The Quiet before the Storm

It’s a beautiful sunny day in Texas for the end of October.  Temperatures will be in the upper 80’s, can’t complain about that.  It’s Fall, but it doesn’t yet feel like that down here.  Coming from the Midwest, by this time of year the trees have changed color and most have bare branches.  The corn fields are getting cut down, and there are Halloween and scarecrow festivals everywhere.  The days were cool and nights were brisk.  For me it was my absolute favorite time of year.  September and October in the Midwest are just beautiful and I truly miss that season.

This weekend we are going to get some cool weather here, high in the 60’s and low in the 40’s, so that is rather cool for this area for this time of year, but I understand that it takes one of these cold fronts for the few trees that do change color, to change.  There is a State Park west of San Antonio called Los Maples.  We have never been there, because we were only able to go on the weekends previously, and because our season change is so short and limited that at most you have 1 or 2 weekends to check out the Fall color and it’s gone.  The problem with that is that they limit the number of cars in the Park and we have heard that the weekends are extremely busy.

This year, we can go any day.  So we’re going to faithfully watch the local weatherman awaiting updates on the tree color changing status and when we hear it’s at peak we’re going to get into the car and drive out there that day.  Somewhere between now and mid-November we have to figure out when we’re going to pack!

Yesterday was my first day to start the packing extravaganza!  We have a closet that’s rather large and I use it as storage so that was my first task.  I was able to stash a lot of stuff into dresser drawers and packed up some stuff on the shelves.  It actually wasn’t too bad.  Of course I only worked a few hours, but I did feel a sense of accomplishment.  I actually felt like I did something worthwhile.  I was busy, I was active, I had to think and I had to apply myself, and on top of that I did get some excercise.  I find being home every day that you actually have to think very little compared to when I was working.  It seemed before that I was always making decisions, planning and organizing, but the last 2 months that really hasn’t been necessary as I typically have more time in a day than what I have planned, so not a lot of planning to get the things done.  And what has to be done, really doesn’t have to be done, it’s something to do.  So for me packing is actually something I’m looking forward to.  It will give me a goal, something that I need to achieve and get completed by a certain time.

This is me, whether I like it or not.  I’m goal oriented and being that way all my life, just because I take a few months off, this is not going to change.  I’m still driven, but I have slowed down.  No need to drive hard, where there’s no place in particular you’re going.  But it’s these things that come up such as packing, scheduling movers, coordinating closing dates and coming up with a plan, that I still enjoy.  I am actually surprised how quickly I have adapted to my new schedule of sleeping later, reading the paper while enjoy 2 cups of coffee, watching a talk show once in a while, going for a long walk, but I know it’s there, bubbling under the surface, waiting to come out.

I’ll let it come out some day in the future when I am ready to go back to work, but for now I have an avenue to put some of this energy into and I hope that with our few projects we need to do in the new house and the activities we hope to join that I’ll be able to funnel my energy into these types of things, and not be thinking how soon I will be going back to work.    For now, I’m learning to enjoy the moments I have now, because if I do go back to work, I need to know that I lived these months to the fullest, appreciated the time I had off, and will be comfortable knowing I had an opportunity that most people do not experience until older.  I’ve worked to get here and I’m not going to let it pass my by.

Enjoy your travels this week, hope you’re on the road that you want to be on, and if not it’s never too late to take the next right or left turn and try a new direction.  Have fun and until next time, Happy Travels…….


Another Day Closer to Moving

OK, I hope I won’t regret saying this but I think we have confirmed closings on both sides, our sale and our purchase.  We started out on 11/30, then moved to 11/20 now we’re at 11/16.  That’s it, we will not be changing again.  We have the closings scheduled, the mover has been picked and we will be scheduling tomorrow.  We will be able to rent back for a few days which will greatly help with the move.  Although we’re only moving about 90 minutes up the road trying to do 2 closings on one day, and move is virtually impossible, and we might have done it when we were younger, but not even a consideration at this age.  Once we are aligned with the movers then the fun begins – Packing!  When you are moving yourself and you don’t have a company to pick up the bill, you learn how to pack real fast.  Moving is not inexpensive.  I am always shocked when I find out how much they want and how long it will take.  It reminds me of when my husband paints.  He says, “I’ll be done in a couple of hours”, and I say OK, and plan on it taking at least 1/2 to 2/3 of the day.  Moving is just one of those things that looks simple, but it sure is not, and always takes longer than you expect.  Of course that’s good, I prefer taking the time to assure things are wrapped well and no breakage occurs.

