Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big Change

About a year ago I was forced to retire early due to health issues. I was about 3 years earlier than my planned retirement. We had always planned on retiring to the mountains of North Carolina. Earlier this year we started looking. I felt like I was getting too old and in poor health to continue to take care of a home, so we decided to rent. It is a big load off of your mind when you don't have to worry about the A/C going out, the roof leaking, plumbing backing up, etc. We looked at several places and finally decided on a cabin in the mountains. We are in a gated community which limits access to the public. The subdivision is 83 acres with over 3 miles of gravel roads. There is a pond, a creek, lots of deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and even a black bear (though I have not seen her yet). We have a big wrap around porch that is covered in the front. There are no street lights so at night it is really dark and the crickets and tree frogs are deafening and in the quite of the morning you can hear a pin drop. It is much cooler up here (one advantage to getting away from all the asphalt and concrete). There are only 9 homes in the subdivision with 6 being occupied full time. We have great neighbors who genuinely care about each other.

Now Emma and Bailey are in heaven with their new home. They leave and go off exploring for hours at a time and come back home, usually wet, and their tongues hanging out. They always seem to find water somewhere to romp in. I don't have to worry about traffic. They seem content to track the various animals that inhabit the area. They are getting a lot of exercise that they did not get at our garden home. You know the old saying that a happy dog is one who has run to his hearts content.

I still worry about the snakes and animals higher up on the food chain but seeing them so happy gives me a sense of security. I am sure that they will limit their explorations once it becomes second nature. I have always lived in an area where they had to be contained by a fence or on a leash. Their only free time was at the dog parks where they could run and play. There is another dog that lives over the hill and they have to go down and say hello several times a day.

I am looking forward to fall and even winter (actually having four seasons again). They had several good snows last year so hopefully this year will again bless us with the white stuff. October is the color season in the mountains and I look forward to the pallet of mother nature's colors.

It is pretty nice now that I am retired and can enjoy being with my dogs and doing things on my own time. I like to call it retired time, when I want to not when I have to. Don't get me wrong I miss having health insurance and a big pay check but I will be 65 next year and will be eligible for Medicare and my lovely spouse will be eligible for her early social security. I must say this past year has been one of the best and least stressful.

So here's to a new chapter in our lives and the lives of Emma and Bailey as we explore our new home and all of the beauty of nature.

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