Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy (?) New Year!

Camp Connell, CA - The year 2011 has officially begun, and so far so good.
I know. It is only two days old.
Our elected officials are all on vacation so they have done no harm -- so far.

The ski resort up the road has had a booming holiday season, which has spilled over into the local businesses that have been struggling. That's good for my working neighbors.

Everyone in our immediate family is employed -- if they want to be.

All are healthy and seem happy.
Daughter Ruth, granddaughter Delaney, and best in-law Leroy, helped celebrate my 70th birthday at the Camp Connell store in 2010
Son Zack, granddaughter Katie and Pat celebrated Zack's birthday with a cake

It will be another year of transition for me, hopefully all positive.

Some things are required.
My IRA's have "matured" along with me, and I have to do something about them in the next three months. I hate that sort of decision making, but the clock is ticking.
Like many retired couples and families this year we will learn to get along with less, as the last few years have carved down our savings. The last time I ran the numbers our savings lost about 60% of their value in the past three years. Social Security suddenly is a lot more important that it used to be.
My body requires a certain amount of maintenance which seems to entail increasing doctor visits for probes and scans and examinations to make sure I am just aging, not deteriorating at an unnatural pace.
I have never been good at the type of exercise people get by working out in gyms, so I will have to try harder to get out and walk more, whether in the snow or not. I recall vividly the advice a physical therapist once passed along" "Use it or lose it."
Fortunately, there are plenty of trails to hike, mountains to ski, and lots of wood to haul to keep the home fires burning.
We have yet to hike the trails up Mount Whitney, seen here in the Fall, above the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine

I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore, but two things I want to do more of this year are sailing and get back to working on the family history.
The family history project, which my grandmother began in 1935, may move ahead thanks to Pat's gift of a subscription to an on-line genealogy service. It is an amazing tool and saves hours and hours of research. Now I just have to start writing.
"More sailing" has been an unrealized goal for several years. We love our boat, but it sits tied to the expensive dock in Alameda most of the time. Why is it when you retire you do not have time for things you claim you want to do?
So far we have decided to keep the boat and try to use it more. But each year we come closer to the inevitable decision that the cost and effort are not worth the ultimate pleasure. But owning a boat has never been logical, so do not expect a logical move in this area.
The other decision out there in our future is when will we have had enough snow and ice in the winter and need to move down the hill. Travel to warmer spots helps, but that has been limited recently by economic realities.
We will not leave the mountains, but the idea of living somewhere in the winter where we would not have to wait for the snowplow, shovel the deck, or worry about the power failing, well, that seems pretty attractive some days.

But for now the snow is falling prettily, the temperature is not bad, and the fire is going strong in the wood stove.

And whether I am ready or not, the new year is here.

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