Although there's ten more days until the first day of fall, Summer has vacated the premises. It's been a long, hot summer, but now there's a chill in the air every morning and a mist hangs over the pastures. And my first year of retirement comes to a close.
I started my second year with good news. I was examined by a pulmonary specialist today, and pending the results of xrays and a pulmonary performance test, I'm in good shape. I seem to have developed a sensitivity to certain things in the environment as I've gotten older; I'll have to be careful to limit my exposure to smoke, pollen, fumes and perfumes, but that's better than adult onset asthma or a degenerative lung disease. So I'm feeling good about that.
I've been thinking about what I've accomplished the past year and areas of my life that I've neglected. Our first project after retirement was to volunteer with the Katrina evacuees from New Orleans. Several hundred of them were housed at the Arkansas Baptist Assembly grounds and Dorothy and I did what we could to help. We worked at the information office where Dorothy helped people at the window and I searched for missing loved ones on the computer (found a couple too.)
We did some traveling. A trip to California last fall and then to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in early summer and then to Arizona a few weeks later for a wedding. We're getting the itch to travel again. We had thought of taking a cruise, but we enjoy road trips too much, discovering new places to eat (non-chain) and scenic side trips that we missed during our hurried travels during our working years.
I've painted two pictures in the last year. One is hanging on the wall at the Hogwild Pizzeria in Fayetteville, Ar. and the other is on the wall our our living room. I plan to do more painting this year.
I joined a volunteer rural fire department and had fun responding to emergencies and I also set up their computer software so they could be in compliance with the new Homeland Security regulations. I'm no longer with the department because I need to stay away from smoke and fumes and I wanted to devote more time to starting an online bookselling business.
The bookselling business is coming along pretty well. I'm finding new sources for used books and seem to have no problem selling them online.
I grew a garden for the first time in years and we've enjoyed the taste of home grown tomatoes, okra, and corn. I'm hoping to grow a bigger one next year.
I've spent some precious time with the kids and grandkids and hope to grab every opportunity this coming year to do more of the same.
Aside from the bouts of illness it's been a good year. Now I need to set goals and work toward their achievement. Top priority will be given to the war against time and age. I'm seeing how important it is to eat right, get adequate rest and exercise. After a certain age good health cannot be taken for granted.
I plan to paint more pictures this year. I have ideas already on the computer just waiting to be translated onto canvas. I've neglected some remodeling projects so I'll have to get started on them real soon.
In spite of all the things I plan to do I still need to reserve time to read and just loaf. That's probably the most important "activity" for keeping sane in this crazy world of ours.