Our sellers at our new home have already moved out so they are allowing us to move some stuff into the garage early, before closing, again, very helpful.  That is the benefit of local moves versus out-of-state.  When we moved from Illinois to Florida and from Florida to Texas, everything had to be packed, and some things just could not be moved, like plants and refrigerated items. We have also learned that some things are easier to move yourself then to take all the time packing and a good example of this is picture boxes.  I remember for our long distance moves I think my husband spent at least 1 or 2 days just packing paintings.  We’ll take those and it will be a lot easier.  Also, having one of the larger SUV’s helps this time too.

So it’s beginning of count down time.  I’m trying to hold off until the first week of November to start packing.  Once I start I just want to keep going, and I think 2 weeks is good timing.
Seeing that we were told by the movers that 3 moving people could pack our house in a day, I sure hope 2 people (my husband and I) can pack the house in 2 weeks – we’re giving ourselves quite a buffer.

It’s a short one today, but I’ll have more shortly.  I have some photos to share in the next blog of the town that we live in.  Just like I blogged about Boerne, I do need to give a plug to New Braunfels.  It’s a great small town with lots of activities.  Keep on truckin down your chosen road and along the way have some fun.  Until next time…….

Hot Rods and More

Yesterday’s blog was about our day that we spent in Boerne, TX.   For all the people who have antique, classic cars, and Hot Rods, I have dedicated today’s blog to a few photos of the many cars that were at this event.

With my husband’s help they are all tagged  with year, and model, as close as we could get.  Some are guesses, but I think we’re really close.  We don’t have a car like these, but we always talk about how much fun it would be to own one, then something else comes up or we go another direction and we still don’t have one.  But we sure do enjoy looking at them and truly appreciate all the hard work and cost that goes into fixing and maintaining these cars.  They are like rolling pieces of artwork.  I’m glad there are so many guys and gals that take the time to restore these cars for future generations.  Imagine traveling down the road you’re on today in one of these, enjoy the sights.

1940 Mercury, very nicely done

Inside of 1940  Mercury

Buick early/mid 1930’s

1932 Ford

1934 Ford Roadster, this one was my favorite

About a 1930 Ford pickup

Ford Pickup

About a 1934 Ford Pickup.  Lots of pickups, we are in Texas!

1937 Ford

1934 Ford, very nice also.

The Same Old Road

OK I admit it, I made it 5 weeks than I caved in.  Yep, I did what I said I wasn’t going to do.  I sent an email to my previous boss and inquired if there was any opportunity to work part-time from home.   Now I just want to slap myself for doing this.  I have some free time now and boredom started setting in last week and I wrote the email and sent it.  When I left the end of August the accolades and the compliments were never-ending and even as far as they wanted me to stay on longer and would definitely consider me helping out part-time.   So the first time I get bored I send the email.  I didn’t even last until the end of the year.  I disappoint even myself.  I knew this wasn’t going to be a permanent retirement  but I sure expected it to last more than 5 weeks.

What’s ironic is that I got turned down.   If I didn’t go down this path I would always wonder if the opportunity existed, and possibly regret never pursuing, but now that I did, I feel that my road has been cleared and I’m ready to look forward to find new and different opportunities.  It’s always easy to fall back on something you know than to tackle something new.  It takes more effort, and is more stressful, but once you make a decision you shouldn’t look back but find your something new.  One of the things I talked about when I decided to quit that if and when I went back to work I wanted to try something new, be adventurous, spread my wings, take on new experiences, sounds good doesn’t it, but harder to implement.  It is so easy to just do what you know and forget what you are really striving for.  If I go back to doing the same thing, I might as well have stayed at my previous job, endured, and kept bringing a paycheck home.

