Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Retirement practice day

Suddenly the number of days in my countdown to retirement is one; tomorrow is my last day of work.  It has been forever and just an instant all at the same time.

People ask me how I feel about retiring.  Isn’t it exciting?  What will I do with all that time?  I understand.  They’ve all been dreaming, just like me, maybe just like you, about that day when they too will walk away.  Maybe they’ve imagined the moment for years and yet it seems unimaginable.  Far away.  Unattainable.  I know how that feels, and I have to say I don’t really know how to respond.  It hasn’t sunk in yet.  Perhaps it will next Monday morning, but if today is any indication, probably not.

You see, I have today off.  I know, it’s weird, but I do.

So last night I could have stayed up as late as I wanted to but I fell asleep shortly after 8.  I could have slept the dreamless sleep of a newborn, but I tossed and turned and got up with Katie at 2 a.m. unable to sleep.  I worked on the blog, trying to fix the Goodreads widget that broke several months ago.  I spent an hour, long after Katie had gone back to bed, tinkering and only managed to get it back on the blog sort of twice with a bunch of HTML showing.  It looks like it’s in the admin sidebar twice and I can’t figure out how to delete the wrong one.  I hate this stuff.  I went back to bed at 3 a.m. defeated.

Which would mean Katie and I slept in.  Right?  Of course not right.  She was up at 5:30 exactly like any other day.  So we got up.  I did some dishes, put away some stuff from last night, read some blogs, took a shower.  Watched the news.  Noticed it was only 6:30 a.m.  Hmmm.  Puttered around a bit more then went up to the mall to walk.  I figured I could walk awhile, then look for some shorts that I can fit into when the stores open.  Buying new shorts sounds oh so much more sensible than losing the weight in order to fit into last years shorts.

I got to the mall at 8, thinking that it opened for shopping at 9 and I’d walk for an hour, find some shorts, then go to the post office to buy stamps as I knew that didn’t open until 10, and then on to the library to return a book, because the library doesn’t open till 10 either.  And guess what?  The mall stores don’t open at 9.  They open at 10 too!  What is with this retirement world?  Every work day for years and years I was at my desk between 7:30 and 8 working on the next big problem.  But the rest of the world dilly dallies around until 10?

Huh.  I’m going to have to get a new sheltie alarm, one that doesn’t go off till 8 or 9 in the morning!

I walked for awhile, around and around the mall, then got bored and went out to the car to sit and read.  By the time I went back inside the mall, shortly after 10 I was no longer motivated to find anything, so of course I didn’t.  Mostly I was tired and hot.

I gave up, went home to the local post office which turns out opens at 9.  Great.  This retired lady needs to get her facts straight.  Then on to the library which was quiet without kids, so different than being there on Saturday morning.  Lovely.  And now home to consider what to make for dinner.  And it’s barely noon.

On the whole what I’ve learned after one half day of practicing being retired is that everything is more relaxed when you don’t have to fit it into the two (or less) precious days you have free each week.  I feel less worried about wasting time, more prepared to sit and do nothing.  Sure there are huge gardens overrun with thistle, and laundry piling up, a kitchen that could use a bit of elbow grease, a dog that apparently needs entertaining, plans to make for travel, closets to sort, basement and garage to organize.

But I have time.

And that, essentially, is what I’m going to do with myself after tomorrow.  I’m going to enjoy having time.  I’ll try not to make those of you still working too jealous.

But I can’t promise.  Cause it’s going to be good!

Wanna play Mama?

Wanna play Mama?


Memorial Day; remember

Today, Memorial Day in the United States, I wish for all of us to take a moment and remember.  Remember someone in your family, or a friend, or a friend of a friend, who has served this country.

Remember that some didn’t come home.

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Remember that some came home permanently changed.

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Remember that we owe them all.  And that we owe their families too.

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And then get on with your weekend party.  Celebrate summer and life and family.

But never forget.

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What’s up?

Hey!  Is this what I think it is?

What's in here mama?

What’s in here mama?

It is!  It is!  Let me help you!

I know you need my help!

I know you need my help!

Can we go camping right now?  I’m so excited!

I'll run for camping!  No treats needed!

I’ll run for camping! No treats needed!

Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!



Hey.  It’s not going to be cold out tonight…is it mama?

Might need an extra blanket.  Or two.  Mama.

Might need an extra blanket. Or two. Mama.


Freedom in five

I’ve been counting for a long time, even before there was a definite date.  I’ve been counting down to a date I hoped would come some day, a date I’ve dreamed about for a long time.  In fact I’ve dreamed about this date for so long I can no longer tell when I’m dreaming or living the truth.

But here’s the truth:  A week from tomorrow will be my last day at work.  At any work.  The truth is that I’ve put my time in, met lots of great people, learned a ton of stuff and now it’s time to do something else.

Because life is short.

Hopefully retirement is long; I’d like this next week to move quickly, as time seems to be doing more and more lately.  And then I want the warm summer days to stretch out slowly, the way they used to when I was a kid playing kick the can into the evening.  I want to enjoy fireflies and stars, bike rides and camping trips, ice cream, and fresh strawberries.  I might even enjoy weeding if I don’t have to get it all done during precious weekends.

We’ll see.

