Sunday, March 21, 2021

Mosaic Monday #123: Just Another Day

Well, it's happened.  Retirement has become so engrained that I have not written a retirement post for a whole year.  My retirement anniversary (March 3, 2017) even passed me by without a second thought.  Well.  This will not do!!!  I will have to throw my own little party, in my own little way.  Hmmm ...

A party is not a party without some music.  How about some songs to represent the last four years?  And maybe a few photos for eye candy?

Reflecting on my retirement, the first word I wrote was FREEDOM.  Despite the passage of four years, I can recall my desperation to be free as if it were yesterday.  What does freedom mean to you?  For me, it means setting my own agenda, and in a way that is consistent with my beliefs.  As I have learned these last four years, it doesn't mean I won't work.  It doesn't mean I won't have obligations.  But it does mean I get to make those choices!

"Roam" by the B-52s is a song that reverberates with joy and abandon.  When Spousal Unit and I first started dating, this song was an anthem for us.  We dreamed about "rocking through the wilderness ... roam around the world ... without anything but the love we feel."  We live that dream every day.

Since we have moved to Montana, we have been blessed to make many new friends.  Neighbors.  Mountain Ambassadors.  Fellow volunteers.  And, of course, I have "met" many new blogging buddies!

Man with Hat haying with Dear Neighbor Friend

Four years ago, I could never have imagined that I would find my best friend in Montana, and yet that is exactly what happened.  I am grateful every day for Dear Neighbor Friend.  Whether it's kayaking, cross-country skiing or just chatting over coffee, each moment is a blessing.

The way I feel about this place and the people is expressed well in the Zac Brown song, "Homegrown".  "Why would I ever leave?  Cause I know, I got some good friends that live down the street ...  Live in a small town where it feels like home, I've got everything I need, and nothin' that I don't" 

One of things I love about Montana is its history.  It is everywhere you look.  Vintage buildings.  Rusting farm implements.  And the people.  If you ask, you will hear their stories.  And sometimes, those stories come to you in unexpected moments.  When I visited the Whitefish Historical Museum in October 2017, I had no idea that a spur-of-the-moment notion to volunteer there would bring so many unanticipated outcomes.  Such as the day I took a call from Janet Monk, a member of a long-time Montana family, who told me about the train that used to run within 1.5 miles of our house.  I have since visited the unused railway grade with my Dear Neighbor Friend.  The things you learn when you start to ask questions!

In the "Canadian Railroad Trilogy", Gordon Lightfoot captures my sentiment so completely.  This landscape before the trains came.  The vision and enterprise of the men who built the railroads and the industries to support them.  The blood, sweat and tears of the laborers who were the true conquerors.

The Museum was also my bridge to the 
Whitefish Winter Carnival since the director recommended me to the board.  A blessing and a curse of my personality is that I see lots about our world that could benefit from my help.  But if I want to have that freedom I wrote about at the beginning of this post, I have to choose carefully where I invest my time.  I am sure my thinking on this will continue to evolve, but at the moment, I give my precious hours to PRESERVING THE EARTH, PRESERVING TRADITIONS and ENCOURAGING A FOCUS ON RESPECT FOR OUR FELLOW MAN.  I have thoroughly enjoyed finding a new niche and a voice in the world of retirement.

Here I have included just a few photos that represent these themes.  Winter Carnival is about traditions.  The trash pick-up is just one of several activities that I hope will preserve our environment for future generations.

I have written before about the Violet Protest (August 1, 2020), (May 31, 2020), (March 8, 2020), a public effort to support core American values such as respect for the other, citizenship, compromise, courage, compassion, candor, creativity, and country over party and corporate influence.

I was thrilled to contribute two cross-stitch squares, while my Mom crocheted two squares.  "Whether we knit, crochet, quilt, or embroider these squares — through this social action, and from every corner of America; we as makers of all political persuasions, believe we can employ our willing spirit and our talents to contribute to healing divisions that threaten our country."  Ann Morton, founder  The Phoenix Art Museum will display 9,000 of the squares from March 10 through September 5.  It is not too late to send in squares - go to this link for more information.

The song "Stand Up" by Sugarland speaks to me about our collective responsibility to be there for others - 'light a fire for the silent and the brokenhearted'.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you are probably surprised that I have not mentioned nature yet.  Have no doubt, it was the second word I wrote down during my musings about retirement!  I only have to look out my window to see nature - plants, wildlife, the clouds in the sky, the wind blowing in the pines.  I relish this aspect of retirement, and I try hard not to take it for granted.  In my moments of deeper reflection, it has dawned on me that I am seeking NEW EXPERIENCES.  And for that, there are not enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do.  We keep learning about other opportunities, such as forest service cabins we can rent.  And we are certainly looking forward to the return of international travel -- we have not been to the UK to visit my in-laws since the pandemic started, and we also owe #1 Son his graduation trip to Grand Cayman!

