Saturday, July 30, 2011

Retirement Transitions - Forced Feeding

As my husband and I inch closer to the final stage of our transition into retirement (the actual downsize to a Vermont condo,) we’re seeing changes to our usual daily patterns. When I was still working, we ate dinner together perhaps once a month. In the final weeks before the house was listed for sale, Jagdish began spending one weekday at home, helping me prepare for the listing. We would then have dinner together and he’d head off to his store for the evening.

Last week, his car once again developed problems with the starter. (He’s had two put in over the last few months.) Turns out, there’s a massive oil leak that has been dripping onto the starter and finally killed it off. We debated whether to even bother fixing the car, since we’ll be trading it in for a more weather-worthy Subaru once me make the move. Jagdish decided to spring for the fix, but our service center can’t get to the oil job until next week.

This has led to another change in how we schedule the day. I’ve been driving him to work in the morning. I go back for him shortly before the national news comes on at night. We have dinner together as we watch the news. After dinner, he takes my car back to his store so he can drive himself home at midnight. (Or whenever he decides to tear himself away from his muse of choice.)

We both agree that it’s a pleasant change to be spending this time together. It’s also providing a good test run for how our life will be once we’re in Vermont. I see it as “forced feeding.” Right now, we have no choice about eating together twice a day. Soon that will become three times a day.

When the novelty wears off, will we both be looking for excuses to run errands and book meetings at meal times? More likely, we’ll be wearing matching his-and-hers aprons and experimenting with exotic cuisine in our condo’s kitchen. For two people who never cook, we have a considerable number of cookbooks. Their spines have never been cracked, but that will change.

I can see it now: I’ll specialize in recipes that include wine; he’ll do the ones that incorporate Indian spices. We’ll force feed our test concoctions to one another before we inflict them upon our guests.

Consider yourself warned, if you’re one of those planning to visit us. If you’re expecting to use gluten intolerance as an excuse to pass up one of our specialties, forget it. We’ll have that covered, too.

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