It’s Friday afternoon. After two days of rain the skies have cleared and the sun is shining. Folks around here tell me this is unusual weather for Leavenworth at this time of year. The highs the past couple of days have been in the 60s. But I am still in awe of the beauty of the clouds enveloping the mountaintops, even though they are still snow-capped. This was the sky yesterday evening.
The other day we were out in Cashmere as my friend had to pay his car insurance. The office was sandwiched between a liquor store and a marijuana outlet. Here’s the sign on the highway advertising this little strip mall. An interesting combination.
The Pioneer Museum in Cashmere was especially an interesting place to be last week. The children in the local elementary school and their teachers wore period clothing and had classes in the school house, complete with quill pins. At recess they jumped rope, played with hoops or enjoyed games of checkers. Apples were the common snack.
Waterville is a quaint town about an hour away from Leavenworth. This old barn with its advertising caught my eye.
We drove up in the hills to a home in Monitor. How is this for a view?
The International Accordion Festival happens this weekend in Leavenworth. Yesterday some musicians gave us a preview at the gazebo.
Tomorrow I’m off to the Upper Valley Museum here to attend a seminar and concert featuring accordionists. And tomorrow evening, in the spirit of the accordion festival,……………oh, I’ll save that for another blog post.
When I was younger, I always envisioned retirement as a time when my husband and I would kick back and relax after years of working and raising children. We would enjoy leisurely hours together and do things we’d never had time to do before.
Part of this has come true for me. My life is a lot less stressful and I am certainly involved in activities I’ve never participated in before. But instead I’m divorced and am doing these things on my own.
Did I say on my own? Not really. I have developed friendships and relationships with people I would have never met had I still been married. On a whim two years ago I moved to Mazatlan from Guadalajara, where I anticipated teaching full-time as well. And that’s when the retirement began. Teaching in schools became history and a few private students became the norm.
Of course this has led to my having more time to pursue my writing. As well as my blog posts, journals, travel writing and the book I’m currently working on, I’ve submitted articles and stories to books published by other authors. I belong to online writers’ groups and have just discovered a group right here in Washington where I am spending the summer.
Being a volunteer has always been an important part of my life. When my children were growing up, I volunteered in a variety of organizations. Now I have become quite active at the Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. When I was here last year, I enjoyed helping out with Light The Night. My focus right now is on Vacation Bible School to be held next month.
This year I discovered the Leavenworth Senior Center. I’ve made new friends and attend exercise classes, play bridge and have lunch with them regularly. There are other activities that I just finding out about, and I am looking forward to participating in them as well.
I also joined a women’s bible study group in the nearby town of Cashmere. We’ve just begun reading a book by Randy Alcorn entitled Heaven. Thought provoking questions accompany this book in the form of a workbook.
A friend of mine is a contractor and the other day I painted a basement floor in a house he is renovating in Waterville. Although I was able to snag a few photos, I’m interested in going back to this small town to check out the antique and thrift shops.
Another favorite pastime is wandering around Wenatchee. The Valley Mall in East Wenatchee is small but indoors, and has Bath And Body as well as Ross. The outdoor North Valley Mall has Old Navy, J C Penney and several other stores. There are also restaurants in abundance in Wenatchee, as well as The Igloo for an ice cold Mack n Jack.
My favorite town is nearby Cashmere. This quaint place is home of Spirit of America, a tribute to 9/11. Cute little shops, a candy factory, a pioneer museum, a library and a great Mexican restaurant are found here. And if you’ve read my past blog posts, you know that my favorite tree is here as well.
I walk around Leavenworth, exploring and taking photos. This quaint Bavarian town attracts hoards of tourists, especially on weekends and during festivals. Acres of orchards are found in this area, and the cherries are just beginning to color the trees. Rafting, tubing, jet skis and kayaks are also popular around here. I have to pinch myself sometimes to believe that I actually live in this paradise several months of the year.
I lead an active and fulfilling life here in Leavenworth. I am truly blessed with the friends I have made here and the time that we are able to spend together.
Watch for Retirement Part 2 when I return to Mazatlan for the winter.
I left Mazatlan on April 29th and it seems like yesterday. May was a blur of traveling and suitcases until I arrived in Leavenworth on May 16th. Then it was finally time to actually unpack a suitcase and settle down for more than 3 or 4 days in one place.
I’m still in awe of the beauty of the mountains and the rivers and streams around here. Spring is here. The pungent aroma of budding lilacs fills the air along with the scent of pine from the towering evergreens. I went to visit my tree in Cashmere the other day and it is completely green with no evidence of the crimson glory displayed last fall.
A friend and I were sipping Mack n Jacks at Igloo in Wenatchee the other day when I remarked that I felt like I was at home, as though I hadn’t been away for six months. Everything was so familiar and very little had changed. It’s comfortable and relaxing and it’s good to be back.
I haven’t even pulled out my laptop all week. I’ve been out and about and too busy to write. I’m back volunteering at the church again and it’s so nice to be back with my church family. Vacation Bible School is fast approaching next month, and as a co-director I am only too aware of all the planning and organizing that needs to be done this month.
I also joined the Leavenworth Senior Center. I’ve met some lovely people and enjoyed lunch and an afternoon of bridge the other day. Next week I start an exercise program and I plan on attending some of the daily lunches at the center. There are other activities offered as well including a monthly trip to a casino.
I took Link Transit into Wenatchee and rode around on the trolleys to the various shopping areas. And I got an ID card as I’m at that wonderful age where public transit is now half price for me.
I visited Spirit of America in Cashmere. This tribute to 9/11 is a must for any traveler.
I’ve also joined a bible study group in Cashmere and am only too delighted to have yet another excuse to visit my favorite town in Washington.
The public library system in this state is amazing and I have been at both the Leavenworth and the Cashmere branches this week. I have lots of reading material to catch up on as John Grisham and Danielle Steel are difficult to find in English in Mexico.
Also on the agenda this past week was a walk in Walla Walla Point Park in Wenatchee. The path is alongside the river, peaceful and tranquil. A few people were in the water on rafts or in boats as it was quite a warm day.