So… it has officially been one year (actually just over that) since retirement and the beginning of our explorations. We have traveled far and wide but not nearly enough. We have been west and been east, been north and been south. We have barely scratched the surface, yet at the same time so much has happened.
We are still in Central New York. Workamping has been fun and I have lost a lot of weight doing manual labor for the first time in a long time. Mowing, weeding, trimming and doing weekly “honey wagon” trips to dump seasonal campers’ tanks has helped me to lose around 30 pounds so far. I have dropped 4 inches on my waist and went from 2XL to XL for shirt sizes. The biggest benefit is that I feel better… so much better! It has been over 2 months here but it has gone by quickly. We have met some interesting people and have learned how to do some things we didn’t even think of.
In retrospect, there are always lessons to be learned. One of ours is to make sure you are financially ready to do this. Budget and stick to it. We didn’t and it has eaten a lot of our retirement money as a result. Fortunately, we are both able to work and can do just about anything.
Another lesson is to not put off doing things! We never know how much time we have left and when it is time to go out and enjoy life, take the opportunity and run with it!
And as always, you can plan, plan, plan but life has a way of making your plans go out the window. Be ready for bad stuff to happen. It can be as simple as a circuit breaker tripping or it can be as bad as the IRS coming after you for unpaid taxes. Whatever happens, you just need to be ready to roll with the changes (with apologies to REO Speedwagon) and move on.
Probably the best thing about this year has been the chance to get to know myself and my spouse better. When you live in 240 square feet of space and share it with someone and 3 dogs, it is hard to be alone. Yet we embraced the chance to get to know each other better. Yes we have had some rather nasty fights, but in the end we walk away better and closer for it. I can honestly say that there is nobody on this earth I would rather have with me on this journey than Kerri. Her Libra temperament is the balance to my impulsiveness and I simply respect the heck out of her and what she brings to the table. Not to mention that if she had to put up with me during that year in this confined space, she can do pretty much anything!
Of course, the weather is a popular topic lately due to the higher than normal heat and humidity. A few weeks ago (on June 13th) we had a severe storm come through the campground right at sundown and it knocked down a large branch from the huge tree out front. The branch took down some power lines which landed right next to our RV and on top of the camp’s van and canoe trailer, electrifying them both. The tires on the trailer even burst into flames. Pretty crazy stuff, but everyone was fine and safe and the gang from NYSEG got power back up the next day and Spectrum had internet service back later in the day.
In May, we went to Virginia to see Danae graduate from Liberty University and getting her Bachelor’s degree. We went to Natural Bridge State Park and took a bunch of pictures at Danae’s request and it was a lot of fun. Yet another proud moment for our kids!
I have been out on the river a few times and went fishing only once. My one catch was a dinky carp where I expected bass to be hanging out. I did go on a lengthy river canoe trip with Nicole (one of our fellow workampers who had been workamping there for 4 years now) and got to know the river. One of these days I will find those brook trout and the bass that are hanging around.
All in all, it has been a fantastic year. More ups than downs and some bumps and bruises along the way. We are looking forward to what the next year brings!
Happy Independence Day to all! Have a safe and fun 4th of July!