Monthly Archives: June 2015

Lesson #18 – Decisions Decisions

pT58L58T9We have all seen, if not read, the articles entitled, “Ten Best Places to Live When You Retire”.  It seems as if the magazine stands have at least one cover per month telling us where to live, where to go, what to do, how to live,….and on and on.  Really?  If you read one of these articles the suggestions where to live are normally based on taxes, activities available to stay young and in good shape, cost of housing, hospital location, weather, an airport locale…..what is up with all of this free information?

It’s as if when you read these articles all your decisions will be made.  Not so.  I’m sorry but the decision where to live is very very complicated…..yes VERY.  There are a million moving parts to be put together prior to moving to your retirement ‘home’.

Highly recommended is to know where you want to live prior to selling that large family home where you saw your children grow up and leave the nest.  We didn’t do it that way.  If you have read earlier blogs I wrote then you know we landed here at our lake house after selling our family home.  I wouldn’t suggest what we did but I would recommend knowing where you are going to live and be looking forward to the move and, preferably, buy that next home and have it pristine prior to the big M.

Think about those articles.  All points mentioned in those articles may be very important but not one of those articles in all those magazines (that I have read anyway) ever mention that, perhaps, we should live rather close to where our family lives.  Where do your children live and where do your grandchildren live?  If you are lucky enough to have your parents still living, then where do they live? Do we go home? Do we live where our children live?  Gone are the days when families all live in one town.  Oh YES I know!  There are exceptions to everything…..

Chances are parents of most of the newly retired probably live far away from them.  We are the generation that took off from home and found our way.  I will venture to say most of us wanted to move away from parents and the faster the better.   My parents didn’t think much about where we lived and where our children live.  They migrated to Florida because the cold was chilling their very souls.  Cold is apparently bad for arthritis, bad knees and bad hips and hurting backs.  Come to Florida where all your aches and pains will disappear.  There probably was a television ad years back that beckoned our parents to move to sunny and warm Florida.

I know my grandparents moved to the Gulf coast of Florida when they retired and never looked back.  In fact, the town where they moved did have advertisements on television enticing retirees to move to Florida and live a wonderful life.  The area was undeveloped at the time.  Can you imagine?  At the time their only child, my father, still lived and worked in the Northeast.  They probably only saw each other once or twice a year for the holidays.  Ouch.

My parents, too, retired to Florida.  They loved the warm sun, the beach and never thought for a moment that they may wish to move closer to their children!  Yes, it was a different generation but if my thinking is correct most of that generation wanted to live just where they wanted in their golden years.  I’m really unsure if they thought about it much.  I find no fault in this believe me.  It’s just the way it was.

It just doesn’t seem that way today.  Luckily, our children seem to have settled close to where they grew up.  That is not to say they won’t move out of the State at some point.  I realize that but it won’t make it easy for me.

This couple just cannot decide where to set up shop for the next ten years or so.  We have been at this retirement business for about nine months and we have talked about where to move ad nauseam and have also looked at various abodes…. small homes, condos, townhouses, old homes and newly built homes in the ‘Active Adult Over 55’ communities.  One thing is for sure.  We want to live close to our children.  We just can’t find the right spot.  It’s difficult deciding where to move this time around.  This time we won’t be packing up my children and having them come along.  Quite different.  I do not want to make any huge mistakes.

But no matter where we look and what we think about we always come back to living here in our lake house… for the time being.  The views are spectacular, the air is clean and it’s where we have been coming for the past sixteen years.  It has familiarity, a bed I know and am comfortable in and most important memories of family weekend fun in the summers.  It’s not the place we want to be for the next ten years.  For the moment I can overlook the problems of a small one pony town.  Heck, it’s the summer and the lake is all about summer.

Most important this house is only 2 1/2 hours from my children and grandchildren and friends.  It is not a plane ride and not a major trip.  We can drive to my children’s homes and back again in a day with no problem if necessary.  Luckily for us both my son and my daughter have a bed ready for us if need be.  My good friends also offer bed and breakfast when needed!  I certainly don’t want to take advantage of the situation but it is nice to be wanted and not to be seen as a burden by my children or friends.

At this point in our lives I can’t imagine being in Florida and so far away from my children and grandchildren.  I wouldn’t even think about it seriously. Nor would I think about moving to the States listed in those articles because the taxes are better or because they have great hospitals.  Both are important I know but…

I’m not sure what this says about me but I think family is important and even more so as the years go by.  I want to be part of my children’s lives as much as possible and not just plan a once a year trip to get reacquainted with grandchildren growing up much too fast.

