We are finally in our new home in Vancouver, Washington. I had to return to Alabama to finalize my retirement plans and arrange to have our belongings moved cross-country. Those two weeks felt like an eternity. Michael got the keys to the house shortly after I left so he spent that time painting and pulling up carpet. He has done a fantastic job. I returned to Washington a few days ago. The furniture has not arrived yet but we have purchased new living room furniture and a dining table that is to be delivered tomorrow. Everything is new to me and it is all quite exciting. I find myself exhausted every night. I think I am still functioning on Central Time or maybe it is just unwinding from the stress of dealing with the moving company. Tonight we had our first "real" dinner - some Southern food (pintos, collards, cornbread) generously donated by our friend Rebecca. Since we have virtually no dishes yet, we can't do much in the kitchen. Today I finally ventured outside to putter. It was a glorious day - 60 degrees and sunny. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer. A guy is coming tomorrow to give me a quote on building a fence around the perimeter of the front yard. Before I have that, I will not plant anything. In the back yard, I contemplated the location of the future vegetable garden. I think my brain is still fogged though and I did not make much progress. New growth is emerging in some of the exciting beds - I have recognized tulips and a few daffodils. There are some perennials that need to be moved but good heavens, I don't even have my shovel! The photo above is of a little atrium that extends outside our kitchen window. Michael bought primroses and has been lovingly caring for them. I did not see many primroses for sale in Alabama but they are everywhere here. They look artificial to me but they do provide winter cheer.
This whole journey seems unreal. We were saying today that it feels like a vacation. A sense of permanence has not set in yet. And the whole retirement thing is totally foreign but I must say I am loving it.
To be continued... Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy