One of the things I did prior to retirement was to really put some thought into what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Honestly, I didn't think I'd last more than 6-9 months without re-entering the world of work. I was so concerned about being bored and running out of things to occupy my mind and my hands that I would have bet serious money that I'd be running back to the work world. However, in an attempt to convince myself that there was going to be more to the second half of my life than working, I compiled a list, (yes, mostly in my mind) of the things I wanted to do. One of the first things I thought I'd do, (and Haime said he'd think about doing...hoping it would be one of the things I'd forget), was to move to Alaska for a year. Haime and I have vacationed in Alaska, (OK, we took a cruise to Alaska, but that's sort of the same thing...right? OK, or not). Anyway, my plan was to move to some cruise ship port, get a job in a retail store or, better, a bar/pub/restaurant, and meet and visit with people from all over the world. Then, since I've spent most of my life in Texas with pretty comfortable winters, I thought it would be interesting to experience some serious cold. After all, isn't life all about the experiences we have and how we manage them?
I've changed my mind. Let me be clear...a year in Alaska is no longer on the list. It has not been forgotten, nor has it been accomplished. The last couple of weeks here in south-central Texas have been cold enough (too cold) for me. For those of you not lucky enough to live in our little neck of the world, let me tell you about winter in Texas. We often wear shorts at Christmas. We usually have about 5-10 nights with freezing temps but they are usually spread between January and February and they are very seldom on consecutive days. We are likely to have a couple of days each week with highs near 70 and even when we have several consecutive days of "cold" weather, they just don't usually last very long. Haime and I leave our heater at about 65-68 degrees (F) and are normally comfy. We might pull on a sweater or snuggle with a blanket but we don't normally feel uncomfortable. This year however, perhaps because of damp air accompanying the cold temps, we are both adding more layers and finding excuses to stay indoors. I'm not good at staying indoors, I get terrible bouts of "cabin fever." Television is generally not worth watching, in my humble opinion, and I can only sit and watch movies for limited amounts of time. While I have an extensive home library, I just can't make myself sit and read all the time. I've fallen off the diet wagon more than I want to and am determined to get back on, (which shouldn't be too hard right now because I've already devoured all of the non-diet food in the house!).
No, cold weather is NOT my friend so a year in Alaska is definitely off the list. When I announced this to Haime...he just smiled. I'm off to add a pair of sweats over my jeans.