These decisions we face are not easy and we all have to find our way.  We sold our family house because we didn’t want to take care of it anymore.  NOW I know it was the right decision.   Where we live is a decision that can be all-consuming.

Don’t buy that magazine staring at you with an article tucked inside about which States would be great to retire to.  Think about where you are truly happy and let that be your guide.  And don’t rush.  Lord, don’t rush!!  Yes, indeed, we may eventually decide to sell this house and move to sunny Florida.  After all, my arthritis may kick up and I may be in constant pain but, for the moment, I have decided just to chill!  Ahhhhhhh, nice!

Leigh

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Lesson # 17 – MUSIC CITY!!

nashvilleOne of the best benefits of being retired is the ability to take mini vacations in the middle of the week.

I seem to have to be pushed lately ‘to do’  since I am, for the most part, task driven.  It takes me a while to start a project but once I do I want to get it done and checked off of that ever growing ‘to do’ list.

Not so with my husband. He sees the broader picture. Thank goodness he is like that or we wouldn’t enjoy mini trips! All work and no play makes us grouchy and dull.

Nashville, Tennessee. Never been ever! Only four hours from past and present home. Who knew Nashville was so fun!  As luck would have it Nashville was on my personal bucket list.   My husband pretty much pushed me to make reservations at the Grand Ole Opry.  I did even though we could only reserve two of the last remaining seats in a row in front of the very last pew.  No problem.

As luck would also have it we arrived in Nashville on the first day of the “hot” CMT week. Woo hoo!  Again, who knew?  Never heard of CMT week nor most of the country ‘stars’ arriving in Nashville for the CMT Music Awards to be televised.  How does a person reach the age of 65 not knowing what the CMT week is and when it is?  It is a bit embarassing but if you asked me about Motown I would venture to answer about 95% in the correct column.  Go me!

We loved everything about Nashville….Broadway with all the bars (honky tonks), all the various types of country music (and not so country) the ice cold long necks (you just have to drink beer!!) the cowboy boot retail stores, the hat stores and the strong scent of leather in each! Prices for every pocketbook….so many things to see and do or you may just relax in a bar and listen to some good music and eat a great rack of ribs.  Heart attack city but worth it ‘just this once’!

Good planning because we hoteled it right in the middle of the action.  Tons of walking.  Which reminds me I must buy a pair of walking shoes for hot weather.  Ouch.

When we arrived in Nashville it was pouring buckets but we ventured out anyway with brolly in hand. By the next morning it was nothing if not so hot and so humid…not great weather to walk and see the sights. We pushed on….keeping hydrated along the way!

Typically, Nashville, I have been told, has something always going on outside the ordinary. This was true for us.

While sitting in a bar on Broadway enjoying some great music a film crew focusing on Lady Antebellum and many cute young things came strolling past the bar….not sure if they were filming a video or a ‘short’ for the CMT Awards or…..?  It took hours to get it right I assume since they walked past with music blaring, mouthing the words with the guitar players ‘faking’ it all many many times.  Where else could I be about 10 feet from Lady Antebellum?  OK……guilt setting in.  This is where I admit I have never heard of Lady Antebellum nor ever listened to their music.  So sorry Country fans.  I love them now however….promise!

Stages were being built all over Nashville for free concerts since it was CMA week…we were given tickets to be part of the audience for Florida Georgia Line and Chesney. It was fun to watch the taping of FGL but couldn’t stay for Chesney…..we had those almost back row tickets to use.  OK you guys….I do know who Chesney is thank you very much……but FGL?  Never mind.

If you have never been to the Grand Ole Opry all I have to say is you absolutely must go.  Doesn’t matter if you like Country or not.  It is just good ole(!!) grand FUN.  A radio show with a good ole announcer.  Three songs each multiplied by 8 singing groups.  Even with our bad seats we were able to enjoy Carrie Underwood, Easton Corbin, Scotty McCreery, Mo Pitney, Billy Currington, among others whose names have escaped me….I’m getting ole…….er……old.

We will be returning to Nashville when the weather turns cooler.  Looking forward to it.  So much more to see and do.  However, first we must plan our next mini vaca when the weather is more accommodating.  The sky is our limit. Well, actually a four hour drive is my limit. Retirement can be quite fun! So go for it and explore even those cities you think may be outside your comfort zone.  Report back Y’all!

Leigh

 

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