retirement house in the summer of 2001 . . . ]

[The crack Roger Rosengren construction crew. We “ordered” the house from Wilderness Log Homes in Wisconsin. Roger said they basically dropped off a pile of logs and said you figure it out. They did . . . ]

[While we were still living at Mom’s, Gretch and Mohamed paid a visit from Washington, D.C. The Super and I had already procured the necessary lake home accouterment – a pontoon, later to be christened the “Moby Obie” . . . ]

It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.  ~ Andy Rooney

Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life. ~ Kitty O’Neill Collins

[Sister Gretch, me, brother Cam putting a bathtub ring on Lake Le Homme Dieu . . . ]

[The Super on our lot overlooking beautiful Lake Darling . . . ]

[Then a visit to Itasca State Park and the source of the mighty Mississippi . . . ]

[We were in the vicinity on a paneling pick up for our house construction . . . ]

Work is the curse of the drinking classes. ~ Oscar Wilde

[Our first fall photo from our lot . . . ]

[At Fort Alexandria on Thanksgiving for the lighting of the city Christmas lights . . . ]

[Ruthie’s mom and sister Rita came up from Indiana for our Thanksgiving housewarming. We thought it highly appropriate that it snowed that day (at Thanksgiving it’s only a one in 10 chance) . . . ]

[And our first sunrises over the lake (it all seems so long ago now) . . . ]

I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves. ~ Bruce Grocott

[Our first walk on the frozen water of Lake Darling . . . ]

[With our house in the background at the top of the hill . . . ]

[Cam, Karen, Katy, and Michael John all came for a visit around Christmas. I recall it was quite cold . . . ]

[Ruthie’s mom, Janella, joined for summer and a cruise on the Moby Obie . . . ]

[Rita and her friend Cindy also joined us from Indiana . . . ]

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. ~ J. Lubbock

[Sunset on the Moby Obie on Lake Darling with grandson Tom and Ruthie . . . ]

[OK, you can read the paper in your bathrobe on your deck overlooking the lake . . . ]

Sitting on the dock of the bay . . .

Just me and the Moby Obie . . .

[Did someone mention politics? With Mom on our first full summer in Alex . . . ]

[And the famous Green Bus . . . ]

We all do better when we all do better. ~ Paul Wellstone

Sometimes, the only realists are the dreamers. ~ Paul Wellstone

I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. ~ Paul Wellstone

[Celebrating our not too far apart birthdays with Rose, a friend and colleague from work days, at the practically brand new Carlos Creek Winery . . . ]

[Memory fails, but I think Dick and Rose (an original Minneapolitan) were already retired to Salem, Massachusetts. (Note the absence of the band shell at this point) . . . ]

Ain’t we got fun?!

[The Super at Inspiration Peak, 22 miles NW of Alex and generally considered to be the 3rd highest elevation in the state . . . ]

[We made a return visit to D.C. that Christmas, already for old time’s sake . . . ]

[And to see sister Gretch, and brother Chris and family in Stafford, Virginia at their home on the Potomac River . . . ]

[And back home to have a Minnesota Christmas too . . . ]

There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want. ~ Bill Watterson

[With Dennis Murphy at Carlos Creek Winery. If you look back at the previous photos at the winery, Dennis was performing outside with Chuck Wencl. And, as I recall, Dennis was the fellow who ultimately built the band shell there . . .]

[A U of M alumni event at the winery with Goldy Gopher . . . ]

[The Super and I actually went skating two times a week at the hockey arena in the early years . . . ]

[Because you can never go here enough . . . ]

[In 2004, Joey Dee and the Starliters came to the winery. Remember the “Peppermint Twist”? Grandson Tom was here with his other grandparents, Fran and Ed, from Indiana . . . ]

[Ruthie danced with Tom; Joey hit on Ruthie . . . ]

[One still needs No. 2 pencils in retirement . . . ]

[This is my screensaver. The my named “octopus tree” in Dean Melton Park, Alexandria. This was December 2005. The tree has since gone to the great fireplace in the sky . . . ]

[The ever popular 4th of July boat parade on Lake Carlos (with grandson Tom and Rita) . . . ]

Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good. ~  Soren Kierkegaard

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization , and at present very few people have reached this level. ~  Bertrand Russell

[The Daily Grind, the liberal coffee shop. Like the octopus tree, however, it has also gone to that great fireplace in the sky . . . ]

[The last time Ruthie’s mom Janella came to town, along with Ruthie’s sister Faith . . . ]

[For the ’06 homecoming parade . . . ]

[And that year, with sister Gretch and brother Cam, we paid a visit to both grandparents’ houses. First on the Obert side in north Minneapolis . . . ]

[Then the Thompson side in SE Minneapolis . . . ]

[In 2007, there was a reported, since verified, sighting of a near-sighted extremely white whale in Lake Darling . . . ]

[As the Cub Reporter in full regalia . . . ]

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. ~  Susan Cain

[It was Dad’s . . . ]

[Reporting, a prelude to blogging . . . ]

[Submitted with a never published submittal . . . ]

[Ah, those late nights at the keyboard . . . ]

[It was a presidential year . . . ]

[And a moose Christmas . . . ]

[We cooked . . . ]

[And ate . . . ]

[And read . . . ]

[And met famous authors . . . ]

[And did some political stuff . . . ]

People ask me what I’d most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit. ~  George Burns

Retirement is wonderful. It’s doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it. ~ Gene Perret

Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it to the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money. ~ Jonathan Clements

[We also visited famous locals . . . ]

[We visited Rita at the Hob Nob restaurant in Nashville, Indiana . . . ]

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun . . .

[From retirement to today, I bought this, my most comfortable shirt ever, at the Rain Forest Cafe in Disney World about a year before we retired . . . ]

[It lasted the length of retirement until now . . . ]

Say goodnight, Tom . . .

It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad, and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure. ~ Ernie Harwell

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello. ~ Paulo Coelho

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ~ Dr. Seuss

It is so hard to leave – until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world. ~ John Green

Up Next: Resorters . . .

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