We thought we had things figured out for 2012. We were just going to steady the course, keep everything as it is, and just coast for my husband's first year of retirement.
Instead, in our usual fashion, we changed our minds. We decided instead to downsize and hit the floor running by announcing to our surprised children in January that we were thinking of selling our New York home of 30 years. Then, after we decided that we should sell our home, we also decided that it was a good time to renovate our 500 square foot seasonal cottage at our lake. Then we decided to renovate the 200 square foot guest cottage so that there would be sufficient space to have kids visit in the summer months.
Having just about filled up every waking moment with the job of examining our closets and bookshelves, throwing things out, making runs to our local library with book donations, then driving over to Goodwill with some of our belongings, then having a garage sale for some of our furniture, and then readying our home for sale, then completing our transactions with the various contractors who did the renovation, we decided that we should also begin looking for a condominium.
We looked everywhere.Then we decided just to skip getting a condo. Then we changed our minds again, and we picked up a condo in Portland, Oregon.
By the end of 2012, we managed to sell our New York home of 30 years and complete the cottage renovation.
I really did not believe that we could have packed much else in this first year of my husband's retirement! Looking back at the year that I retired, I guess we did something almost equally crazy.
With respect to 2012, we are grateful for our children’s patience, for their love and support, and for our loyal group of grandchildren, who always manage to make us look on the bright side of life.
This is best summarized, perhaps, by one of our grandsons when he and his family visited us at the cottage this summer. He sneaked out of the main cottage where he slept with his Mom and Dad and baby sister, to knock on the door of the small wooden guest cabin to visit his Grandma and Grandpa who were sitting in bed together for their morning cup of coffee. He crawled into bed with us, where we were surrounded by boxes, blankets and items stacked in the corner while the renovation was being completed. The early morning sun was coming through the windows.
He looked around and said, “This is my favorite cabin in the whole world.”
For a couple of doting grandparents, it doesn't get any better than that.