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To know someone here or there
With whom you feel there is an understanding
In spite of distance or thoughts unexpressed—
That can make of this earth’s garden.
Goethe

Retire in South CarolinaI can’t believe it’s been eight months since we sold our home and downsized to a lovely condo on Lake Murray. Now that I think about it, I still can’t believe we moved from Huntington Beach, California to South Carolina thirteen years ago after stating, “We will never leave California!” Well, people change. States change too. That’s how we ended up here in South Carolina where my Mama was born and raised, and where I was born and raised until I was five-months-old. You see, my Daddy was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC during wartime. He met my Mama, they fell in love, got married, and had me nine months later. Five months later he was stationed in Long Beach, California.

My parents decided to stay in California and I’m glad they did because I love the beauty and diversity of this sunshine state. If one desires, the desert, the mountains, and the Pacific Ocean can be reached in one day! Can you imagine that? And the people? People from all nations seemed to want to settle out west and we all lived in harmony … Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Lebanese, and too many more to mention. I admit, I miss those days.

Now back to my story, it was a lot easier for me to adjust to the slower, southern lifestyle than it was for Rob, who was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. But through the years we’ve lived and traveled in several foreign countries so we’ve had to learn to be flexible.

We’re pretty much settled in our cozy condo. We even bought a pontoon boat that sits just a few hundred feet from our patio. If you’ve ever moved, you know that there are always lots of odds and ends to do. For example, as I write, Rob is outside in the 100-degree heat—plus humidity—painting the backyard deck. Now that I think about it, I should stop writing and fetch him some water. Okay, well, just a few more lines.

We recently sold our motor home and took a vacation—in our car that we used to tow behind our motor home—to Texas to visit family and friends. After spending four years on the road in our comfortable home-on-wheels, I still go through withdrawals every time I have to lug my carry-on suitcase through a hotel lobby!

So, what now? I ask myself. I thought four years traveling to over 25+ states would satisfy my wanderlust, but after a few days straight of hanging around the condo, we begin staring at each other, with that look in our eyes that asks, what now? This is a new chapter for us. We are now stay-at-home REDs—Retired-Extremely-Daring. Can any of you relate?

Finally, Rob asks, “What are you really thinking?”

I answer, “If I watch one more HGTV show, I’ll scream!”

“Me too! How about a boat ride?”

“Yes! Now!”

The RED dog days of summer are in full swing. I’m re-learning the positive sides of being able to stay home. I do a little gardening in my small flowerbed out front, usually the day before I get my mani-pedi. Rob and I have family and friends over for BBQ—grillin’ here in the south—and boat rides that includes fishing and swimming. I’m taking time to visit with our wild and crazy neighbors. Truthfully, the little neighborhood is pretty peaceful. I hear lake living can get a bit rowdy, but us REDs can handle just about anything.

And of course I have my writing. I can temporarily ‘check out’ and sit at my iMac computer and travel to anywhere on earth that I desire. I can make up my own stories and create wild and crazy characters that I’ve met along my pathway. At the moment I’m finishing my second novel that takes place in the ’70s. What a back-in-time trip I’m on! The women’s movement. The Jesus movement. The running craze. And all those hippies! I’m just thankful I can remember to way back when! And that I’m still alive! Oh, that reminds me, do you remember the song Stayin’ Alive by the BeeGees? Ah, the good ol’ days.

The lazy days of summer are blissful, just the way I like it, and I’m sure you do too. Retirement gives us time to be ready in season and out of season to reach out to someone who might need a simple word of encouragement to get them through their day. Don’t we all need someone to come to our rescue once in awhile?

Oh, I almost forgot … I need to go to Rob’s rescue and fetch him a pail of water from the lake. I’m sure he’s a bit thirsty by now. Here’s wishing you oceans of peaceful summer days! And remember to keep that body movin’!