....to paraphrase the Sesame Street Song!
Life is an adventure, even (or especially) in retirement! These days, as I remain in partial limbo, I am actually relishing the changes and the uncertainty. Granted, being in temporary digs without my stuff has it's downsides (especially for someone whose hobbies and interests require access to that stuff). Nevertheless, while life is different, it is never worse and often better and turning out to be a positive experience. Thoughts of the day, in no particular order:
What does a frugal retirement blogger do when her URL is Frugal Texas Gal and she moves to Colorado. Is the domain Frugal Colorado Gal available? If so does that work for me? What about just Living Richly In Retirement? It's a work in progress, folks.
It's COLD! It's been snowing! On the other hand it's also been colder than usual in Texas and much of Arizona and this seems to be the year for a cold spring. On the plus side, when it's not snowing it is sunny (and often feels warmer being closer to the sun). Suffice it to say my car is NOT all wheel drive, and will need replacing my next winter. I'm not one much for being housebound because of the snow. That said I still expect the three months of next winter to be spent elsewhere or in hibernation!
I may be putting my gulf coast vacation a bit further afield. I spent part of today looking at train vacations. Be it by train or by road trip, I'm looking at a couple cross country trips from Denver to the California shores. Driving through Salt lake to the San Francisco area is looking quite good. As far as beaches, I plan to hit the Texas shores this summer and if I get a chance, I'll had further along the coast. the fact that I'll still be traveling south to see family leaves me many travel on the way opportunities.
Denver has much more visual natural beauty than Dallas. While much of Texas is beautiful, the immediate Dallas area is VERY flat with little in terms of geography to recommend it. Seeing the mountains every day is kind of awing. I may get used to this, but I doubt it.
Moving has opened up a whole area of recreation and day travel. Before, I was traveling to the city to see family. While we might take a single day trip, or go to a museum, because I was here such a short time, exploration was really not on the map. Yesterday, there was an add for Cheyenne Frontier days in July, and I thought to myself " Let's add that to the calendar". In addition to long (two week) travel, I now see lots of short trips and hops in my future.....from Wyoming in the north to Mexico in the south. Who knows how far east and west. I've also opened a whole geographical area (in addition to the ones I already had) for craft fairs and book sales-never mind that many of them are in cool mountain towns and art colonies.
In terms of day to day retirement lifestyle, today was like a normal retirement Monday (when I am home and not traveling). I got up and took care of the pups, grabbed a beverage and returned to bed with my laptop and notebook. This has been my routine for most Mondays during my retirement. Monday is my "organizational day" , or at least as much as I bother to organize. It's the day I look at what I want to do this week. It's also the day I spend extra time online as needed doing research, or just exploring new sites and blogs. I generally sketch in bed and get up at noon and work on my day. Remember, I am often up until two or three. In the winter, I may spend more than one morning at home this way. In the heat of the Texas summer, my back to bed routine gets set aside as I garden and swim early in the day. In the Colorado weather, there may be more snuggle mornings.
Unfortunately due to the storm, I've not had much chance to explore much of my new retirement home or lifestyle (reference my car situation above). I do have a quilt guild meeting coming up, and as I mentioned earlier, I plan to visit a church each week. I was sad to miss church on Palm Sunday, but icy roads let me to believe that good sense needed to rule. As part of my organizational day today, I've looked up yarn stores and knitting classes. I've joined a meeting group or so. With some trepidation I've joined a meet up group called the Crazy Old Bat's meetup and lunch society. Who can resist books and food! I've also looked at a woman's travel group and a dining out group as well.
While that post on the financial side of relocation is coming (in all it's glory), there are of course immediate costs in moving (truck rental and so on). One of those costs would seem to be a new camera. Mine is missing and I can no longer blog or quilt or travel without photos. These things happen, unfortunately.
Finally, in keeping with the frugal retiree point of view, I would simply observe this: true costs of living comparisons involve a host of things. Don't get me wrong, there are some areas of the country that are extremely expensive. But in many areas, expense is relative and things average out. In Washington, home costs were unbelievable-but we could walk to everything, groceries were competitive, and the free entertainment and recreation in DC would take a day to list.
While I'll expand more on specifics, my current move is a perfect example of the above. Housing is more expensive than Dallas and rents are almost as high. Texas does not have an income tax. On the other hand, Dallas has all toll roads, Denver has none. Utilities are cheaper in Denver. Groceries are the same or lower.................the bottom line is that you have to compare ALL costs in a cost of living comparison. I'll be sharing all this in future blogs, along with my adventures.
As always, I'm happy to hear what reader's think-and what they've experienced in the moving/downsizing area of their lives.