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I am sitting here watching the news and thinking about eleven years ago. And not having to get up to go to work on Monday morning. Ever again.

I retired April 1st 2010. A good way to spend April Fool’s Day. I have never regretted retiring as early as I could. Particularly when years like 2020 come along and recalibrate your plans.

I think retiring in the spring is a smart move. My husband retired in January. Dark. Cold. Stuck indoors most of the time. It is hard to transition when you are limited in things to do.

I found my hobbies and interests kept me busy. My garden. Cooking.

I then discovered the Conservancy and volunteering and the last ten years have been filled with activities that keep me busy even during the pandemic.

Last year I spent every other day for six months in the community gardens, tending my own plot, and helping with the food bank.

We have done more than a ton of food each of the past two years. Many of us who are retired use this outlet as our way to give back, while keeping active.

I also volunteer in many ways to support my husband’s hobby. Amateur radio. I cook for Field Days. For the annual “Fowl Fest”. I hope we get to conduct those activities soon, as we miss our friends and the good times we have when we are together. Like our crazy summer emergency preparedness field days. In the heat. Or rain. Or wind. But still, enjoying our hobbies with our friends.

I miss cooking for the radio guys. They are so appreciative of what we make for them. Yeah, we enjoy our meals here, but I have been cooking dinner every night for almost 400 days now. I really want to have those restaurant nights again, and want to cook for friends and family.

I know. This evening I am reminiscing, and also whining a bit about this lost year. Missing friends. Missing family. Missing my 50th reunion, which I hope will someday take place. Missing the gatherings. The sharing.

We just need to hang on a while longer. Beat this virus. So we can enjoy decades more of retirement.

But one good thing about this forced isolation. My husband got back into cooking. making a number of dinners now. Like the clam and fennel chowder I wrote about. And just simple things like pasta.

Here’s to better days. And meals with friends. And dinners at restaurants. And travel. Yeah, I miss travel. We will get there. Won’t we? I have faith. And I want to get out there.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

3 responses »

  1. My husband and I retired early on Mar 2, two years after you. Neither of us have looked back enjoying our hobbies and getting to read some things we never had time for. My painting career has been fun to explore and also a great way to stay sane during a pandemic. Thanks for this mornings post, we can make it until things open up again. There is still hope.

  2. Kathleen Huffman

    you definitely spoke for all of us. Hope is what keeps us going and we are turning the corner

  3. LOL! On so many fronts, this post resonated with me…my love of gardening, volunteering (I’m NOT retired, and sometimes wear myself out volunteering AND working for a living – I ain’t as young as I used to be when I worked 2 jobs AND went to school!) LOL. and Amateur Radio – I got my license 2 years ago – – am saving up to buy equipment! AND, well, ME TOO! on the ‘I’m so tired of cooking!” – – My roommate is an essential employee who commutes 100 miles a day (round trip) and who sometimes brings take out home – but it never sits right in my tummy – but I somehow lost my ‘home/meal planning’ gene/brain cells about 6 weeks ago – I just burnt out on ideas – – I still order/shop/plan/purchase/source to keep the pantry, fridge and freezer stocked, but come ‘time to fix a meal?” – – I’m drawing a blank and too worn out to ‘take on a new recipe and modify it to work with my stocked household options ( I use a lot of dehydrated goods, instead of canned/jarred) – I have HOPE that someday? I’ll once more have a clue, what to set out on Sunday for prep on Monday for meal on Tuesday, operations – I should KNOW this! But after this long time? (been doing it non-stop, since August of 2019 – well before Covid!). I find myself burnt out on meal prep and cooking ideas – and yet, I make plans for the garden and seeding ‘new areas’ all the same – – LOL. Cuz ya know? Hope Springs Eternal (or, for me?). Spring arrives and Hope seems Eternal once more – LOL


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