Today I have some news from around the country, plus a note on "what really matters."
The news from Colorado. Laura Lee Carter offers a link to one of her most popular posts, which can only mean that everyone at this time of year must be thinking about taking a nice long dip in a Colorado Rocky Mountain hot springs. Laura Lee and her husband drove over to the Sand Dunes pool, "a moist, warm oasis in the middle of the dry, cold San Luis Valley." They went for the day, but there are places to stay overnight, including an RV campsite for people on the road.
|Colorado hot springs
She and her husband spent five days in San Antonio discovering everything they never learned about the state of Texas back when they attended school in New York. Or, if somewhere in the distant past they did learn about Texas, the facts are long forgotten -- except of course for those as told through John Wayne in the movie The Alamo. But you don't have to travel to Texas to find out more, you can ride over to Visiting the Home of the Alamo to remember the ... well, you know.
The news from Washington. On The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist, reviews the top 10 articles from her blog for 2015. Robison’s readers especially liked articles on banking, prescription drugs, carcinogens in food, credit cards with chips, sunscreens -- and you can find them all with just one healthy click of the mouse.
The news from New York. B and I took the train to New York City over the weekend, had dinner with my son and went to see My Mother's Brief Affair. The play stars Linda Lavin who has many dramatic credits to her name, including a turn as Alice in the TV show from the late 1970s and early 80s. She played a dying mother with two grown children and a very embarrassing secret. We both thought she did a fantastic job in this serviceable drama that doled out a bit of comedy along with its dramatic message.
And the news from California. Kathy Gottberg of Smart Living 365 has just published a book of her best blog posts centered around the theme of rightsizing your life, especially as you retire. As she says, "Rightsizing isn't just about working or not working. Rightsizing is about eliminating the unessential and focusing on what really matters."
So I went to amazon and bought RightSizing: A Smart Living Guide to Reinventing Retirement, which I got for $2.99 (amazon subscribers can read it for free). I found one chapter particularly relevant to my life because I have always dreamed of owning a second home, probably on the beach somewhere, with palm trees wafting in the breeze. Well, we all know for most of us this is a pipe dream. But that hasn't stopped me from wishing and hoping, and even occasionally pouring through zillow ads for Florida condos or cottages in the Carolinas.
In fact, last year I actually took a trip to Myrtle Beach with a friend of mine, looking for a seaside condo. The long and short of it is, my friend bought a condo and is currently, as we speak, enjoying spring weather on the Carolina coast. I did not buy a place. Because when it got right down to it, I do not want the responsibility, and I cannot really afford it, and the people who sometimes rent your place don't really pay all the costs and they're not the ones taking a risk, you are, if for whatever reason people no longer want to rent a place on the beach in South Carolina, not to mention the risk that your renters will probably break everything, maybe not all at once in an obvious college-students-trash-the-place kind of way, but because renters don't take very good care of a place and they bang things around and you end up replacing things every two or three years instead of every eight or ten years, and besides a condo near the ocean needs to be painted every other year and you have to buy expensive flood insurance.
|New book by Kathy Gottberg
Wouldn't it be much easier to rent? Yes. That's what Kathy Gottberg confirmed for me in her chapter "Renting vs. Owning -- and Other Thoughts on Impermanence".
(Before you lodge a complaint, I apologize, that was the long of it, not the short of it!)
There was another chapter that brought a laugh with a quiz about "Curing Your Addiction for More." B and I were sitting on the train. I looked up from the book and asked:
Okay. So you're walking by a store and see that perfect "something" on sale for 50% off. You know it's a fantastic price but you also know you don't need it and really can't afford it. Do you:
a) Buy it anyway?
b) Not buy it but feel cranky and depressed for the rest of the day?
c) Try to guilt someone who loves you into buying it for you?
d) Accept that you don't need it and save your money?
She thought for a moment. Then she said: I'd pick b. She paused, then continued: Except then I'd go home, I'd feel bad about it, not just for the rest of the day but for several days after that. Then, finally, a few days later I'd be resenting it so much I'd go back to the store and buy it -- and by then the sale would be over, so I'd end up paying full price!
Well, I dunno. She and I are just beginning the process of "rightsizing" our home. So all I can say is ... I hope she was kidding!