Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Revisiting the Past

What is it about entering the evening of our lives that makes us want to reconnect with those from our past? Captain and I had this discussion as we headed west to visit with his cousins whom we had not seen in about 15 years. These are not particularly close cousins, as they grew up several hundred miles away, seeing them once or twice a year. So why, when we heard they were going to be only 370 miles from us, we jumped at the chance to drive over for a short afternoon visit? Why does so much of our travel involve visiting friends from our youth, former co-workers, friends that have moved away and long-lost cousins? Well, we do like to reminisce and we genuinely want to know how they are doing. But we think the main reason we seek out our friends of long ago is we find they are even more interesting as they age. (Or maybe as we age.)

These are the folks that drew us to Eureka Springs, Arkansas this week. Cousin David lives there, Cousin Chuck is visiting from Billings, Montana, and Cousin Jane is in from Embudo, New Mexico. David and his wife have renovated a historical home, doing most of the labor themselves. Chuck uses his skill as a dentist to treat underprivileged children. When not traveling, Jane and her husband help out a bit at Vivac Winery, owned by their sons. Interesting lives, wouldn't you say? We spent a delightful afternoon reminiscing and catching up.

While in Eureka Springs, we took David's advice and had dinner at Casa Colina, one of best Mexican restaurants in which we have eaten.
Friends and family, old and new, are so much a part of what makes our retirement years rich. Beware, if you are out there and we haven't seen you in a while, you may find The Wanderer parked in your driveway!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The answer

to the unspoken question of our neighbors, "What's he building now?"

It is a plant deck! Not only will it hold plants but it has multiple purposes. The primary is to provide access to the roof-line that holds heat cables which prevents ice dams in the winter. In addition it covers an eye sore of a bed where nothing ever grew successfully.

Last, but certainly not least, it created an outdoor wall for ABN to decorate. 

Inspired by all the colorful geraniums hanging on the walls and beneath the windows in Italy, the plan is to have boxes on each level with pink, orange and lavender geraniums. It’s a bit late for this year but ABN couldn’t leave the deck barren so she scoured up some old planters from the garden and found the last of some lantana at Lowes. Hmm, maybe the lantana will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Maybe the plan will change.

Conveniently it is located just outside the entrance to her craft studio; an appropriate spot for our creative statement. 

Yes, ABN made the sign in her studio.

Over the past eleven years we have transformed our little cottage into a home that reflects our passion. It has become a canvas for our creative outlets. Sometimes it is a matter of putting a band-aide over a problem like peeling paint on kitchen cabinet doors. The house was sold in a foreclosure auction and flipped to us. Unfortunately the flipping upgrades were not done with quality materials. The cabinet doors were replaced by inexpensive ones from the big box store. The plan is for Captain to build nice doors, but not just yet. There are 28 doors and 9 drawers, so it will be a major project to follow a couple other major projects. So ABN to the rescue! Out comes the white chalk paint and Sharpies.
This should be fun for a few years.

It is great to be home having Tipsy Tuesday on our porch
and enjoying our small town pleasures, like concerts at the riverfront. 

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Monday, July 4, 2016

It's all about collecting friends.

We were happy to be in College Station to celebrate Captain’s birthday as well as the birthdays of his mom and sister-in-law.

Captain says the best part of getting old is the friends we collect along the way.  It was great fun to reconnect with some of the friends he collected as a youngster by reuniting at his 45th high school reunion.

We have found it interesting that those friends we were not especially close to in high school are the ones we truly enjoy as “older adults.”

Since retirement we have spent a great deal of time in College Station not only hanging out with old friends but making new ones by joining the Tuesday night "book club" at Carney’s.

Book of the Week

Keeping with the “friend theme” for this trip, we stopped in Kilgore, TX to have Tipsy Tuesday with Captain’s very first friend, Christine and our newest friend, Mark.

We are now headed home to enjoy the rest of the summer with our hometown friends.