It is very hard to believe that it is today is day 92 of retirement. Looking back on the last 3 months I have only one word. AMAZING!!!!!. A person spends a large portion of their adult life in a career or series of careers. As time goes by they eventually start thinking about retirement. Then the day arrives and they are faced with a new reality. For myself, retirement or as I call it re-firement has been better than anything I could have ever imagined. It truly is a gift and a huge blessing.
One of the things that I really wanted to accomplish in the early stages of retirement was to be more focused on Bible reading and prayer. These 2 areas reduced considerably in my life in the last few years. As much as I loved work it also was exhausting, and many nights when finishing work I would just eat dinner watch TV and go to bed. Although far from perfect I now have started a routine to read the Bible and pray every morning before I do anything else. I have started a prayer journal and in it are many names and many needs. Yesterday while in Vancouver for a meeting a lady at the airport saw me reading the journal, then asked what it was. After I told her she asked me to write her name in it with her need. Every morning I also thank the Lord for the blessing of retirement and I will never take for granted the fact that I was fortunate enough to take early retirement. What a gift.
I was absent from the BLOG for much of January as I had a very special trip for 2 weeks of the month. I was able to go with my mom and step dad (also known as DAD) to Palm Springs California for 2 weeks. Roxanne was able to join us for one of those weeks. The background to this story is that my parents would visit California for several months during the winter for the majority of the last 30 years. They stopped going 3 years ago as the driving to California and everything associated with it were getting more difficult.
Roxanne and I had 2 days in Palm Springs last winter and when we got home my mom said they would sure like to go again. That got all the wheels spinning in my mind. How could we get it to work?. Without telling my parents I was planning to retire I started discussing with them that I would arrange for a vacation and arrange the travel down by airplane and that I would drive them around for the 2 weeks.
January 8th arrived and we flew to Palm Springs. Although it rained for 4 days I think we had a great trip. I know I had a great trip. I trust that they would say the same. They were able to see many of the “friends” that they had met over previous years. They appreciated renewing friendships with people from all over North America. We ate at many of their favorite restaurants, saw the sites and had many laughs. Having Roxanne with us for a week was also a big blessing as I sure missed her the days that we were apart. One of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced in life was going to the Palm Springs airport and watching Roxanne walk into the arrivals area. I now know why so many people cry at airports. That image of Roxanne will be forever stored in my memory.
My parents stayed at the same condo for a number of years and rented from an amazing owner. Right off the balcony was a tree that my mom loved very much. It provided shade in the afternoon and lots of birds took shelter in the tree. It was great to look at. The last full day we were in Palm Springs the wind was blowing very hard. It was just before we went for lunch that the tree snapped in the wind with a large portion of it ending up on the balcony. My parents saw it snap, and I had just come off the balcony with some laundry, so the timing was perfect. It was interesting to have the tree break on the last day because my parents don’t know if they will ever get back to California. This may have been their last trip.
I will always cherish those 2 weeks with my parents and I would do it over again with out any hesitation. It was a special time and I would recommend quality time spent with family to everyone. We never know how much time we are given so to spend it with family with no distractions is such a blessing.
I even came up with a possible “job opportunity” while looking up at the sky while at the pool one afternoon. I realized that more and more snow birds want their own cars with them rather than renting but they are no longer capable of driving that distance or don’t want to. The thought that came to me was offer a service to drive cars to Arizona or California for “snowbirds”. I talked to my good friend “Mr. M” today and he thought that it was a great idea. So I am going to explore this a little more but be assured that the cost will be reasonable. Maybe I can even expand it to looking after their homes in Edmonton while they are away for the winter. So in the interim if any of you reading the BLOG know of people who may still want this service this winter LET ME KNOW.
When I arrived back in Edmonton Roxanne and I were able to host the booth for International Messengers at the “Break Forth Conference”. What a powerful 3 days, and in the evening we were able to attend sessions and hear from Bob Goff, Lisa Bevere, and listen to the music of Jesus Culture. We met many amazing people and it was great to spend 3 days in that atmosphere.
Wednesday and Thursday of this week I was even able to go to Vancouver for an International Messengers Board meeting. It was great to see everyone and discuss our organization. I also had the most amazing view of Mt. Baker from the plane. It reminded me of the majesty of God.
To end the writing for today it is time to give a “Closet Update”. I will start off my saying how much fun this has been. Turning an “RBC home office” into a “closet for Roxanne”. Since the last update the painting has been completed and the 6 frames are up. Hopefully this weekend Roxanne and I will be able to insert many of the inner pieces. It is great that this project is in the home stretch as this is the first thing that I wanted to accomplish when I retired.
Wishing everyone an amazing weekend. For the football fans remember to cheer for the Rams. I have been a Rams fan since I was a little kid so any support is greatly appreciated. Much of North America is cold, so keep warm. Over the next few days we are supposed to have up to a foot of snow in Edmonton so that will be fun as well. Blessings to everyone.