21 March 2014

Settled In

Where is it? What happened? How? Checking this blog on Sunday 2 March, I saw no blog. Instead there was a menu of peripherally related blog topics and beneath, in very small letters: “This Domain Name Has Expired” with the hyperlinked, “Renewal Instructions.”

That was the moment I embarked on a path of mistakes resulting in a week of wheel-spinning frustration followed by days of resignation until I would be reunited with my domain www.Retired--NowWhat.com.

I apologize profusely for the unannounced interruption.

Because the calamity was precipitated by our move from Virginia to Wisconsin--a change of email address that I neglected to share with the domain account--I was reminded that I’ve also neglected to update you on my year of settling in.

Welcome back. Have you been anxiously awaiting a status on my move to the farm? I’m sorry. I’ve held off reporting because there just hasn’t been the excitement, the adventure, the wow! you expect from me. I won’t delay any longer.


In one breathless recap, a year ago my wife Vicki and I moved from the East to the Midwest, a territory foreign to me, to an apartment over a garage in a former carriage house, former barn, next to a large house that, like the former barn, is older than the hills, if there were any hills, and is occupied by my retired, flying farmer father-in-law, who has lived there for a handful of years short of his entire life.


Vicki’s labels will certainly
help when she unpacks.

I have unpacked. There are more boxes to unpack; but the notion that, after a year, one doesn’t really need what’s in those boxes is mistaken. I need everything. In fact, I’ll occasionally look for something, remember packing it and be content knowing that it’s safe downstairs in one of those boxes that, any day, Vicki might unpack.

Getting Out and About

I’m doing better at finding my way around and negotiating the city roundabouts (Driving in Circles). My only regular in-person socializing beyond the supermarket check-out and Vicki’s family is at the Saturday Coffee Hour, which actually lasts all morning even if I don’t.

One recent coffee hour discussion almost got me to venture out to the nearby lake, where ice fishing is widely practiced. It wasn’t talk about plain old ice fishing that attracted me; it was the talk about the annual season of spearing lake sturgeon, which can grow bigger than I ever did.

Alas, given the need to view the process over at least two days (cutting the hole in the ice is typically done the day before the season opens), the lack of any commitment from the fish to swim by (people have gone fish-less over 20 years); and this winter’s subzero temperatures and wind chills, I added the activity to next year’s list.


I continue to supplement or substitute a stationary bike ride for my daily predawn jogging and afternoon walks. Winter cold, snow, ice--I can tolerate; the wind is my downfall.

That’s neither me nor my recumbent
bike. It’s an Exerpeutic 900XL, which
Amazon customers rate much higher
 than mine.
I venture boldly into the predawn darkness if weather.com tells me this zip code’s “feels like” temperature isn’t too much colder than about five degrees below 0 F. Inevitably, I am waylaid by wind, presumably from another zip code. Afternoons are really no different. The breeze that hardly lifts leaves I see from our window is not the gale that awaits me around the curve.

Unlike my frequent encounters with wildlife (i.e., animals) in the suburbs back east, whether because of hunting, the lack of contiguous cover or local wildlife neuroses or sleeping habits, I have not come upon a single creature during predawn outings. My afternoon tally is two--one raccoon and one rabbit, not counting birds and squirrels.

Wrap Up

The stone fence along the road.

It’s always a kick to notice something I’ve missed. The latest is the stone fence along our road. How many times had I seen piled rocks and never put it together? Maybe I’ll write about it.

Reading, writing, searching and researching are how I spend most of my time, much of it for this blog. I’m always looking for topics as well as guest bloggers if you can suggest either. Thanks for stopping by.


Should you have time and interest, I described our move and initial months in assorted blog posts, particularly Moving Out, Settling In, Plumbing and Me, Settling In Part 2 and Empowered!, as well as in associated photo addenda.

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