September 05, 2018

I'm Back and We're DONE!

Please enjoy these photos of various sunrises and sunsets – they’re a good fit for today’s post about happy endings and new beginnings!

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!  I am just so giddy with excitement that I can’t contain myself!  The MAJOR construction project at our rental property is done, done, DONE!  And we are happy, happy, HAPPY!

Bay Furnace Campground ~ Lake Superior

Alan planned the project over the winter of 2014-2015 and started it in the spring of 2015.  This project has taken up FOUR of our summers (well, just half the summer last year since we managed to squeeze in National Parks Trip #3), and was just concluded with the spreading of topsoil and grass seed, the icing on the cake, so to speak.  It was most definitely a worthwhile project and we’re very fortunate that Alan is mechanically inclined and physically able to do this type of work.  Quite impressive for someone who made a living as a system analyst, don’t you think?  What a guy!  Yay, Alan!

Northampton Beach Campground ~ Great Lake Sacandaga

Because I retired in the spring of 2016, I haven’t really had a summer to myself yet, since I’ve been splitting my time between running the household at home and working with Alan on the construction project.  (The three hour trip between our home and the rental property does not make for an easy commute and we lived in our older Jayco travel trailer on site when working on the project.)  This was not our first time working together on a major project – we built our home back in the early 80’s and survived – but there is a bit of a disconnect between us when it comes to something like this.  My native language is finance.  Numbers make sense to me.  But, when Alan talks construction, all I hear is, “Blah, blah, blah.”  Why is that?  I mean, seriously, how can someone be intelligent and competent in one area and almost completely clueless in another?  I’m sure it has something to do with how my brain works.  Or doesn’t.  In any event, I can carry supplies, pound nails and lay water lines with the best of them, so I do feel like my contribution to this project was substantial, even though I certainly wasn’t the brains behind the operation.  The only times we ran into trouble seemed to be when I didn’t take direction well (Alan says that happens a lot but I, of course, disagree) or when he would assign a #1 priority to four things at once (he says that doesn’t happen, but I will swear on a stack of bibles that it does – frequently).  Since we’ve already survived the building of a house together and almost 40 years of marriage, it really didn’t come as a surprise to us that we were able to work side by side to get this project done.  Truth be told, Alan did at least 80% of the work and he deserves a HUGE round of applause for both his project planning abilities and his construction skills!  While there are always smaller projects to be done, this was, by far, the most ambitious task we intended to take on for this property and we’re both delighted to see it in our rearview mirror.

Harris Beach State Park ~ Oregon Coast

So, now that Alan and I are back to real life, I’m eagerly looking forward to finding out what retirement is REALLY like!  Since our wanderlust was severely impacted by this project, one of the first items on my list will be to do some planning and hit the road with our new travel trailer.  As of now, the darn thing is simply the World’s Most Expensive Popcorn Maker!  We haven’t camped since last fall so, for nearly a year, the only time we’ve used it is when we’ve run up to pop some popcorn.  (No, we don’t have a microwave in the house and yes, I know that’s weird.)  In addition to getting back to camping, I’d like to fit in more hiking, biking and kayaking – activities which have suffered greatly over the past few summers.  And, I’d love to be able to publish a blog post more often than once a week, plus tackle the pile of magazines that has been building for months, and even fit in a little front porch sitting to enjoy our view of the mountains.  Our outdoor landscaping desperately requires an overhaul, we have a LOT of firewood to split, the living room needs painting, the downstairs bathroom is long overdue for a refresh and we’ve got to do something about the kitchen.  (Are you listening, honey?)  There is plenty to do and much to look forward to but, most importantly, now we’ll have the chance to spend more time with our family and friends.  All I can say is bring it on!  I am SO ready!

Cadillac Mountain ~ Acadia National Park

I truly hope you’ve all had an enjoyable summer and have some fun-filled adventures planned for the fall.  I LOVE the fall with its warm days and cool nights, and will be very enthusiastically soaking up the autumn colors here in the mountains of the northeast.  Here’s to happy endings and new beginnings!


  1. Well, congratulations! I am jealous of the energy and initiative you have that will undoubtedly keep you two youthful and vigorous in the years to come. We had all sorts of strings attached (we were landlords, too) before retirement, but these constraints and obligations were eventually all jettisoned until we now have, well, none. But then, I am not a tinkerer with Alan's obvious skills, so I don't need to keep busy with stuff. Just call me a slug, I guess (but I'm really good at it).

    1. This is perfect, Mike! You can be my mentor as I move into this next, more relaxed phase of retirement! By the way, you would not have been jealous of our energy and initiative if you had witnessed the pain and exhaustion that accompanied it at times! Quite proud of ourselves, yes we are, but so very glad it's over!

  2. Congrats on finishing up the project. You've included some beautiful photographs in this post. Wishing you lots of upcoming adventures in the new travel trailer and look forward to hearing all about them.

    1. Thank you, Ingrid! We put over 40,000 miles on the first travel trailer and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we topped that with this new one. Love those road trips!

  3. Your retirement sounds a lot like ours. Travel and projects. My husband is also very handy and can do most construction projects himself. I help too, but he is always the lead and does most of the work (for instance, he is currently under the house doing wiring, I'm here on my computer waiting to see if he needs anything :) ). Congrats on your finished project, and happy trails as you hit the road!

    1. Thanks, Janis! We're happy the project went well - and even happier that it's over!

      Your comment really got me thinking, and I realized that I'm always the lead on the travel planning and preparation and Alan provides the support. When it comes to renovations and repairs around the house (or the rental property), he takes the lead and I provide the support. It seems like you and I, along with our husbands, have figured out how to use complementary skills and mutual support to great advantage in our relationships! Good for us!


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