Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Lunch Date

"Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby." (Langston Hughes)

Rains splatters the street and rattles my roof this morning.  Ahhh...fall is finally here!  No more 95 degree days, thank you very much.  I'm ready for sweatshirts and jeans, breezy days and cool mornings, and yes, a little rain to wash the world clean and paint my window with silvery jewels.
I thought today would be a good day to invite you for a Lunch Date.  Haven't had one of those entries for quite awhile.  Nothing too serious in a Lunch Date entry - just chatting, musing, sharing a laugh hopefully - while I fix us lunch.  Today I'm fixing something warm and hearty - comfort food to celebrate the arrival of the rain.  Macaroni and cheese!  Who doesn't love homemade mac and cheese! Steamed fresh green beans on the side...apple crisp for dessert...sounds yummy!

So, while I'm cooking and bustling around, what would we talk about?

How's retired life?  Pretty darn good!  Schools have been in session now for 3 weeks, and I haven't missed being there at all.  I've especially enjoyed not feeling the tension in the middle of my back and in my forehead that seemed to start ratcheting up every day as I drove to work.  It rarely was a product of having or expecting "a bad day".  It was mostly produced I think by the fact that I was diving into a high energy environment each day - surrounded by 2,000 people, all scurrying through a fast paced, hectic day, trying to "get stuff done".  I love waking up when I want now and mostly letting the day unfold as it does.  And surprisingly, I've been just as busy - but not as stressed!  So what have I been up to?

Being Mr. Landscaper!:  Deborah and I spent a lot of time and effort into redoing our front lawn.  We took out 3 humongous Mugu pine bushes along the driveway; picked out a gazillion rocks and made them into a "river"; dumped some dirt, and planted a bunch of new flowers and plants..."English style".  Heather, verbena, lavender, pansies, pots of geraniums, and plopped a transplanted Crepe Myrtle tree in the middle of it.  Blanketed it all with barkdust and then put a brick border around it.  Very proud of it!  So proud, we put a new bright table out front so we can sit and enjoy it in the evening!

Volunteering more at the Foundation:  Deborah and I attend classes at the Life of Learning Foundation in Merlin, Oregon.  We are both grateful for all we continue to learn there about letting go of harmful negative states and living a kinder, compassionate life from our teacher, Guy Finley.  Since the Foundation is a non-profit organization, it depends on the efforts of volunteers, so I've been doing more.  I help administer its Facebook page, give talks once a month, facilitate online study group sessions, and even cook lunches on Saturday every now and then for the volunteers.  There's no doubt - Guy knows how to "find something for you to do" - and it's always rewarding to give back in appreciation.

What do we do for fun?  We love hanging out at Troon Vineyards, enjoying their wines and the great view out back. (Tiffany, the tasting room manager treats us like royalty!  "Hello, my lovelies!" She's sweet and generous!)  We also keep trying to work out more at the Club - no easy job "staying young"!  Haven't had any "big" adventures yet, but we have some planned in the next few weeks.  Going to Sunriver for our anniversary - Las Vegas next month to see Deborah's parents.   Our days are always filled - no wonder we're tired and in bed by 9:30 pm!

Oh, boy!  My first substitute job!  Got called yesterday for my first job as a substitute teacher - a new adventure coming!  Returning to South Medford to sub for one of the American Studies teachers for the day.  Good luck to me!  Hope I have an easy day of it!  Wonder what we'll be doing? 

Our 7th anniversary is next week.  We'll be celebrating at the Sunriver Resort in Bend.  Looking forward to riding our bikes, going on hikes, swimming at the water park (hope the weather is nice!), and just being together with my beautiful wife.   And what will I be giving Deborah?  7th anniversary gifts are traditionally copper or wool...hmmm.... how will I surprise her?  We shall see. Stay tuned!

Well, time to do the dishes.  Finish up our tea and dessert and say "Later, alligator!"  Rain's stopped - time to go find something else to do

"One never knows what each day is going to bring.  The important thing is to be open and ready for it." (Henry Moore)

So far, that's the gift that retired life has given me, and there's one thing I know for sure.

I'm a lucky guy.

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