Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thoughts of Retirement and A Fair Time

Last week was a difficult week for me. Having just finished nearly all of my scheduled vacation time for the year the previous week it was a little depressing knowing that another summer of fun was in the rear-view mirror. Thoughts of the long slog that lay ahead as we work our way toward and through another winter hasn't helped. Please don't let it be a winter like the one we had last year!

My mind couldn't help but wonder what retirement must feel like. It's anybody's guess when that day may finally arrive for me. I think the soonest I'd consider going is 18 months from now but a more realistic guess would be at least 28 months away, at the end of 2013. 18 months gets us out from under our mortgage and a home equity loan we took out when we finished our basement. We can comfortably retire then but there's a part of me that wants to continue working to pay for some large projects around our home that are out on the horizon in addition to Rachel's college tuition. We could probably do it all on our retirement pay but we'd have to take out loans and I'd rather pay as we go. But I do think that once I get to the point where I no longer have to work and can walk away (in 18 months) it will actually make coming to work considerably easier; one month at a time until the day when I quietly tell them that I'm done. The plan is for Tammy to leave her job before I do. She does so much volunteer work and this would free her up to do even more.

Yeah, I'll miss summer but for now I'm enjoying the cooler air that arrived a couple days ago. It's refreshing to walk outside with the pups in the morning and feel the chill again. For as much as I love the heat of summer and being outdoors, I think I like fall even more. I know that Toby, Allie, and Charlie appreciate the cooler temps for walking.

Rachel isn't wasting any time picking up where she left off back in Rochester. She's considering a work/study position at the college rather than a nursing assistant job where she would have little to no chance of accomplishing any homework while at work. Still, it's nice that she has her CNA license. I would guess she'll be able to use it next summer.

She's involved with an Assembly of God church in Rochester where they hosted a mud-pit and an event called Tribal Warfare a few days ago (much thanks to Becky Miller for the photograph). She's enjoyed some solid church connections over the last many years and the group of young adults she's involved with now appears to be a really good fit as well. I can't remember if I mentioned this last year but when she first attended the church she found out that she already knew some of the youth there from previous summer Bible camps. I don't believe in coincidences.

Tammy and I spent Friday cruising the grounds at the Minnesota State Fair. We caught a bus from the Burnsville transit station and paid $5 for round-trip tickets for us each. We planned to be back around 6 or 7 that night but we were having too nice of a time to pack it in so soon. I called my neighbor Mark to see if he could possibly let the pups out for us and he was kind enough to do that and would accept payment in the form of a pale of Sweet Martha's Cookies. He was only joking but I thought it made for a nice trade-off.

It was a long day but a really nice time.

I woke up Saturday morning and asked Tammy if she wanted to go back and do it again. For a brief moment, she looked like she was all-in but then the rush of so many things she needed to do brought her back to her senses.

I came to my senses too. I went for a ride.


"La Vida de Perro" said...

Kevin - I enjoy reading your blog as something of "A road not taken". In the late '60s I moved from the Twin Cities to Chicago to work as a "ramp rat" for North Central at ORD. While there, I heard a radio ad - Up, Up and Away with the FAA! I signed up at ZAU and over the last 40 years I have worked in a bunch of facilities, retired, worked in a bunch more facilities and now am a Raytheoner in Sunny San Juan.

Other than the occasional visits to family and friends, Minnesota is gradually fading from sight in my rear-view mirror.

It is fun to see your life unfolding along a path that might well have been my own.

Kevin said...

Thanks, La Vida de Perro for your comment.

There were a couple of guys I went to the FAA academy with who were sent to ZAU...Tom Ironsides and Ken Hudson. I believe they're both retired now. I'm quite likely the last man standing from my class. I suppose that also plays into all of my thoughts about retirement.

The Twin Cities are nice but the winters have become less least I think so. I'm dreading this coming one. You may be on to something in Sunny San Juan!