Tag: early retirement

A full Saturday

saturday
A very lovely morning after a pretty nasty week, weatherwise.

SATURDAYS ARE variable, but some are far more varied, i.e. busy, than others, and this is one of those Saturdays. I pause to fill you in due to my being a sharing sort of fellow.

When Saturday falls on the first of a month, then things get even fuller. There are Saturday chores, and there are first-of-month chores. There are also occasional chores, and one of those fell on this Saturday too.

That was the twice-a-month 8:30 a.m. drive downtown to check my postoffice box. I did that only to discover the postoffice shut due to this also being inauguration day for our new president (ugh!) in Mexico City. Why they had to close the postoffice here is one of those Latino mysteries.

So I came home with no mail, but since I almost never get mail, this is no big thing. That’s right, I get virtually no mail in my postoffice box, not even the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

I also don’t get sales calls at dinnertime.

Saturday morning is when Abel the Deadpan Yardman arrives to mow the lawn. Normally, we’ve ended that by December, but stubborn rains in November have kept the grass green and jubilant.

The first of the month means I check the two cars, the fluid levels, the tire P.S.I., that sort of thing. I did not do that today. Tomorrow is okay.

Saturday morning is when the plants on the veranda get watered, so I did that. It’s also when I shot the photo. It’s a cool, lovely day. I also wiped the Jesus Patio table and web chairs. You can see them in the photo.

Saturday is when my child bride sells her pastries in the afternoon on the downtown plaza, and I accompany her for the first few hours. As I write this, around noon, she’s out in her private kitchen baking up a storm.

Simultaneously, I hear pigs screaming bloody murder next door. They are not kind to their pigs. Sometimes they do murder them.

My neighborhood is not for the squeamish.

Though not specifically a Saturday chore, I washed the Honda because it was grubby due to the nasty weather this week, lots of rain and mud, and one wants to present an elegant face to the world.

And after Abel the Deadpan Yardman cuts the grass and heads home, two doors down, with his weedeater, I upend the mower and hose it clean.

It’s a Briggs & Stratton.

Furthermore, arriving this afternoon while we sit on the plaza hawking pastries is a woman from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who will live in our Downtown Casita for a month, maybe two. She just retired as a therapist. Perhaps she can heal me, make me right.

I’ll drive her to her new, temporary, home with the keys.

Yes, it’s been a very busy Saturday, busier than usual, and it’s only half over. And it will continue till tonight when we climb weary under the goose-down comforter draped over the king bed, and call it a day.

* * * *

(When I retired 19 years ago 19 days from now — yes, Dec. 19, 1999 — I wondered how I’d fill my days. It hasn’t been an issue, to put it mildly.)

 

Two neighborhoods on high

THE FIRST VIDEO shows pre-Hispanic, indigenous ruins that remain near where I now live. It’s about a 20-minute drive away.

The second is the nearby state capital. The park where the video takes off is about a five-minute walk from where I lived my first eight months in Mexico, from January to September of 2000.

I often sat alone on a bench in that small park with an ice cream cone and wondered what the devil I had done to myself.

But it all ended well.

A valentine gift

New Image

I SHOT THIS photo of my child bride in her Mexico City condo on Valentine’s Day 2002, two months before we were wed.

It is my favorite photo of her, and how not?

This is why single men should move to Mexico. Turn your backs on those Third Wave Feminists above the Rio Bravo. They will only lead you to grief.

Who would you prefer to marry? Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen Degeneres, or someone like the woman in the photo?

She was 41 then, and now she’s 57, but she hasn’t changed much due to being a gym fanatic. One of my goals on moving south was to marry again. Little did I know that I would win the lottery.

Early retirement is fun

stone2
We bought that red, ceramic globe recently near Dolores Hidalgo.

I RETIRED QUITE early, age 55, and that means you potentially have lots of years ahead of you, years in which you must do something or other.

My plans were few. I knew I’d use the time to read books. I like to read books because it’s an interesting thing to do, plus it makes me even smarter than I already am.

Not on the plan was yard work, which I dislike. My distaste for yard work was one of the reasons I recently had part of the Hacienda lawn filled in with stone and cement. That’s the lighter part in the photo above. The darker is the sidewalk, which is 15 years old.

But I’ve discovered that I’ve simply substituted one form of yard work with another. The stone and concrete require sweeping. The primary reason is that there are plants, big ones. One is the towering nopal, and the other is the monster bougainvillea.

The nopal drops big, dead, prickly “paddles.” Ker-splat! The bougainvillea snows dead leaves and other miscellaneous crap.

I was out sweeping this morning when this realization came to me. It’s still yard work. However, sweeping stone and concrete is far more fun than fussing with grass.

I don’t regret the stonework. We intend to do more next year.

Back to the theme of retirement. Lots of folks dream of retiring early, which is a phrase open to interpretation. The standard “early retirement” is 55, and that’s what I did. Other people, mostly young ones, dream of leaving the work world even earlier. At 40, for example. Good luck with that, amigos.

Here’s what you usually have to do to retire early, say, at 55. Don’t go into debt. Save, save, save … and invest wisely. Being single can help. These are not difficult things to do, but few folks do them. It’s equally simple to lose weight. Eat less crap, and do regular moderate exercise. Again, easy, but few people can do it.

I’m having a fun time, and I’ve been having fun since 2000. Before that, not so much. One late afternoon recently, I was sitting here before the Hewlett Packard screen, and I looked out yon window. Below is what I saw.

window