Tag Archives: retirement plans

A Chance Encounter

20 Nov

In the months before our 2013 retirement to Mexico, I met a man who got on my commuter bus in Austin, Texas. He was over six feet tall, African American with striking white hair. Ben greeted the bus driver by name and many of the passengers. My job had just changed locations and this was a new route for me. Little did I know what an interesting fellow he was with escape plans similar to our own. A lovely friendship ensued.

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Stock photo from the Cap Metro website.

I looked forward to our daily chats on the ride home from our respective government jobs. He was a number cruncher for the State Insurance Commission and I worked for the Department of State Health Services.

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The roof going on our house.

Ben retired a few months before I did and set off for Peru. He had done his homework and found a furnished room that would serve as home-base for his many travels. Lisa and I got busy with our own adventures and communication all but ceased.

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One of the many pictures we received from Ben.

Last year I received news and photos from his epic around-the-world-trip. May to October 2015. Lima, Peru to Miami, New York, Helsinki, St.Petersberg, Moscow, Japan, Beijing, Houston, Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York, Miami and back to Lima. Whew! We were up to our eyeballs building our dream home, and a bit jealous of his freedom.

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My friend Ben with a native fisherman on a Japanese island.

This week I was very pleased to receive an email from Ben asking how we were and how life was treating us. What a pleasant surprise! After a year in Peru, he is leaving soon for East Africa and a forty-county tour that, as he put it, “may take the rest of my life to complete”.

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What an amazing man. I am so grateful for our chance meeting three years ago. Hopefully his world travels will bring him to Mexico. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall for that visit?!

DOS TORTAS

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Now Is As Good A Time As Any

24 Apr

Did you ever have a plan, idea or project that you put off until the time was right? I had LOTS of them. Retiring and moving to Mexico was going to give me the opportunity to raise from the dead all the things I loved to do but didn’t have time for in the crazy work-life I lived in Austin, Texas. One of them was sewing.

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I am not particularly good at sewing. I haven’t owned or touched a machine in years. But I grew up in an era where ‘Home Ec’ was a requirement in high school, for girls that is. Along with typing, it was the most practical course I ever took.

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Pretty Baby, a tap routine.

My mom sewed because I danced. Three year-old’s dance classes had recitals and recitals required costumes. Moms made them, at least mine did. There were sequins, satin, fringe and marabou feather trim. She spent hours at the sewing machine.

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Little Red Monkey costume edged in marabou that itched like hell.

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Notice the Shirley Temple curls. My mother tried so hard.

There was also the requisite apron I made in Girl Scouts. Not until high school did I start making simple shorts and dresses, mostly to save money. I learned on my mother’s Singer and later bought a Kenmore that I used to make clothes for my kids. By the time sewing began its comeback in the new millennium, I was up-to-my-eyeballs in family and job. Sewing was added to the back burner for “someday when I retire”.

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Girl Scout Brownie Salute

While prepping for the move to Bacalar Mexico, I bought a great little portable machine to enhance my retirement life. It has lots of bells and whistles and is light as a feather. I took it out of the box for the first time this week. Time to take this baby for a spin! It’s been in storage along with the rest of my life for three years. What is on YOUR back burner? DOS TORTAS

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My new Brother portable.

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