I’m stranded at the edge of the world
It’s a world I don’t know
Got no where to go
Feels like I’m stranded

It seems fitting that Van Morrison was playing as I gathered my thoughts to write. The line, “and nobody’s gonna tell me, tell me what, what time it is,” had me laughing out loud. Seriously. What day is it?

I believe we’re on quarantine day number 35 since returning from Colorado. I don’t really have much to update. Just like everyone else, our plans are on hold. We should have been headed for Montana no later than this weekend. Thankfully the rental property owners are flexible with us delaying or cancelling. To buy some time, we did alert them that we would push back our arrival by at least a couple of weeks. However, as we approach May, we’re coming to grips with having to cancel entirely. There are so many factors to weigh, and we have to assess conditions in each state we’ll be passing through.

The purpose of driving 2,300+ miles and staying near Glacier National Park for 2-months during a touristy time of year was to determine whether we really want to move there. We didn’t want to fall in love with a place, only later to find out that we couldn’t handle its summer crowd, which was sadly our experience with Asheville, NC. Asheville seems to have experienced a huge influx of people relocating there between our first visit (July 2014) and our most recent visit (June 2019). Increased infrastructure appeared to be underway, but it didn’t seem sufficient enough to handle the number of people.

Anyhow, I digress, if National Parks are closed and most people aren’t traveling, we won’t get a good sense of what we’d be dealing with in the Flathead/Glacier region of Montana during the summertime. We have a somewhat short window to re-work plans, as the property owners are expecting other guests almost immediately after our departure. We also have to account for other trips and two weddings on our calendar.

It’s certainly stressful and frustrating to have plans change unexpectedly, but such is life. Some things are beyond our control. My retirement journey has largely amounted to learning how to be more adaptable to change and figuring out how to balance and prioritize time. In a way, I have been preparing for this quarantine since November. The three biggest things that helped me adjust are: structure, meditation, and physical fitness. I know I’ve stressed it before, but it’s important to strike a good balance between personal time, house chores/projects, and time spent connecting with friends and family. Also, cut yourself (and others) some slack, laugh often, spend as much time outside as possible, challenge yourself in some way, find ways to connect with people, and ask for help if you need it. We’re going to get through these uncertain times by leaning on one other and by being kind – not only to others, but to ourselves.

If you’ve been wondering what we’ve been up to, you can visit my Instagram account for photos of recent adventures. I also created lists (below) of house projects completed and some recipes we’ve made over the past 35 days. If you don’t see a link for a recipe, it’s because it’s handwritten in one of my cookbooks. Send me a note, and I’ll pass it along to you. I’ve also been sending letters back and forth to my nieces and nephews. Andy bikes as often as possible, and practices acoustic guitar daily. We work on puzzles, read often, walk Stevie Mix 3-5 miles daily, hike when weather permits, and workout 5 days a week. We also play trivia virtually every Saturday night. Our local, weekly trivia host started a virtual game, and we actually won a picnic table last week!

House Projects:

  • Re-painting baseboards and doors in high traffic areas of the house (still actively working on this),
  • Cleaned up flower beds (weeded, raked, bagged dead leaves, preened, and mulched),
  • Andy’s been working on fertilizing and ridding the lawn of weeds,
  • Cleaned the screened in porch,
  • Removed caulk from screened in porch; about to re-caulk and pressure wash,
  • Caulked the master shower and sinks; caulked the guest tubs,
  • Replaced rotted wood around the outside of the screened-in-porch with new wood that we had to cut and paint first,
  • Pressure washed and re-painted the back-stairwell,
  • Scraped the back-stairwell railing and repainted it,
  • Deep cleaned stove top,
  • Cleaned the double ovens,
  • Checked and adjusted sprinklers,
  • Dismantled raised flowerbed,
  • Filled in a low spot in the yard with sand and dirt,
  • Organized the pantry,
  • Stacked wood,
  • Washed the outdoor cushions,
  • Planted new shrubs, and
  • Flushed the sump pump to ensure good working order.

*All de-cluttering efforts have halted since donation pick-ups were suspended.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.