We've had a lot of time to do some more talking, planning, calculating, and speculating - and we've come to a tentative agreement on what we're going to do when I retire. (Notice I can't keep from using negotiations jargon?) I had said earlier to a few friends that this summer trip was "practicing" for retirement - and it has helped us come to some realizations and decisions.
Here's the biggest one: we're going to keep our home in Forest Falls. Why? It's "home." Just as with all of our previous trips, we're looking forward to going "home."
- my recliner
- my huge new refrigerator
- my kitchen
- my bedroom
- my sewing desk and crafts area
- our deck
- Trader Joe's
- the commissary at Norton AFB
- his recliner
- his bedroom
- working outside (chopping wood, landscaping, watering, even shoveling snow! He said so! - He says it keeps him fit and gives him satisfaction)
- hiking up the canyon from our house
- having a permanent place
I'm sure I can think of more, but those are the ones that come to mind. We can get away in the deep winter and hottest summer, and stay home when the weather is more temperate.
A few changes have to be made - we have to rush to pay off the Jeep and 2 credit cards in the next 14 months - while I still have a decent paycheck from work. We also have to practice cheaper eating - and us the savings now to help towards those bills. Then we'll already be used to cheaper eating when I retire. When we get back next week we're switching Don's cell phone to Verizon and cancelling the home land line - it's stupid to pay $40/month to Verizon and $25-35 a month to AT&T long distance for a land line. I'll keep my iphone for now since my job pays for it, but then I'll give it up completely when I retire. I'll miss it - but it's a luxury we won't need. Don turns 62 in November, so we'll start getting his Social Security - that will help towards the mortgage payment.
I won't bore my readers with more details - this has already been boring enough - but I just felt it was a significant decision for us to make and needed to put it in writing.
We're still at Priest Gulch Campground in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado - the fishing's still wonderful and the weather is still great. However, it's a bit wetter than we expected! Every day the clouds build up and the thunderstorms roll through - last night was a drowner. The main road through the campground turned into a river, and was flowing through a site at the end as the water made its way to the Dolores River. The people in the site had to leave it; they took hoes and dug some trenches to channel the water. Today the campground maintenance people are patching all the big holes that developed in the gravel road, and it looks like they've re-directed the channels down in that flooded site. I'm enjoying staying at the trailer - I have the computer, my sewing machine, the TV, and good books. Don is up at Trout Lake - I chose not to go because there's no shade and the flies are horrendous up there. I have to keep reassuring him that I'm fine staying here; he tends to feel guilty about leaving me alone.
Two days ago, Don went up to Priest Lake - a very small lake near Trout Lake. He brought back dinner - brook trout! Brook trout aren't really trout - they're a member of the char family, and have pink flesh. They're pretty tasty, and I tried a new way after hearing about it from a neighbor here at Priest Gulch.
Grilled Trout Almondine
|Grilled Trout Almondine|
salt and pepper
Preheat grill. Clean the trout. Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil - for 1 or 2 trout, depending on size. Sprinkle a few almonds on the foil, then put the fish on the almonds. Put a little butter in the abdominal cavity of the fish; sprinkle fish with salt and pepper and top with more almonds. Seal the foil. Grill, about 10 minutes on each side, until fish is done (it'll flake easily with a fork).