Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Retirement Transitions - A Taste of Together

Today was an unusual day, even as retirement goes. I will be having an open house tomorrow morning for the realtors and for my neighbors. Although the physical therapy has reduced my neck and arm pain considerably, I’m still limited with regard to how much physical work I can do.

My husband has been taking one day a week away from his store to help with things that need to be done to prepare for our eventual move. He stayed home today to help me clean the house. While he vacuumed the first floor, I vacuumed the second, so we weren’t even on the same floor of the house for most of the morning.

When the heavy cleaning was done, we went out for a relaxed lunch. After lunch we went grocery shopping together, since I shouldn’t be lifting heavy things like jugs of litter. Our shopping adventure was a little bit of “in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king.”

Jagdish’s arthritis makes it difficult for him to walk fast, so he rolled the cart along slowly, cane in hand. Walking is the one thing I can do pain free, so I moved along quickly. But if the item we needed was high up or heavy, I had to wait for him to catch up and put it in the cart.

He had planned to help with the lighter cleaning when we got home from shopping, but a staffing SNAFU in his store required him to go back there as soon as we had unloaded the car. As I went about the dusting and tidying up, I reflected back on the day we had together.

It was a day of mundane chores--nothing worth writing about really. But there was something oddly pleasant about just having him in the house with me, even on a different floor, as we went about our tasks. The chance to talk about nothing in particular over lunch was a special treat.

For most of our twenty plus years of marriage we’ve both been workaholics. For the past six years or so, we were lucky if we ate dinner together once a week.

Since we’ll be downsizing to Vermont, at least four hours away from his store, we’ll be spending a lot more time together. It’s almost as though we’ll have a new start to our marriage. If today was a taste of how those days will be spent, I think we’re both going to like retirement.

Now, if we can just find someone to buy this house...

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