Thursday, December 16, 2010

Retirement Question: What do you do all day?

I need help with stuff!  I would come over and help you if I had the time.  Even though I am retired and don't have an actual "job" I am really active almost every day.  Aren't you bored out of your skull?  What do you do all day? you ask.  I guess you need to see a glimpse of what a day in retirement can be like...if you choose.

Today is December 16, 2010.  Thursday in this year.  We are getting very close to Christmas and all that it means to us.  Last night my daughter and I spent 2 hours on our iphones with the Face to Face function turned on shopping on our computers for family that lives in China.  We found a Pendleton Blanket on ebay and I ordered toys on Amazon for my granddaughters and a fancy wine bottle opener for their parents.  The gifts will arrive at their house in China on December 24.   In the world of this retiree that seems very strange.  To think that China used to be so far away!

Today my husband and I have spent the morning with business. My cell phone was on speaker mode while I read documents on the computer, sent email and kept my brain alive.

Now I will make a huge pot of white chili that we will serve to a group of homeless men at the Catholic Church.  My husband and I will join a group of our friends to eat with a group of veterans that live outside in downtown Tucson.  The men are taking classes and working with the VA to get their life back.  They are transported every day to the church.  They will eat the meal, do their own clean up and then use the facility to shower, wash clothes and sleep in a warm bed.  We are not Catholic but we were delighted to be asked to help.  I wish we did more of this sort of thing.

The ordinary time in our days are the times we love the best...that is why we retired.  We are snowbirds and spend our winters in a small RV Resort in Tucson, AZ.  I have come to think of it as living at "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends".  I don't know if you have ever seen the cartoon but the story line had children's imaginary friends coming to live in the home when the children outgrew them.   Blue Dot, clown, monster and my grandson's friend, God, always had a home until some other child needed them.

Our line up of characters include every imaginable occupation, moral standard, mental state, nation of origin and income level.  The men are veterans and many have decided not to talk about service in Viet Nam or some other overseas assignment.  Some people are nice and some are not. Everyone from the millionaires to the almost homeless widows with only their SS pension live together in peace.  We play bocce ball, pickle ball, tennis, and horse shoes outside.  We play cards, pool and dance inside.  We eat together often, argue over politics or religion and we are always learning from each other.  Books are shared, craft rooms are full and any activity on the exterior of our park models will draw a crowd and lots of advice.  No one should ever be lonely...but if they so choose, they can live in seclusion.

It is cool today and is beginning to rain (70 degrees) so we will stay indoors until this evening.  On a day when we were not leaving the park, we would gather with friends at an informal cocktail hour held on a neighbor's patio at around 4 pm.  I see our friends are playing in a bocce match so I will go visit for a minute and cheer them on.  I am reading a book on my Kindle and, of course, this blog takes quite a lot of my time.

I call this place "The Waiting Room for Heaven" a phrase my friend Carole coined.  Like the imaginary friends at Fosters, we will stay here until our family needs us or we go home for a while.  Then we will spring back into action doing child care and giving support to those we love.

I hope you have an idea of how the time flies for us.  The big question we ask ourselves over and over is when did we have time to work?

Have a wonderful day.

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