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.