So a new adventure is out there just waiting for me.  So close.  Five work days. Katie says my first priority should be entertaining her.  I told her that she’s going to miss her afternoon naps and she should be careful what she asks for.  On the other hand, I guess we could both indulge in an afternoon nap from time to time.  I’m nothing if not flexible.

People ask me what I’ll do with all the time.  I have a list in my head, and I remember my dad talking about how busy he was after he retired.  He had business cards printed with his name and phone # on one side and the word ‘Retired’ on the other.  I think I’m going to grow up to be just like him.

Can’t stop smiling.  Change is not always hard.





Five photos, five days #5

Katie here.



Mama says she can’t go five days and five photos without including me!  She says I get to tell the story this time too.

So here goes.

A long long time ago mama and dad had another sheltie-girl.  Her name was Bonnie and she was a very good girl.  She didn’t get to go to doggie school, and she didn’t compete in trials.  She didn’t get to go to the park or for rides or to visit people.  She pretty much stayed at home and loved my mama and dad.

For a lot of years she couldn’t hear at all, but she was so good at reading body language it took my folks a long time to figure it out.  She didn’t bark at thunder or the UPS truck, and she didn’t chase cars.  Hard to believe that she was even a sheltie!

Anyway, she lived a long time and went through a lot.  She lost a toe and her tail and had arthritis pretty bad.  She was on lots of meds, but she was a happy girl.  One day she had a really big seizure and she died.  Mama and dad were with her, so she didn’t have to go to the bridge alone.

Mama and dad were very very sad.  But they didn’t know that I had already been born and was waiting impatiently for them!   You know the rest of the story, right?  I came along and cheered them up.  I did silly bonehead puppy stuff and barked at everything including thunder and the UPS truck.  In fact I still do.  Cause they wouldn’t know enough to take care of stuff like that without me.

I know that someday I will break their hearts and go find my sister at the Rainbow Bridge.  But until then I’ll pose for mom and her silly camera.  I’ll sit right here between the breaking hearts and the forget-me-not flowers.

Cause I know for sure they’re never going to forget me.  Just like they haven’t ever forgotten my sister Bonnie.

This is the last installment of Carol’s challenge Five photos, five days.  The rules were to post a photo and a story, fiction or non, or even poetry.  And then we were to nominate someone each day to play along.  Well, we like what Carol did for her photo #5, anyone out there that I’ve missed that wants to show us 5 photos is welcome to join in!  Show us what you’ve got!

I’ll turn the blog back over to my mama now.  She got a little teary when she got thinking about her Bon-Bon.  But I think she’s going to be OK cause I kissed her a bunch when she got home tonight.

That usually works.

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Five photos, five days #4

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Once upon a time there was a little girl who watched the planes overhead and wondered where everyone was going.  She imagined them landing in some exotic place like California or Arizona or Florida or Hawaii.  Places away from here.

Turns out that little girl grew up to be an adult who watches planes overhead and wonders where everyone is going.  And she still imagines them landing in exotic places like Paris and Rome – – or less exotic but away from here places like Kansas or South Dakota.

And even though she’s been lucky enough to see all of these places she still wishes she was on the plane or the train or just the road going somewhere away from here.

Today’s post is part of Carol’s challenge – Five photos, five days, where you post a photo and tell a story, fiction or not, maybe even poetry.  And each day you nominate someone to play along.  Today I nominate Lassie and Benji…sort of a two for one.  Because their mom takes fun photos and I’m sure she will have some stories to tell.  Not on Lassie or Benji, of course, just about Lassie and Benji!

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Five photos, five days #3

This is part of Carol’s challenge, Five photos, five days, complete with a story; truth or fiction, or maybe some poetry.  And you’re supposed to nominate someone each day to join in the fun.


Mom's new babies!

Mom’s new babies!

At Kensington (the park, not the palace) it’s all about babies this time of year.  Today mama swan’s eggs began to hatch.  There was a huge crowd of paparazzi, cameras clicking as each egg hatched.  Mama swan ignored them all and paid exquisite attention to her new little ones, shielding them from the cameras with her wings.

It’s a special time and we’re lucky to be witness to it.

Today I’d like to challenge Karma of Karma’s When I Feel Like It, because I know she has a new camera lens and is just itching to get out and use it!

Mama up close

Mama up close before the little ones arrived.


Five photos, five days #2

Everywhere there are signs that say “Don’t feed the cranes.”

Mid-morning snack

Mid-morning snack

But cranes can’t read and apparently neither can humans.

A few weeks ago as husband and I walked around the lake at one of my favorite parks we saw many people standing still, hands upright while chickadees flitted.  And we were accosted a few times by chickadees expecting something special.

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We didn’t have anything to give them, and think it’s wrong anyway.  But I have to admit it was fun to watch.  This little guy will remember forever the day he had the crane eating out of his hand.

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This is part of the five photos, five days challenge that Carol put me up to.  Now I have to think about who to nominate to carry on the challenge.  Today I nominate the Cowspot Dogs, because they are living in a new place and have lots of places to show us.  Here are the rules, loosely speaking:  Post a photo (as you can see I’m having a hard time sticking to one photo.) and a story, fiction or non, or maybe even a poem, one a day for five days and each day nominate someone to play along.

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