Friday, June 27, 2008

Congratulations Jerry

It is hard to sob and take photos at the same time, but I managed to get a few brilliant shots of Allie at the moving up ceremony. They all looked beautiful, so grown up and thrilled with their achievements. As it should be.
Today is Jerry's official retirement date. Waahooo! He is a true renaissance man, who deserves a wonderful retirement. It is a special person who works in law enforcement, and he is the best of the best. It is going to be a big change for him - for all of us. I hope those bears know what they are in for - It could get ugly.
Congratulations Jerry. You earned it. I'd raise a glass to you, but let's not go there.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pomp and Circumstance

Today our baby graduates Middle School. I am so proud of all our children, and Allison is now stepping into her spotlight. She is the youngest of our family, and the nostalgia of all of the big moments is what I am remembering today. She is the best of all of us. We are all so proud, because we all had a influence on her. When you say it takes a village to raise a child, Allison comes to my mind. Her brothers and sisters are old enough to have all had opinions - from naming her to discipline. Sometimes unasked for, others gratefully considered. We all watched Allison grow from one of the world's most beautiful babies to such a lovely young lady. The influence of her sister and cousins and family and friends is remarkable. They take my breath away. Today is hers. Congratulations and God Bless to all the graduates. To my graduate, thank you for being you. Go get 'em sweetie pie.
We are hitting the road in the next few days. Keep in touch. We will too!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Girls Night Out - The Endless Goodbye

As our family and friends will attest, we have been leaving forever. (good bye already! they must be thinking) Last night was a perfect storm of entertainment. Good friends, good food, good drinks and good times. I was completely happy to share an evening with my best friends, and so fortunate that they all could make it. Although I have a touch of the irish flu today (I hate when that happens), it was totally worth it. Tina gets the award for responsible behavior, as she saw me to my door. THE DOOR! What a gal.
As I mentioned, we've been saying our good byes for months now. Once a date had been arrived at for retirement, all the details began to take up lots of our time. Jerry has been a trooper about seeing that our new address is provided to those who need it (those bills just keep coming, no matter where you are-and they do like to know where you are). He's the detail guy. But the closer it gets to actual moving day, the more free time we have to ponder the move itself. It will be a big adjustment for us to be much more isolated then we have ever been. We're counting on the fact that we genuinely enjoy each others company to be a big help when homesickness kicks in. And it will. As I looked around the table last night at the women who have been my friends and support for 20 plus years, I realised how much I will miss them in my day-to-day life. They are irreplaceable. They are my sisters, and I am theirs. They have all raised the bar on friendship.
As we approach the three-day countdown to liftoff, I am suddenly acutely aware of how well I have chosen my friends, and so grateful that they have chosen me. I will follow the blog advice and not get all sappy. However, it must be said. There are no better friends than mine. What a wonderful gift to take away with us. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Seed

I remember back to one of our first vacations in Schroon Lake, and I can recall thinking "there's got to be a way to get this kind of peace in my life". The seed was planted as we both fell in love with the Adirondacks. We knew then that we would retire to the country somehow. After the children had all graduated and moved on. In the meantime we would search for a property that we could afford and enjoy our vacations and weekends. It was a great plan. We had four years of fun, fun, fun. The property we purchased in Caroga Lake was the epitomy of "handyman special". The value was in it's natural environment. Not in the house. It was more of a glorified tent. But we knew we could fix it up over time, and started doing just that.
As the plan gelled, we became more and more interested in defining our lifestyle when we retired. We researched and visited different properties to try and clarify our goals. We wanted to continue working after retirement, but on our terms. We visited an Alpaca Farm in Dolgeville - Alpacas of Raindance Pond. Owners Ulla and Richard became our friends and gracious hosts for numerous visits. We participated in workshops and hands on shearing clinics to gain experience. I learned how to spin the Alpaca fiber into yarn (in Brooklyn New York) and a passion was born.
While I was learning about spinning and fiber, Jerry was becoming quite literate in the life of bees. His interest took him to the Glynwood Farm in Cold Spring, New York, where he learned how to become a beekeeper. His first three hives were occupied in August of 2007. Another dream fulfilled.
On February 12, 2007 I experienced a heart attack. I have two cardiac stents in place, and a powerful understanding of gratitude. Sometimes God taps you on the shoulder and gives that "last dance" call. I choose to listen. With the help of Jerry, I immediately quit smoking (duh.) and set out to change my lifestyle. Our camp upstate became the sanctuary and we were clearly happiest when we were there. When our youngest daughter expressed the desire to make it our full-time home, that was all we needed to hear. The dream grew wings.
After much planning, negotiating and some true leaps of faith, we are now ready to take on the future. Whatever it brings.
"Today is the tomorrow you dreamt about yesterday."

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Beginnings

Today is the day I began journaling the journey. Not a huge task to be sure, especially for one who is unemployed at the moment. By choice, until the bank balance dictates otherwise. We are still on Long Island, counting down to Saturday and the first one way trip to Caroga Lake. We have six days left, and all of a sudden it is not enough time to say good bye. Silly, we could be back in two weeks for visitation drop offs, but it will be different. When we leave Long Island, we will be going home. Home is definitely where you hang your heart, but my heart is all over the place. Roslyn, West Hempstead, Lindenhurst, Holbrook and Port Washington. Not to mention so many others. So, I guess the beauty of aging is that geography is easier to learn, because you know the way to so many places. Because you want to. Love to all, Jen