Sometimes writing a monthly recap reminds me that I have drifted off course, and sometimes it reassures me that all is well with my life plan. I don’t consciously set out to tick things off a list, or measure my life according to accomplishments and shortcomings, but I do have a tried and true blueprint for balance. That blueprint includes family, friends, exercise, healthy eating, me time, we time and making a contribution to community. This month was fairly balanced, but there were a few hiccups that disrupted my equilibrium for several days. All the good stuff in life and having things to look forward to help me rebound from disappointments and setbacks quickly and I am grateful for this beautiful time of life.
Time With Family and Friends
The signs of Fall are minimal to non-existent in South Florida, but we still enjoy celebrating the season and this month, we had a lot to celebrate.
Our daughter came for a visit at the end of the month to carve a pumpkin with her Dad. It has been their tradition for over twenty years. I made a big pot of chili and and we pretended it was cool outside.
We celebrated Malcolm’s mother’s 90th birthday on October 1st. She is a constant reminder that unconditional love really does exist and we admire her joyful nature and independent spirit.
A dear friend turned 60 this month, and we celebrated his birthday in style – A limo ride with cocktails followed by dinner at a water side restaurant in Jupiter. Sixty only comes once, so why not indulge a little.
Malcolm and I spent a lot of time at the beach, walking, planning, escaping, re-energizing and taking pictures, of course. I took this photo with my Iphone while listening to Bon Jovi sing Hallelujah. Talk about a Zenful moment!
Staying Busy and Active
The tennis season began last week. Monday’s are active with league play and practice is every Wednesday. I usually pick up another game on Friday, so staying active this time of year is easy. This is my motley crew from last season.
I just finished reading “Where The Crawdad’s Sing” by Delia Owens. It is the story of a young girl growing up on her own in North Carolina swampland. If you like strong women stories with a touch of mystery, and a heaping helping of nature you will enjoy this read.
This month I wrote a blog post for Min at Write of the Middle where I talked about how taking photographs create Zenful moments in my life. Thanks to all of you who visited her blog and read what I had to say.
I wrote about life after 50,60 for Sam’s blog, “Loving the Fifty Something,” that posted today, the last day of October. The post is a candid look at our road to retirement. It is very gratifying and humbling to write for other bloggers and I appreciate the sense of community these ladies are helping to create.
I am not a gardener, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like to play in the dirt, so I planted a bunch of Poppy seeds in these little peat cups and much to my surprise, they sprouted. Thanks Judy for the suggestion to plant seeds this way. Judy is a Master Gardener and writes a beautiful blog at New England Garden and Thread.
When the sprouts get a little bigger I will transplant them to the yard. Hopefully by December or January I will have pretty red and orange blossoms – if the rabbits stay away.
I had a fender-binder, with Malcolm’s car, which resulted in a traffic citation, (in a parking lot). Price of the ticket and car repair $$$$ – Yikes! I turned in my leased car at the end of September and my daughter, who lives in the city, loaned me her car which she rarely drives. It has a convertible top and although not directly my fault, the hinge broke when I tried to put the top down. Another costly fix $$$. The granite installers broke a piece of counter top resulting in a two week delay for the kitchen remodel. And, last but not least, I had another small bout with heat exhaustion. All of these things happened within a four day period which put me into a bit of a funk. Being in a funk is basically a waste of time and in the scheme of life, these are minor issues so instead of wallowing, I treated myself to a big bowl of mac-n-cheese.
We are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving in Nantucket this year. It will be a late birthday celebration for MIL Nana and an early Christmas experience for the family. We have a family wedding to attend in Philadelphia two days before Thanksgiving, so Malcolm has planned a couple of days in advance of the wedding as well as several days after our Thanksgiving stay in Nantucket to explore. Boston,MA, Newport, RI and Portsmouth NH are all on the agenda for a prelude to Christmas. I’ll be writing about our Christmas Joy Trip later in December.
We just booked a two week VRBO stay in Destin which is on the Gulf Coast of Florida. February is usually the time of year when we visit Jekyll Island, GA but we decided to change it up a bit this year. The Gulf Coast National Seashore and Fort Pickens are on our list of places to explore in that area. We will add a post about that trip to our Coastal Florida series sometime in March.
Malcolm is beginning to sketch out our May/June travel plans. We have decided on a cruise to Alaska followed by a train tour/road trip of the Canadian Rockies. This trip has been on our list for quite some time. Sue from Sizzling Toward Sixty wrote a wonderful post about finding perspective as she traversed the Columbia Icefield (which I hope to do in Canada) and Susan from Swooning Grace inspired us to move Alaska to the front of the list with this post – first hand travel accounts are just one more benefit of belonging to a blogging community.
October was filled with a mix of joy and challenges and we are happy to be moving into November, the heart of the holiday season. We look forward to joyous times with friends and family, fewer unplanned expenses and hopefully, a finished kitchen!!