Home Life

After a Holiday Weekend


Three-day weekends are rare at the home, farm and auto supply store. However, this year the retail store was closed Monday for the Christmas holiday.

I managed to get some things done. Mostly I slept, not understanding beforehand how much sleep I needed.

Three days was not enough time to catch up on sleep.

As I consider “full retirement” this spring, out of the box I’ll need two weeks to do nothing but catch up on sleep. Being bone weary makes it difficult to get things done and there is plenty I want to do after leaving full-time, lowly paid work. Getting rested equals getting started on a new life.

That’s not to say the weekend wasn’t festive. I made Christmas Eve dinner, baked shortbread cookies, and we spent time together and talked. We phoned and texted friends and family. We talked a lot.

Corn and Apples for Wildlife

Birds were not coming to the feeder so I changed bird seed. I dumped piles of apples and whole corn for wildlife and watched as crows came first to feast. I spent no money and didn’t leave the property a single time after arriving home on Friday.

I long to take retirement. We can’t afford to stop working. How to sustain our lives needs to be worked out by spring. Treading water, I wrote our budget with enough income to cover expenses for 12 months. I’ll use that time to determine how to make things work. If it’s possible, we’ll figure it out.

I’m enrolled in the federal retirement program and Jacque signed up for federal health benefits. We each carry a deck of insurance cards — Medicare, Medicare supplement and Medicare Part D. We hope not to need any of them. Without the federal retirement program we’d both have to work until we die.

I’m counting on being able to write during retirement. I spent Christmas morning writing an article for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. One never knows if writing will be accepted, but it’s free to the newspaper and I have a unique perspective. I like publishing in the Gazette because of it’s comparatively large circulation. Fingers crossed. I’ll write more going forward.

I’ve had my car on the trickle charger for 12 hours so it should start this morning. Thursday is my appointment at the auto clinic to have the charging system diagnosed. Hopefully it can be diagnosed and fixed — the same hope for every 20-year old vehicle. The alternative is the scrap heap. I won’t need transportation as much after retirement. I budgeted half the gasoline next year compared to this, hoping to use even less.

The time between Christmas and New Years is weird. Because of the paid birthday off work I’m at the home, farm and auto supply store only three days this week. What’s nice about this time is the ability to withdraw from society enough to get our bearings.

That will have to be good enough this year.