Stolen Summer Kisses in my October Garden

We are greeted by a thick bank of lake fog every morning, lately. Some times we can’t even see the far side of the lake, it’s so thick. The air is chilly and everything is dripping with dew.  By noon, though, the sun has burned off the last wisps and the air is clear and bright.

The rest of the country may be deep in the thrall of autumn; but here in Sunnybrae, my garden is reveling in stolen summer kisses.

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Garden Tour

It’s too hot to sew. It’s too hot to dig in the garden. It’s too hot to go for a walk. How about a garden tour? That will cool us off!

008I know some of my Whitehorse friends have been dying to see what I’m growing down here.

010My new yard here in the Shuswap isn’t very big.

022It’s pretty tiny, actually.

021Over the spring I was busy digging a border and filling it up with perennials.

005Some plants were already there. I didn’t know what a lot of them were and probably pulled out a few before I found out they weren’t actually weeds…

004Does anybody know what this blue flower is? It isn’t morning glory.

017018At the far end of the yard there is a small vegetable box. Mr. C is going to built me another. I also planted three blueberry bushes and a sickly rhubarb that the neighbor passed along (and is looking much better already). Everything will grow up nice and big over time.

012I put raspberries under the deck overhang.

014015And vegetables wherever I can fit them in.

019Bush beans are in the planter at the front of the yard. Please excuse Samson, he is giving me the stink eye because he didn’t feel like posing.

002There was this funny oval in the middle of the yard with nothing growing in it but weeds and one scraggly rose bush. So I filled it up with strawberry plants, tomatoes, chives and bell peppers. (oh yes, and marigolds)

016There are lots and lots of daisies along the driveway (which are my very favourite) that were here already.

007020Here is one thing that I almost pulled out this spring. I’m awfully glad I didn’t…it is a hollyhock and already taller than I am!

003Of course I put in lots of shrub roses. Rosa Rugosa, in honour of us being from the Yukon, you know!

006I hardly bought any annuals at all. Just these to decorate the front gate.

023So that’s us. How’s your garden growing?

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what early retirement means to me

“You think you can. You think you can’t. Either way you’re right.”

I came upon this quote on Tamara Reddy’s blog, Early Retirement Journey and it jumped right off the page at me. I’ve been feeling some trepidation lately…worries that the small budget we’ve set for ourselves won’t be adequate, worried that I will be bored, worried that I won’t make new friends. People keep asking me what I plan to do in my retirement, which sends me into a bit of a panic because I haven’t been able to formulate a coherent answer.

But today I feel good, and I’m reminding myself that these are normal fears for someone who is making such a big change – leaving my daily routine, moving to a new part of the country and all that that entails. I would have to be crazy if I didn’t feel nervous about it! Phew! I’m okay! I’m normal!

And I know that it will be okay because, really, it is only my circumstances that are changing, not my attitude. I have always lived a big life, and now I will have the time to explore and enjoy the things I love to do even more…live even bigger!

What do I plan to do with my retirement? Well, I am a healthy 52 year old woman and my husband is a healthy 55 year old man and we both look forward to being active together. We both enjoy walking with the dog, and look forward to living in a climate where we will be able to do these family walks most of the year ’round.

We don’t do much hiking these days because of time constraints, but when we spent a month in Australia a couple of years ago we went hiking almost every day, and we hiked into places that I had no idea I was physically capable of going. And I loved it!  Both of us are looking forward to throwing the camper on and driving into nearby provincial & national parks to check out the trails. I’ll start off slow and train up to the steep hikes, getting stronger and fitter with every outing. And then there are our bicycles, and believe me we have plans for using those!

I love yoga and Pilates, and I’ve included classes into the budget. I figure I can meet some new friends this way, too.

And as you read in my last post, I would like to do some teaching or coaching in the local dance community (assuming they’ll have me, of course!)

I also look forward to having time to write, and get involved in a writer’s group. In fact, I’m taking another creative writing course right now and loving it.

I would like to do some volunteer work as well, and I’m interested in working with children. Maybe I could be part of a food-for-learning program and help prepare & serve breakfasts in the schools. I’m sure the volunteer possibilities are endless.

And music, of course. We will definitely be involved in music – I almost don’t even need to mention that one, it’s so obvious!

I haven’t even mentioned my love of handwork, and you know that knitting and quilting are going to be high on my list.

I  am going to have a fabulous garden, including fruit trees (apples, cherries, plums anyone?)

I want to experiment in the kitchen and make interesting meals together with my husband, and share those meals with new friends. I look forward to reading a good book from cover to cover. And if I want to do something I will, and if I don’t want to do something, I won’t.

Whatever I end up doing, it will include participating in my new community. And, hopefully, I will make a positive contribution.

And if we get homesick for  the Yukon, we can drive the truck & camper up whenever we want and stay for as long as we like.  The cabin at Fox Lake will be there waiting for us.

I am falling in love with the endless possibilities.