It’s almost embarrassing to complain about our weather after the toll the most recent Noreaster took on New England. We’ve grown accustomed to sunshine and balmy breezes and have taken for granted the gentleness of Mother Nature. But when our temperatures are dipping into the low 40’s the daily routines tend to change.
Our days still begin with a walk around the lake, but coats are now the norm as opposed to T-shirts and a windbreaker. There exists an asphalt path, wide enough for both walkers and bikers to enjoy, that encircles the entire lake. The body of water is large enough that a single lap constitutes a length of one mile. This is often the prelude to breakfast and the comings and goings of the day. The morning continues to be dotted with an hour in the gym, a weekly trip to the laundry room, a jaunt to the local Food Lion or Walmart. This routine is always interspersed with a visit from one RVer or another. Most of them offer advice as to how to accomplish one task or live life in general. But more often than not, pervaying what others are doing, where they are going, or who saw what. It seems the watchword that exists, just as in every neighborhood or housing development throughout America. This interaction of personalities always comes at an unexpected time, but proves to be the highlight of the most recent of hours.
I mentioned in past blogs that I have been hired as an educational consultant. Fortunately, I only report physically to a private academy a 1/2 day per week. I’m scheduled to deliver a presentation to some 100 parents on Tuesday. The cool weather allows me time inside to toil on a power point budget project, showing parents where their tuition monies are dispersed. I am content with the work, but find that anything more than one day per week would severely alter my mindset. It’s taken me some time to learn the nuances of retirement. For some time I missed reporting to the daily rigors of a 50 hour work week that lasted for some 35 years. Now, I can’t imagine giving back a life that has no timeline, no list of things to do, no plans that exist beyond a few hours, and knowing not what day of the week it is.
We both spend considerable time on learning, and the cool temperatures has fostered more of a chance to accomplish this. Robin is constantly researching one item or another on her IPad, where the term “google” has become as common as “happy hour”. I immerse myself in the printed word, having recently finished Candice Millard’s latest work entitled, Destiny of the Republic. It is a spirited tale that intertwines murder, politics, and medical mystery. which brings alive a forgotten chapter of U.S. history.
I purchased the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, as a Christmas gift for Robin. After watching a segment of 60 Minutes, whereby the PBS special was highlighted, I thought it might be an entertaining watch in which to pass rainy days. We delayed the previewing until this past week. Erin had bestowed upon us a Blu-Ray player that she has no need for. Upon returning from the birth of our granddaughter, we supplanted the old DVD player with this alternative.
It hasn’t taken long that we find ourselves ‘hooked’, eliminating weekly sitcom rituals, to find out what happens next in the fictional Yorkshire country estate. Intriguing is the effect that great events in history have on the lives of the British social hierarchy. I would have bet against all odds that this sort of series would not interest me in the least, however, I don’t know who is more trapped into this history, Robin or I. This passion has entered the realm of ‘out of control’.
Running a DVD player merely through the TV doesn’t allow for the surround sound that accentuates any showing. The immersion of a movie is not realized without the full effect of the background orchestra. We determined it was time for a receiver component to take full advantage of our seven speakers that are part and parcel of the bus. On to Best Buy. We found just what we needed in a Sony system that would compliment our needs. The cost would be covered by an American Express gift card, that was the result of a three-hour pounding by a group of young sales associates attempting to lure us into a timeshare. It was a fair exchange. A free breakfast and a new receiver in exchange for three hours of time.
The challenge lie in the myriad of wires that appeared from a small cavity in the framework of the bus. The receiver barely fit and only allowed a tiny bit of room to maneuver hands to connect the fourteen speaker wires, HDMI cable, and AC outlet plug. While Robin and I intermittently exchanged the flashlight while snaking hands almost too large to permit success, we exchanged barbs that are all too common when attempting a job often left to experts. After accusing one another of ill-fated suggestions, we completed what we thought was the wiring process. All speaker wires were connected, cables and power were plugged in as well. Time to test our attempt at electronic ignorance. Power up! Change the TV source! And not for the fist bump! Success on the first try and surround throughout the bus.