Friday, November 4, 2011

A Day in the Life

So, how does an old retired couple spend their time?

We've been retired now for about 9 months, and we are just now beginning to develop a rhythm, I think. We don't have fixed schedules, and we still enjoy getting up and taking trips when we want, but there are some routines that we seem to be developing.

I still get up early, normally around 6:00 or 6:30 AM, and spend a little time at the computer. I like to check a few sites first thing each day, such as the weather. I keep hoping something will come along to break this drought, but I continue to be disappointed.

After that, I go outside and get the paper. I don't always read the paper immediately. It may be later in the day when I finally get around to reading it. And when I do get around to reading it, I normally take my time and cover it thoroughly. I've also started doing the crossword in the paper almost everyday. I think it is important to keep your mind active as you age.My father suffered from dementia in his final years, and I noticed that the disease seemed to accelerate once he stopped doing mental activities.

Once we both get rolling and get our limbs loosened up, we sometimes go for a 3 mile walk, which takes us about 55 minutes. By the time we return, it may be 9:00 AM or later. On the days we don't walk, I often head outside to do some yard work. This could be mowing and trimming, or it could be getting beds ready for my upcoming garden. My normal process is to turn a patch of soil over by hand (yes, by hand; keeps me in shape). Once the ground is broken, then I add to it. I start by dumping grass clippings on the target patch, then I add some topsoil I purchased. I have an active compost pile, and as that material becomes ready, I work it in as well.

Sometimes I work in the garage trying to get things organized. I like for everything to have a place and for everything to be in its place. I enjoy working in the garage for I can turn on the radio and listen while I work. Now that the weather is cooling off, the garage is a nice place to work because it is out of the wind. I also have a great view of the neighborhood from the garage, so I can see everything that is going on.

While I'm working outside, Donna is usually busy in the house. She may be cleaning, but she is usually cooking. She has really been experimenting since we moved here. We've had numerous interesting dishes in the past few months, and I look forward to more good stuff in the months and years to come. Those of you who know us know that we like exotic dishes. Our time in the Middle East introduced us to various cuisines, and we yearn for these foods. Donna does a really good job reproducing many of these dishes.

Once I finish outside, I come in, take a shower, then sit down to a great meal. Immediately afterwards, I head to the bedroom for a short power nap. After I get up, it's time to collect the mail and pay bills. Although we have tried to set everything up for automatic payment, we still seem to get lots of things that require attention.

I like to visit our local library about every two weeks or so. I usually check out 2 or 3 books at a time. Donna likes a day out from time to time as well. She likes to make the round of stores such as Micheal's, Hobby Lobby, Kirkland's, and similar places. We both usually go together to do the grocery shopping. Grocery ads from H.E.B., Albertson's, and Lowe's (grocery store, not hardware store) come in the Wednesday paper, so we usually make our list on Wednesday for shopping on Thursday or Friday.

And there is some night life we enjoy. During the summer, we really enjoyed attending San Angelo Colts'  baseball games. They have a good team and won their division, but were swept in the playoffs. We also purchased season tickets to the Angelo State University theater productions as well as the local community theater, so we attend plays quite frequently.

We have other things on our calendar as well. The second Saturday of each month, there is a guided bird tour at the state park. Throughout the month, there are various happenings at the Chicken Farm (I'll write more on this in a later column) as well. We hope to visit the planetarium at ASU soon as well as the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts.

And then there are all those eating places we want to visit . . . . .

And when we aren't doing things locally, then we are traveling. We have monthly trips planned for several months in advance, and I'll post entries for them as they occur.

So, how do we spend our time since we've retired? We spend it doing things we really enjoy.

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