We apologize for the weeks of quiet on the blog-front but this muted blog time should not be confused for behind-the-scenes inaction. Quite to the contrary since there are times when the lists, the chores and the brain-power that it takes to keep all of the details, large and small, from overwhelming us have been considerable. Sometimes it feels like we are working on an ice sculpture, trying to carve away little tiny (and some larger) pieces in a way that is fluid, logical and intelligent while racing toward the time when the ice will melt, leaving us to try to remember if we did something or already or whether it remains on the “to do” list. (This is a problem with having lists on too many devices).
The past weeks have been active, mostly orineted toward gear and people. The people part we have described before; this is our time to make sure that spend as much time as we can with the people who we hold dear. For us, this has changed our social pace, which is generally fairly languid, into a flow that is more outward-focused and scheduled. At other points in our lives, this may have left too little “down time,” as both Roque and I are people who like the time to recharge our batteries in a somewhat more solitary way but with the recognition that the clock is ticking down toward our swiftly-approaching date of departure, we have been spending more time with friends and family. Between the social time with others, the shopping and organizing time, there hasn’t been as much time for writing. And sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be that much important stuff to write about or exciting photos or discoveries to share. We know that will all change pretty soon.
We are now approaching our 45-ish final work days before retirement – the last day of work, which we thought we might never see – is October 28 with an official retirement date of November 1. Our fabulous friends are planning a send-off in early November and our family is planning a Thanksgiving event that will celebrate the holiday and provide a bon voyage for us at the same time. Our piles of gear are growing and our Amazon-wish list (my handy way to keep our running list of things still to be acquired) are slowly shrinking. (Goal Zero and cables? Check. Microfiber towels? Still need. Delorme Satellite messenger? Check. 3 emergency road triangles (needed for entry into several countries)? Still on list. You get the idea.)
Many of our thoughts are on “last times” such as “this is the last August that we will spend in DC” and “this is the last birthday celebration that we will have in this house” and things that are not rueful as much as they are intended to have us focus on the moment and celebrate the richness of our lives here. And as we continue the planning for crossing off many places in this country from our bucket list, we also keep a smaller list of things that we want to still experience in DC such as certain restaurants (Rose’s Luxury and Little Serow) and a visit to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open on September 24.
My mood is mostly excited with a generous sprinkling of apprehension mixed in. We are on track in all major ways with our planning and completing the goals we established before we left. We have plenty of time, once work is completed, to pack up the house and dispose of our household. We have programmed our finances, have scheduled donations of furniture and have allowed for paperwork to be completed on time so all is positive. The worry, if it can be called that, is simply of the unknown ahead. Can we slow down the pace and how long will that take? Will be have sufficient creature comforts along the way to permit months of camping not to get the best of us? Will we be able to take advantage of moving with the seasons so that our camping weather will be kinder to us than this summer has been to us in DC? How will we have our prescriptions renewed without flying home to see our doctors? Will we have enough energy stored in our battery to run our electrical needs when boondocked? Will we feel too scheduled or too unscheduled?
I’m big on asking these kinds of questions; my husband, who is always the voice of calm and reason, calms the nerves by hearkening back to an experience that lends insight into how we will behave in the future, or cautions me against worrying about things that I cannot control (yup, still working on that one). The balance between us always gives us both the needed “let’s see how it unfolds” attitude applied against the list-making and the borderline overthinking that usually yields awesome results. My head knows this and my heart will follow. I just need more practice. As usual.