Autumn Leaves …

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Have you ever started a project, determined to finish it no matter how long it took? Well, that was me this past summer

Retire in Florence, ItalyI spent most of my long, hot, humid summer days focusing on completing my latest, longest project … my novel Lady on the Run. I began this story in the ’70s, and then shelved it until several years ago. Time marches on, and I’m now seventy-three … not getting any younger … so it’s now or never!

Writing is not glamorous. Hours spent in my office, toiling over my iMac. Words becoming sentences, slowly turning into paragraphs. And hundreds of cups of coffee, often spilling over on to words just coming hot off of my printer

Then came that late afternoon that I typed my last word! I raised my arms and shouted, “Yes!!” My husband rushed in my office. “Are you okay?” Rob asked. I answered joyfully, “Yes! I’m finished!” Rob knew exactly what I was referring to. He has been on this journey with me, refilling my coffee cup every step of the way. After giving me a huge hug, he smiled. “Let’s celebrate!” Then looking closer at my no make-up-bad-hair-day mode, he added. “Get dressed and I’ll take you out to dinner.”

After more cups of coffee that I can recall, I had been hibernating in my office, in my coffee-stained pajamas. So he knew exactly what I needed for nourishment … Italian! Sitting at our special table at Papa Gio’s, eating the best spaghetti in town and sipping a glass of vino (or two?) was the perfect ending to my word-filled day. “Now I’ll have time to finish my summer-reading book and take long strolls on the boardwalk with you,” I told my patient husband. “And take a few road trips,” he added

So I ask, is there a project that you have finished that needs celebrating? Or perhaps you need to finish that project so you can celebrate! Think about this as summer ends and the autumn leaves start to fall

Autumn is the perfect time for us (Retired-Extremely-Daring) seniors/retirees to travel, whether near or far. I was going to share with you a few of my autumn trips that we’ve taken over the past years—Turkey, Israel, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belize, Costa Rica—but when I was reading about my upcoming 55-year high school reunion on Facebook, a friend’s post took my breath away …

… A guy I went to high school with was killed October 2nd in a plane crash. He had been a pilot most of his life, giving history tours on a WWII plane. He died DOING what he loved—flying. At the young age of 75, he was gone. And we were all left behind to mourn

I’m writing about my friend to remind us: Life is short. We don’t know what tomorrow—or even this afternoon—will bring. Ask yourself, is there place you still want to see? Is there someone you want to visit? Or just a phone call to hear their voice?

Retire in Uppsala, SwedenInstead of writing these first days of autumn, I’ve been taking long walks and thinking about the people who mean the most to me, and the wonderful places I’ve been allowed to visit. But hey, I’m seventy-three! I still have some good years left! How about you? Perhaps you can’t hop on a plane and see that exotic point-of-destination, but you can drive (or find someone to drive you) to a local place that makes you feel good … even Waffle House might be sounding exotic right about now.

Autumn is the best time for seniors to travel. The kids are back in school. The weather is usually perfect. You can get good deals on airfare and cruises. Check on some various websites, or have someone check for you if you’re not in the techy mood. As the old saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Last October I flew to Southern California for my 55-year high school reunion. Thank goodness for name badges! We now all looked the same. Gray. Bald (the men). Full-figured (I’m being kind). We greeted everyone with, “Oh! You look the same! You’re as beautiful/handsome as ever!” Yes, we seniors sometimes lie, but it’s sure better than hearing, “Oh my goodness! You’ve put on forty pounds and your hair is a mess!” or “Oh dear, I can’t believe you’re so bald!” See how much fun reunions are? Perhaps that’s why (sub-consciously) I didn’t make an effort to go this year. Of course I haven’t changed, except I’ve added a few pounds to my already pudgy body … and, oh yes, my hair is a beautiful silver

Two autumns ago (2017) we were in Europe for six weeks. I have photos galore that I post and write about on my monthly Lady Traveler blog. Tuscany was delightful. Spain was exotic. Sweden was tranquil and as beautiful as when we lived there many years ago (1992)

While you sit in your recliner and decide where you’re going to travel or who you’re going to visit or call, Rob and I are going to take a 45-minute road trip to a local Autumn Festival, just to get out of the house for a few hours. We can always take a little power-nap when we get home. Maybe we’ll see you on the road! Here’s wishing you oceans of autumn blessings!

1 Comment

  1. Note:
    PS: I had an absolute blast at my 55-year hi school reunion!

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