Slowin' Down

Retirement: Week 14

In Slowin' Down

By Georgette Evans
Feb. 13, 2018 at 5:09 p.m.
Updated Feb. 13, 2018 at 5:09 p.m.

As I enter into my retirement journey and reflect on the many months I’ve been “officially” retired, I’m surprised how quickly the time has passed. I’m still Danny’s driver for another two weeks. After a month of closing and finalizing his business, he’s officially retired. We slept in till a whopping 8:30. He always gets up at 5 a.m. for his planks and working his Sudoku, but then he came back to bed to sleep in. We are both retired now, and we’re both excited about what is ahead of us.

Every day we are grateful for our many blessings: Healthy children, grandchildren and no major problems other than simple things (like a deer hitting my car for the second time in less than two years). If I could teach one lesson to younger adults it would be this one thing…don’t sweat the little, insignificant problems —worry about big ones and more often than not, the big problems you worry about hardly ever happen.

I stopped by to drop off information for the Glow 5K Fun Run March 2 at the radio stations last week, and they will help market this worthwhile run. It’s a night run and will benefit Smiles for Life and The Riding Therapy Center of Victoria. Goliad Dental Care has been a lifetime member benefiting Smiles for Life and has also been involved with The Riding Therapy Center for many years as well. 

Dr. Dan Garza and Gerry and their staff are amazing and such valued friends. It was so nice visiting with everyone at the stations, and while I miss everyone, I’m still so happy being retired. I have a completely different mindset now, and I think it’s a good thing. I’m doing exactly what I love and enjoy and my time belongs to me. Life gets shorter every day, and Danny and I plan to make each day count.

This weather is driving me nuts. I’m missing those hot, sunny Texas days we love so much. I’m tired of the damp, cold and depressing weather we’ve had lately. As I write this facing my back yard, I see all the dead, frozen shrubs and flowers and can’t wait for Spring with all its beauty and color. I want to get outside and begin working on our yard.

Right now, I’m hunkered down inside a nice, warm house, writing my blog as I watch my cat sit on the patio sofa. She’s sitting on top of the sofa and staring at me through the window. She’s like me, she’s an old cat, and I think she’d love nothing better than to come inside and join us. But, she’s an outside cat and has a nice, warm fleece lined bed that keeps the cold away. We also inherited a gray cat about a year and a half ago, and he’s a big tom cat. Beautiful green eyes, thick gray coat and is so attached to me.    

He comes and goes all day and shows up every day when he’s ready to eat and get some attention from me.     My grandchildren love him, and, believe it or not, he’s actually a very gentle male cat. We should get him “fixed,” but I’m not sure of that because he’s not officially our cat. I’m afraid he might actually belong to someone and they just don’t feed him like we do or give him attention so he’s hangs around at our house. I’ve actually written my first children book titled “Gray Cat,” and it's all about him and all his wandering and adventures. My niece, Audrey, is the most talented artist I’ve ever seen, and she’s working on illustrating the book now. Audrey needs to go to a top art school because they would be blown away with her amazing talent.

Danny and I are looking forward to our road trip to Yosemite and Sequoia National Park and driving up the coast in California and then on to  San Francisco and back to Last Vegas (of course). I couldn’t possibly be that close to a casino and not stay a few days. Unfortunately, my Daddy taught me to gamble at five. I play a mean hand of poker. I have been blessed in my lifetime to hit a Royal Flush, and four of a kind is an easy hand for me.

After all our holiday get-togethers when Dad was alive, we all played penny ante poker. We had such a great time all of us sitting around the big kitchen table with all our jars of money. It was the icing on the cake after a great family meal. I have only one sister who doesn’t care a thing about gambling. The rest of us, we’re a lost cause because we all enjoy it so much. I keep trying convince one sister it isn’t a sin if you’re not going crazy with it.

It’s the people who spend their grocery money, rent and don’t take care of their families that makes it a sin.      Anything you abuse is not a good thing. If I could just get the same joy to exercise I would love it. I walk but the weather hasn’t always been nice. I know, I know, that’s no excuse. I could very easily work out at the house. I bought a Yoga tape, and it’s collecting dust. I’m so ashamed.

After California, we travel to Colorado. We’ve rented a house and first guests will be Julie, Ryan and their children. Then, it’s time for Todd, Dany and their children. We’ve extended the invitation to Dany’s parents, 

Yves and Atalia, our wonderful extended family and good, good friends.

They are two of the most wonderful, kind, smart and amazing people we’ve every had the pleasure of sharing our grandchildren with. They put up with us the entire time we were in Israel years ago to visit and were our best ever tour guides. Their generosity and kindness were more than anyone could ever expect. But we also share the love with all of Ryan’s family as well. We’ve been blessed with all these wonderful people who are like family to us. Our grandchildren have been surrounded by all of us and our love. That totally benefits these wonderful grandchildren. Relationships are important on many levels.

There’s so much in the news about the Opioid epidemic. I either read or watched a documentary about this major issue and learned something very significant. Many abusers are individuals who are depressed and have no friends or family. Basically they’re isolated from support or human touch from anyone who cares about them. This group of mental health specialists  (not sure which) decided to see if getting involved and making new friends and getting them out of their home would help solve this addiction. They gave them the project of clearing out a huge area in the back of their offices and turning it into a beautiful outdoor area for reading, walking and relaxing. Ultimately, the addiction came to a halt and they no longer needed the anti-depressants.  The project worked extremely well.

These people got off their medications, got involved in a beautiful project, made new friends and created a beautiful environment. Connecting with others and creating something beautiful is what helped them overcome their addiction. I’m not pretending to be a therapist or know what will help or not. I will tell you this though…..when I’m working in our yard creating a beautiful garden and backyard, I’m extremely happy and relaxed. When I worked, it was great therapy. After a bad day and when finished planting, feeding and grooming, I had the immense pleasure to see the benefits of the work Danny and I do to create something to take pleasure in. I’ve never had blood pressure or heart issues and truly believe yard work does it for me. I love writing, but the yard work is next on the list of keeping me happy. Plus, I get so much positive feedback about how beautiful our backyard is. It’s worth the work and effort always.

After Colorado, we’ll see where we decide to travel. There’s so much we want to see and do, but as my sister always says, “we’re on a fixed income." Danny and I will pick and choose our trips, because hopefully we’ll have plenty of time to see and do what we want over the next 15 years or so.     

For now, we’ll BOTH be “slowin down” and working on projects that have been on hold for years at our house. 

In closing, remember to compliment one person today and offer a smile to someone who looks like they need it, and count your many blessings.     



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