Saturday, November 26, 2011

Retirement Reflections — Giving Thanks, 2011 Edition

Jagdish and I have just come back from our Thanksgiving pilgrimage to family in Vermont. It seems appropriate for this week’s post to reflect on things for which I’m thankful in 2011. I’m grateful for:

·      The warm memory of dear friends who are no longer with us, and for the inspiration they have given me and continue to give me.
·      Another Thanksgiving with the whole family together—that’s the whole family based in the continental 48. Rick didn’t travel East from Hawaii.
·      The gas discount program at our RI supermarket. I saved 70¢ a gallon on my last fill-up. That’s a big help for round trips to Vermont, where—my sister tells me—their regional market has an even more lucrative gas discount program. (Yet another reason to retire there.)
·      Strategically placed rest areas on the Interstates. Even better, “the blade” that James Dyson invented to dry your hands extra fast. If only more rest areas had them. By the way, his latest invention is a heater—the Hot—that can’t burn you. It’s really cool looking and it uses ceramic stones. The Hot is a tad pricey, so don’t expect them to replace the boxy heaters in those rest stops any time soon.
·      An unusually warm November and duvets, because our new gas boiler was backordered and I don’t want to have any more oil delivered while I’m waiting for the installation and changeover.
·      Facebook’s birthday reminder feature that jiggles me so I can easily send greetings to friends and family on their special day. And the notes of appreciation that they email back, making it well worth the time invested.
·      The life affirming snores and snorts emanating from the other side of the bed. (No noise is bad news… Or at least it could be.)
·      Effective and comfortable earplugs to muffle those snores and snorts—especially when we’re traveling and I can’t just mosey across the hall to sleep in our guest room.
·      Extra large boxes of tissues in cold and allergy season (aka snorting season). And even better — coupons and store promotions.
·      A handsome man in an orange fur suit, who is always happy when his mother returns home from a trip, even if she’s been away just two days. And his sister, even though she acts like she never noticed her mother was gone.

I am, of course, grateful for so much more. But this list of ten seems like a good one to share today. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, if you’re living someplace where it’s celebrated. If not, you can still join me in being grateful for the blessings in your own life this year.

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