I don’t know if it is traditional to take a photo of one’s first sunrise of retirement, but my dear friend Liz reminded me to do just that about a week before my big day. She probabably caught the idea from a recent TV ad for retirement planning but hey, it’s a good idea, don’t you think?
Capturing the dawning moment of the rest of my life – what a splendid tradition to participate in. Thank you Liz, for motivating me to pack my camera and tripod down into the chapparal canyon behind our house on that morning walk with Skeet. It’s not the most perfectly-composed photo, but the best I could do with the delayed-shutter function and a befuddled dog tangling her leash around my legs. I shall be able to remember that morning forever now.
To refresh the story (which I have let languish far too long): I have finally reached my 24 year mark with the Navy, and chose to retire at my current paygrade of Lieutenant instead of accepting the promotion to Lieutenant Commander, which would have obligated me for another two years of service. Why turn that promotion down and retire now? Because I am no spring chicken, son; and it is high time for me to start the farming enterprise I have been planning for so many years, out in Kentucky on the little farm we bought five years ago.
Farming is hard work, yes it is. And I’m not getting any younger; ergo, there’s no time to waste.
This will be a solo (ad)venture for me for the first few years, as Bear is still gainfully employed in his civil-service position and wants to run with it to his second 20-year retirement. (He finished up with the Navy in 2000.) So he’ll stay here at Bear and Thistle West for a time, babysit the underwater mortgage until the housing market starts recovering, and keep the lights on at 637 Redlands. It’s a non-traditional plan but we hatched it together many years ago and it still works for both of us, so I will soon be Kentucky bound to start my herds and flocks and raise a few chickens too.
Soon. Not tomorrow, though I would have liked to have been there by now. However, as my official title is She Who Builds, Landscapes, and Paints Walls, I can’t leave until all the building, landscaping, and wall painting projects are complete. Mind you, I’ve been working on most of these projects for the past couple of years, and I would have liked to have had them all done by now. But they’re not, and so I must stay to finish them, and set the Bachelor Bear up for many years of low-maintenance, stress-free home life.
My labors of Hercules, as it were. There aren’t twelve of them, and they’re not treacherous, but I can’t have my reward (move to the Farm) until they’re done. And how long, you ask, will these suburban labors take me to finish? I’m hoping only a couple of months. So please bear with me as I blog about retaining walls and condo renovation and re-setting flagstone walkways and other non-farm tasks; bit by bit I swear I’ll get this pile-o-work done and get myself and my dogs out to Kentucky where my beautiful farm and the work of a lifetime awaits.
Hoping to travel out in March, before the pastures really start growing, and in time to till up a garden spot.