Retirement...it is at hand. Tomorrow will be my last day of work at Mancari's - I have been there over 38 years. Friday will be my last paycheck and then I am on my own till I collect SS in Oct of 2017. I hope I have made the right decision, but I know that I am tired of working. I started babysitting at age 12. By 15 I was working and going to school. By 16 I was working 2 jobs, 7 days a week and going to high school. When I bought my first tiny house in Chicago, I worked 2 part time and 1 full time job and did that for many years. I have always tried to save money and have also tried to live within my means. I took a 20 year mortgage instead of a 30 year and paid my house off (such as it is) several years back. So, do I have enough to retire on...I hope so. The one thing that none of us knows is how long will we live? Will we outlive what we have saved? I do know that tomorrow is promised to no one and I want to have some time to just live life at a little more non-hectic pace and have a little time to take some deep breaths. I plan to really stick close to home the first months, spend as little money as possible and do a massive purge on the house.
I do have enough hobbies and interests to keep my mind an body "in shape". I am dogged by some health issues but certainly have no room to complain.
The last few weeks, I have been out actively working on my prairie restoration site and will have additional time to put in there after retirement. This Saturday is the "Work Off The Turkey" workday and I am looking forward to it. Linda and I have done prep for it by making some piles to start and areas to work in. I have pleaded for the areas that we have been working on the last years to get burned this season. I have about 200 volunteer hours in so far this year. A few more than last year.
On 11-6-16, I took a day to wander at Morton Arboretum. It was a beautiful fall day and I wanted to go out and enjoy it. The fall colors on the trees have not been so spectacular this year and it seems that the trees were out of synch this year. A lot of the trees had dropped their leaves already, some were in full splendor, and some did not hit peak till just this week.
I got a very early start and was glad I did because after about 10:30 AM the place was just nuts with people. I had gotten there before 8 AM and went to one of the further parking lots on the west side and took a few trails. I, of course, wanted to see Schuylenberg Prairie which I have not visited since the very early days of its' inception and planting. It, of course, was all brown at this time of year, so I have to plan a visit in the spring and summer next year.
Yesterday I spent a good part of the day at Navy Pier for ChiTag (Chicago Toy and Game Show) in costume. I decided to wear the TFA X-Wing Pilot and hoped that it would not be too hot and was surprised that I didn't sweat my butt off all day.
I stayed behind at the boot while everyone else went to the Star Wars luncheon and I had quite a mob at the booth at times with kids playing with and trying on the helmets and lightsabers that were there to use for photos at the backdrops. These days I get fairly tired after several hours so I was glad to head home at 2:00 PM.
This Thursday is Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to the annual Chgo Thanksgiving Day Parade downtown and then heading to Joan's for dinner. Stef and Meryl will be in town and it will be great to see them and the best part is that I will not have to get up for work the next morning.
Last week I also helped a friend move a large Star Wars display piece to a storage unit. It was a large U-Wing from the new movie "Rogue One" that was hanging from the ceiling at his WalMart store. It just barely fit in the Jeep.
I also had a meeting with the folks at the Joliet Area Historical Museum to look at plans for a very large build for the annual Joliet Star Wars Day. I know that I will begin some of the building of this piece as soon as possible. We will need to get going if it is to be ready for display by the end of April so that it can stay up at the Museum from "May the Fourth" till about a month after JLSWD which is June 3, 2017. I know this project will keep me busy.