Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Retirement the way it ought to be

My pictures didn't come out quite as I intended--the plumbago in the second one doesn't show off its glorious blue color, and in the third the coneflowers that are thick in the front yard don't really show unless you look in the foreground. But the whole garden and porch are so pretty that I just delight in them. Tonight I sat out on the porch--there was a slight breeze, for a change--read a book, and thought a bit smugly how good my life is. (I hope it's not a case where smug goes before a fall!)
This morning it was 10:45 before I was dressed and ready for the day--I am learning to putter. I read my emails, read the newspaper online (how I hate that!), did my yoga, straightened the house a bit, and showered--and there went the morning. More emails, and it was time for lunch with an old friend.
After a good visit over a delicious lunch--I had lox and cream cheese, and he had smoked trout and cream cheese--as I was gettingout of the car, he said, "You're doing everything I hope to do in retirement." And a friend from Omaha emailed me to say she thought I was handling retirement with grace. I do hope so.
This afternoon I actually did some work on the proposal for a nonfiction book that I am trying to put together and ran into that bugaboo for which I'm always on to authors--inadequate documentation. I can't believe I cut out newspaper clippings without the date and page # attached, but I did. All I know is they were published in 2008 in the local paper. A hunt will ensue.
Last night, it seemed hot in the house, and I discovered that though the a/c was laboring, it was almost 80, when I had the thermostat set at 73. My a/c guru told me to turn off the a/c and turn on the fan--the unit had frozen (the filter was wet on one side). It worked, but someone from the company came to check it all out late this afternoon, and all is well, though his ominous words were "It will probably make it through the summer." It was nice tonight to hear the unit kick off--which it hadn't done for over 24 hours. My mind runs to the electric bill.
Betty and I had an adventure tonight--we went exploring in a new upscale condo/restaurant/you name it district. We had eaten at a Mediterranean restaurant there that we didn't really like, so tonight we ate at Bailey's Prime Rib--I had misgivings because it sounded pricey and like heavy food. My misgivings grew when we got inside--most elegant, one of those places with with menus that are as heavy as most books. I whispered that we might have to eat pbj sandwiches for the rest of the month, but we split a fried avocado stuffed with a lobster mixture and each had a small salad, plus a glass of wine. With tip, it was under $30 apiece, though I always feel that people in such places are looking askance at us, as though we've wandered out of our proper milieu. Only when we got up to leave did I realize that Betty was wearing jeans! It was fun, the food was good, but we won't go back. I prefer a more casual atmosphere.
Yesterday I spent the whole day reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo--I had read a lot about it some time ago when it received high critical praise, so I bought it for Megan for Christmas 2008. She took a long time before she got around to reading it, so I thought it was a bust as a gift, but when she finally got to it, she absolutely loved it. I asked her to bring it when she came up a couple of weeks ago, and I too loved it, couldn't put it down. It's suspense, intrigue, with a couple of gory scenes, but it's so well done, so well written--and the characters are amazing. Because I read the book trade publications, I keep thinking everyone knows the story but apparently not. Swedish author and magazine editor Stieg Larsson turned in three novel manuscripts and then died of a massive heart attack at a young age and before the novels were published. I am now reading The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second one. I can't remember the exact title of the third (The Girl Who . . . Hornet's Nest). The first is definitely set in Sweden, and I imagine the others are too though the second opens in the Caribbean. After publication in Swedish, they were translated into English. I recommend them heartily. You get lost in the fictional world (the best kind of reading), but it's also a little like reading To Kill a Mockingbird or The Angle of Repose. I know I'll never write anything that good--but I can read and enjoy.

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