I’m a little nervous and scared that I’m not going to find that something new, so instead of giving it a chance, I immediately fall back on the familiar.  Right now I’m aggravated with myself because I expect more of myself.  So now that I slapped my hand, pulled myself up by the boot straps, holding my head high, I’m going to put the past behind and only consider new opportunities.  I always think of the Robert Frost poem “The Road not Taken” when I get melancholy because that is where I am now.  I can keep going down the familiar road, the safe road, the road that is the easiest, but deep down that’s not what I want.  I want excitement, I want to invest myself into something that I can grow and develop with, I want to be able to go do a job that I enjoy doing each and every day, and I want to come home smiling.

It will come, whatever “it” is.  I ‘ll figure it out sometime, but it’s just not the right time, but I know the right time is out there.  I just don’t think it’s where we’re living right now.  I haven’t written about this yet, as I am truely superstitious and was waiting until we got farther along, but we’re moving!  That’s a whole new road that can’t get here fast enough and will talk about next time.  Until then I hope the road you’re on is the road you’re happy to be on,  Happy trails.

When you Least Expect It!

I was sitting around this week being somewhat bored.  I knew this was coming and although expected, when it approaches it’s still difficult to deal with.  On Saturday we went to a local Market Days and enjoyed walking by all the vendors, but right now I don’t have a thing we need to buy so although it was nice to look, one Market Days is similar to the next, and not that interesting when you’re not in a shopping mood.  After our morning outing we returned home and except for visiting with one of my neighbors for a short time, it turned into a lazy day.

We were invited to a party Saturday night, and as the day progressed and the lazier I got, all I could think of was that I really didn’t want to go.  The party was hosted by our home builder.  I know this sounds unusual, but 5 years ago we decided to build a custom home and we signed on with a local independent builder.  We thoroughly enjoyed the process and since first meeting with our builder, he periodically has parties that he invites all the people that he built their homes to an annual party at his house.  So basically it’s a party that you really don’t know anyone.  Those get-togethers can sometimes be difficult as you’re trying to find something to talk about with people that you don’t know.  The setting is lovely as they have a beautiful backyard and they really go all out.  They have a bartender, very good food and this year they had music also.  So off we went with me not expecting much.  I figured we would say Hi, have a few drinks, dinner and leave.  I was carrying my lazy attitude and feelings with me.

When you least it expect it, it happens!  We had a wonderful evening!  We met a couple that they were in the building process just a little ahead of us in a community not far from us.  They were a very pleasant couple and although we originally lived half way around the world from each other as they are from South Africa, we had so much in common.  Conversation flowed easily and what I expected to be a short evening turned out to be one of the most pleasant evenings we have had in a long time.  We exchanged emails and phone numbers and I am looking forward to meeting up with them again in the near future.

There are many times that I get lazy, and I’m sure everyone does at one time or another, what last nights experience has shown me is that you never know what waits around the next curve or corner and when you least expect something, something wonderful can happen.    So as we continue on our life travels and down our various roads, we need to approach these curves and corners not with trepidation and nonchalance, but with wonder and curiosity.  Life is an adventure, and any opportunity that comes down your road that allows you to meet new people, don’t miss it, as new friends could be there waiting for you.  Last evening has helped me push these blues away and I’m reving back up for my next curve in the road.  To happy travels this week.

What Day Is It?

It’s Friday!    When I was working the goal on Monday morning was to get to Friday afternoon and all week long looked forward to the next weekend.  I used to check what was happening around town and plan for our weekend excursions.  Couldn’t wait to have a day of freedom to hit the road.  Our weekends were spent going to local festivals, market days, and traveled to the surrounding small towns for the local shopping and restaraunts.

I have been told by many that now it shouldn’t matter as one day is just like the next, and you can do any of these things any time or day you want, but I must have an internal clock that has been programmed for over 30 years that Monday thru Friday is different from Saturday and Sunday.  I’m going to have to work on this one a little longer as I still know what day of the week is, and I know the actual date.  I hear that as time progresses and the longer you’re off the days just blend together, so I’ll let you know when I get there, some habits are just harder to break than others.

I have to admit this week is the first time that I have felt bored.  I knew this was coming, just didn’t know when.   I should have gone out and done something, but my laziness won out and as the week went on, I became a little more sad, but it’s now late Friday, and because I have that silly little clock that still is saying “it’s the weekend” all is OK.  We don’t have any specific plans, but going to check the event calendar and see what’s going on in the area.  I would suggest if you haven’t done it, and you like to try new things, look at your State’s visitor website and you should be able to request or look at on the website an event calendar.  I previously had one for Wisconsin, Florida and now Texas.  It’s a great tool to check out all the local activities and it allows you to get out of the house and do something fun, instead of watching TV, cleaning the house, or sitting on the computer all weekend.  And it supports the local businesses in these towns, it’s good for everyone.

