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.
Monday dawned clear and sunny and I decided to venture out on my own to Wenatchee. I have been there several times by car with a friend, but today was a solo trip. A five minute walk away is the highway where I boarded a Link Transit bus. What a pleasure! Air conditioned, up holstered seats, movable floor on entry——-a far cry from the buses in Mexico with the graffiti, gaping holes in the floor, smashed windows and uncomfortable metal seats. I am quite impressed with Link Transit. Service is reliable and regular, and there are even racks on the front of the buses for bicycles. A day pass entitled me to unlimited rides for the small fee of $5 and covered the intercity route as well as all the Wenatchee routes.
Our first stop was Peshastin, a tiny town close to Leavenworth. This was the delightful view from the bridge.
Minutes later we were back on the highway until we came to this stop.
Our next stop was Cashmere, and I know I need to go back and do a post on this quaint town. Another breathtaking view of the river and the hills as we traversed the bridge into town.
We then arrived in Wenatchee and I got off at Columbia Station. Most buses head to this area making commuting both enjoyable as well as efficient.
I then took a free trolley to East Wenatchee Valley Mall.
I enjoyed being back in an American mall, albeit a small one. Macy’s, Ross Dress For Less, Marshalls, Bed Bath and Beyond, Bath and Body Works as well as several other smaller stores are found here.
A couple of hours later I was back on the trolley headed for Columbia Station. I then took a bus to the Walmart Super Center. This has become one of my favorite stores here. It is huge and has absolutely everything, as well as a fabulous grocery section with amazing produce.
On the bus once again returning to Columbia Station where I then boarded a bus back to Leavenworth. Today was merely a preliminary scoping of the area. I intend to go back soon to explore the downtown area including the courthouse, and to delve into the history of Wenatchee.