One of the pleasures of retirement is not having to rush to get to school. I taught 8th grade Georgia History for many years, coached baseball and fast-pitch softball for the school and for a youth league, and pastored a small rural church. I didn’t have time to breathe.
I said goodbye to it all in May 2015.
I’m 68 now and have been retired now for 10 years. My wife Joyce retired at the same time from Eisenhower Army Hospital as a Registered Nurse.
We hit the road and starting working on our bucket list of places we had longed to visit.
We traveled the Oregon Trail from St. Joseph, Missouri, where it begins. In Nebraska, I actually got to ride in a mule drawn covered wagon while Joyce chose to be the “outrider.” It was just like the pioneers did. They averaged 20 miles a day. I don’t see how they did it!
From Nebraska, we traveled to Wyoming and visited Sheridan, which was and is a major rail center. I’ve always loved trains since I was a child. This locomotive is the “Big Boy.”
In Sheridan, we toured Buffalo Bill’s mansion.
Then we traveled North and connected with the Bozeman Trail taking us into Montana, aptly called, “The Big Sky State.”
John Bozeman was a Georgia gold miner who left Georgia when gold was found in Bannack and its sister town of Virginia City, Montana, in 1863. He never struck it rich, and decided to “mine the miners” by guiding prospectors up the trail he created.
I have no adequate words to describe the beauty of Montana. The adjectives, awe, wonder, beautiful, amazing, and other such words hardly describe it.
Joyce and I bought several bus tours and one train excursion trip across the Canadian Rockies.
We’ve stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon, been inside the amazing Cliff Dweller Indians abodes carved inside the Arizona cliffs, and witnessed the marvels of Yellowstone National Park.
We bought a camper van on 20 February 2019, in order to take our Shelties, Sophie and Lilly Belle with us. We have decided to travel and camp at our beautiful Georgia State Parks. We’ve been to five of them. Joyce has made reservations for Tallulah Gorge State Park, but because of this brutal August heat wave, we decided not to go.
So far, we’ve camped at five Georgia State Parks. Each is unique and has a beauty of its own. They have easy walking hiking trails which are perfect for us. One is our favorites was Moccasin Creek State Park in Rabun County nestled in the North Georgia mountains.
To enjoy our retirement to the max, we realize that we have to be healthy. So, we eat healthy meals and walk several miles five or six times a week around the walking track at the County’s adjacent to the Eubank Blanchard Community Center near our home. But here lately, the heat and humidity is so oppressive that it’s dangerous for senior citizens like us to do anything outside.
Fortunately, our county’s well-equipped gymnasium is just 5 miles from our home. Membership with our senior citizens discount is only $100 for both Joyce and me. That’s $50 each. So, we get our 2-3 mile walks on the treadmill in air conditioned comfort.
Finally, retirement is no more getting up at 5:30am and rushing around to get ready for work. It’s getting up when I want to get up and having two cups of coffee in my man cave.
It’s enjoying all of my morning visitors too. Our backyard is critter friendly thanks to the bird feeder, bluebird houses, a purple hummingbird flower plant, and white hostas.
This morning, I saw 8 cardinals, several Carolina wrens, 2 blue jays, doves, hummingbirds, squirrels, and a cute chipmunk. Oh, and sometimes three or four crows join in for their breakfast.
It’s nice to have leisurely mornings. Real nice. I have time to read the Bible, read my devotional, pray, meditate, watch a YouTube video or two on health, blog, and drink two cups of coffee.
Ahh, retirement! It’s nice enjoying the fruit of our many years of working.
Thanks for reading my Rolling Pen Blog.