Well, it has been a while, but this blog reached a major milestone in having this post be the 3,000th post on this blog. I realize this year I have been posting much less frequently. Regardless, the blog lives on since it began in January, 2008, more than 12 years ago.
I did a little research from the all-knowing Dr. Google, and learned that for “hobby blogs” like this one…
… last an average of a year or two. From what I can find, only about 1% of the millions of blogs on the internet last ten years or more. Great — I am among the 1%! (giggle)
That is a “one-percenter” claim I am comfortable in being.
Blog post 2,900 was on May 30, 2019… just about a year ago. During the 12 months between post 2,900 and post 3,000, MUCH has happened in my life. Here are the highlights:
- Managed the estate of my mother-in-law after her passing in mid-May 2019. We donated her house to charity, paid final bills, and divided her remaining assets between my husband and his sister (as well as the attorney’s greedy fees, and fed the greed of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that imposes an inheritance tax on the first penny of estate proceeds.)
- Honeymoon: Spouse was “done” with being sick for so long, and was willing to travel again. We had a wonderful week in Toronto, Canada in early July, 2019. We even were upgraded to the honeymoon suite in the hotel in which we stayed. We rode trams, went to a ballgame, enjoyed fireworks, and began exploration on a future summer retreat.
- Retirement decision: things at work went weird in August, and after a LOT of discussion with The Spouse and review of my personal situation, I made the decision to retire at the end of the calendar year. I didn’t announce my decision at work until October, but the wheels were set in motion in August.
- Last work trips: when the Boss realized that I would be leaving, he asked me to travel for work assignments and reports quite a bit from September to December. I went to Northern California, Washington, Alaska, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico in eight weeks’ time. This gave me the opportunity to say goodbye to colleagues with whom I had become very close as friends.
- While in Puerto Rico in December, I was presented with an honorary citizenship by a representative of the Governor. I was truly touched. I love this island and its people who are so severely misunderstood but who have hearts of gold and are exceptionally resilient despite loads of hardship.
- Closed the chapter of my day-to-day work life in December, quietly, efficiently, and with no fan fare. My last day in the office was December 9. My last day on the job was December 31. I mostly cruised out on use-or-lose leave. (However, at the end of January I flew to Portland, Oregon, to party with my long-term friends at a meeting I had organized long before I knew I would be retiring.)
- In January, I became a “pensioner” by applying for and beginning to receive a small pension from my first 12 years of employment from my first two jobs (that used the same employer-sponsored retirement system). Then pension is not much, but is something. I also sold an investment property — the proceeds of which kick-started my retirement by providing the savings I will live on until I reach the age to receive another larger pension from my longest employer.
- In February, Spouse and I spent 10 days in Puerto Rico for our first of two post-retirement holiday vacations and winter home-hunting trips. I enjoyed seeing friends, dog paddling in the blue Caribbean Sea, and showing Spouse my favorite places on the western side of el Isla del Encanto while we enjoyed our Valentine’s Day reprise (25 years ago, Spouse was also with me on Puerto Rico for Valentine’s Day.)
- On return from Puerto Rico, we were getting signals that the world was going to face a pandemic. That precise word was not used officially until March 11. But my professional experience with SARS in 2002 when I worked in Canada signaled me that it was time for us to take preparedness actions. We adjusted our retirement investments by selling stocks that were likely to decline (travel-related industry) and invested in stocks that would likely rise (Netflix, telemedicine providers, vaccine developers, and on-line videochat providers like Zoom). We also stocked up on cleaning products, bleach, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. I had no idea how prescient those decisions would be!
- Despite rising concern about the Covid-19 pandemic, we continued with plans to travel to Hawaii in March. It began with a nice but short visit on Oahu to give a speech at a conference in Honolulu, then a week on the island of Kauai, and a week on the Big Island of Hawai’i. We mostly enjoyed it, though as things were shutting down, it was becoming somewhat frightening, and was when things got really weird. We caught the last flights home a day earlier than planned before travel to the mainland stopped.
- Once home, we settled into a routine by choosing to stay home and self-isolate. Some friends bought groceries for us, and I ventured out once to get essentials. Then Maryland’s Governor issued an official “stay-at-home” order on March 30… then there we were. Home, where each day is the same, over and over and over and over and…
- I did ease into a few permissible activities, like riding my Harley and going skydiving (once).
- I was recruited to fill in as a medic for some shifts where some of the regular medics were forced to go into two weeks of quarantine due to possible exposure to Covid-19. Requirements to have a current license were lifted and I was admitted… began serving as a basic EMT/medic for a couple weeks over six 12-hour shifts. I was assigned to the “non-Covid” runs because of my age and underlying health conditions that put me at high risk of death should I get the disease. I washed and sanitized equipment a LOT between runs of mostly ladder-falls and auto crashes due to excessive speed and people losing control of their vehicles.
- Now, June 1, Blog Post 3,000 … home, home, home… where Spouse and I will stay until we can get an effective vaccine for Covid-19. Regrettably and deep sadness, we are watching our nation burn due to riots and reaction to a murder in Minneapolis of a black man by a white police officer. The officer kneeled on the black man’s neck for 8:46. Because the nutjob in the White House has no empathy, he cannot tamp down the anger or try to heal our nation. He is a true psychopath in every sense of the word. We’re doomed.
So, dear readers, let’s hope that maybe I will eventually reach blog post 3,100 about a year from now when the Psychopath in the White House is dispensed to Sibera after our nation wakes up and votes for positive, productive, change.
Life is short: what a ride to get to 3,000 blog posts!