"What we live for" by American Authors is a bouncy song that embodies that going-on-a-road-trip, family vacation vibe.  Yep, this is what we live for!  

I hope you have enjoyed my little retirement anniversary party!  Maybe next year I can tell you about a real-life gathering - wouldn't it be fun to mark my five years with food and music and beverages and actual PEOPLE?!?

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
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Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

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  1. Happy Retirementaversary!!! You sure picked a most wonderful place for your retirement dreams to come true!

  2. looks like just another beautiful day. I've NEVER seen hay done like that before. Thanks Angie for hosting.

  3. Retirement has been quite a time for me.
    Happy anniversary!

  4. I agree what you write about retirement and FREEDOM. To have a choise to choose. I am happy you have a good life and I would not mind having something like that. :) Beautiful nature, family and friends are precious!
    Take care

  5. Congratulation for your anniversary. It must be a great time, I believe, looking back and stand now here in your home in Montana with good neighbours and friends... I enjoyed reading, Angie.

    Wish you a very good week.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  6. You throw a darn good party! Thanks for inviting us. But next year for your fifth, it will be even more fun for you with real people and stuff. (I think. I’ve sort of forgotten what that’s like.). Ha ha and after five years retirement really will start to be just regular life. I think it was about then that I started sleeping past six in the morning )). But I’ve been retired fir so long now that I can’t count the years on all my toes and fingers.

  7. Happy 4th year of Retirement! I do hope you get to have a big party next year to mark your 5th year--this was a fun virtual one! I retired before my husband--and when he retired I told him that from now on every day would be Saturday! It is FREEDOM and we now enjoy our days together as best friends. PS: Gordon Lightfoot is among my favorite singer/songwriters and The Railroad Trilogy is one of my favorites.

  8. Happy anniversary of retirement. Wishing you a good week


  9. Wow! What a great celebratory post, Angie. Not only eye candy, but ear candy as well. So glad you are enjoying your retirement (so am I!), but I find it surprising that there are people out there who seem to wilt and decline when they retire...

  10. Having dabbled in Museum work myself, I found it completely satisfying. Doesn’t time fly by? Loved this post and the Lightfoot song. The railroad, such a breakthrough in its time, like so much of life that grows too big now needs moderation.

  11. I must say we are VERY happy in our retirement, as you obviously are in yours. I don't know how anyone can be bored in retirement, there is still so much to do and explore! Happy retirement anniversary, have a great week, stay safe, and thank you again for the link up

  12. What a great post! I love having the freedom of CHOICE that retirement brings and look forward to this coming year too. I try my best to be thankful for what we have even though I always want more time with family. But that will come! Enjoy your week!

  13. Happy anniversary! You're staying busy in and out of the house. I wish you many more years of fulfillment.

  14. Great post.
    Happy 4th year of Retirement.
    Keeping fingers crossed that you do get to have a big party next year.

    All the best Jan

  15. A great post! Here's to civility!

  16. Hello,
    Happy retirement anniversary! I retired Dec 2014, the last 6 years flew by. I like having the freedom to do what I want and when I want. We hope to travel more, I hope you are able to visit the UK and Grand Cayman soon. Take care, enjoy your day!

  17. Wow, you are making the most out of your retirement. Congratulations.

    Freedom is the word for me that resonates the most.

    Montana does have a lot of history,close to the surface. I have relatives who were part of it. Miners in the copper mines in Butte.

  18. It sounds like you're quite busy in retirement.

  19. Happy Retirement Anniversary to you dear girl! How wonderful to have found such a dear friend right next door. Making good choices on how to spend your retirement according to your gifting is so wise. Best wishes to you in your retirement endeavors!

  20. Happy Anniversary and what a cool way to celebrate by music and songs you love! Would love to join your 5y party next year :) Kisses from Germany

  21. Happy Retirement-a-versary! A good date to celebrate. So glad you've found a good friend nearby.

  22. Womderful post for your retirement anniversary, your life sounds very happy.

  23. That was a good 12 months Angie.A day or two ago I had to ask Sue when I retired as it seems that long ago. She remembered. The best times of our lives!

    As to your question. Sedentary species stick around the same areas, don't migrate or do anything exciting like heading off to Africa for the winter. The life histories of migratory species are much more exciting. Ring any bells?

  24. I have been retired for seven years and have enjoyed every minute. I can honestly say that I have not missed working, even for a moment. And I am sure I will die with unfinished projects! Boredom is never an option for me.

  25. Busy doing what you love, happy retirement anniversary, Angie!

  26. Retirement suits you very well, Angie!


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