I am already deciding what to schedule for next week, because I’m not going to let myself get in the same rut I did this week.  I will say that one really positive thing I am doing is walking every morning.  At first I thought I was going to die, but actually it’s not so bad, it’s invigorating and I’m actually not huffing and puffing so much.  It’s a beginning but I have a long way to go.   It’s a new road I’m traveling and I can’t expect to see all the sights in one month, so I need to sit back and enjoy the sights as they go by, just a little slower.

I’m closing with some photos from the Volo Antique Museum from our trip to the Chicago area earlier this month.  Nothing to do with this email, but it’s fun to always look at photos and wouldn’t it be fun to travel down some roads with these, until next time.

The Muster's vehicle

A 60’s TV program that you can still find on some TV station today – The Munsters

Anyone that was a kid or teenager in the 70’s will remember the Batmobile!

Of course we all remember the Flinstones – My favorite, couldn’t resist!

A New Road to a County Fair

At one time in our life’s we probably have all gone to either a County Fair or a State Fair. As a child I remember every August my family going to the Wisconsin State Fair. We lived in Illinois, but because we lived close to the Wisconsin border it was much easier for us to go to Milwaukee, WI then to drive to Springfield, IL, which would have required an overnight stay, so to Wisconsin we went.

I remember the smells, sights, and sounds of the Fair – the fried foods, the animals, the exhibits, and the amusement ride area. Being a city girl it was my one time of year that I enjoyed walking around all the animals. I remember how beautiful some of the Rabbits were, and the cows; how the kids took care of their animals with such love that I wondered how they could ever sell them. It was a lifestyle that I could not relate to, but was fun to see once a year.

We ate all the wrong foods that day, anything that was fried, cotton candy, and popcorn and of course you can’t go to a Midwest Fair without corn on the cob. I remember the beer tents as that was my Dads favorite spot. He wasn’t into the animals so my Mom was the one who usually took my brother and me around to see the animals. We weren’t too fond of the pigs, but were always amazed at how big some of them were, and pretty in their own way.

We didn’t ride too many amusement rides, as my brother and I usually got sick, but we did enjoy one ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl, that usually was enough to hold us for the day. It was an all day event. We left early in the morning and didn’t get back until late in the evening. We were exhausted with all the things to see and do because as we know a State Fair is quite big and you need to cover a lot of ground to see everything. We went to the State Fair for many years, so as I grew older what interested me when I was younger changed over the years, but something new always caught my attention, so a Fair is good no matter what age you are. So if you haven’t been to one, I think you might enjoy the experience.

Well, as an adult we really haven’t been to any State Fairs as we are not close to where they are held so we have been attending our local County Fair. On a scale of 1 to 10 with the State Fair being a 10, I consider most County Fairs about a 3. They are very small on scale, but basically have the same things, just extremely downsized. They have the food, animals, tractor pulls, displays and now as an adult the beer tent! They usually have good music in the evenings. So recently we have been going to our County Fair and it’s been a nice evening out.

While at the fairs we usually go thru the Exhibit halls and I always comment how it would be fun to have something on display, but I never really looked into it. Well this year I did and I am proud to say that finally I have put 4 things on display in the Antiques and Heirlooms exhibit hall. I went this morning and dropped my items off. I was as giddy as a kid thinking I might win a ribbon. How silly, but now I understand after all these years why these kids and adults do this. I am excited and think this is really cool; I have things in a Fair. Now on the grand scale of things it’s all kind of silly, but it is one of those things that was on my list of “to do’s”, and I have now done it. The next step is hopefully I will win something, I’ll let you know. Of course it’s not the winning, but when I go to the Fair this weekend, I’m going to look in the cases this year and smile and say “that’s my stuff.”

In addition to the Fair, the County Fair parade is this Friday, one of those things I have never been able to attend as I have always worked. So we will be at the parade on Friday and I’ll let you know how it is. Until then I went down a new road and I’m excited as a kid, it’s a good feeling. Until next time, enjoy your travels.