When I retired in August of 2016, I promised myself that I’d make the next twenty years the best ones of my life. Well, 2017 was so amazing that I can’t imagine topping it.
I traveled extensively, visiting New Zealand, China and Mexico, and ended the year with a flight to England. I enjoyed the experience of a winter in Florida. I lived in an RV for eight months and drove it 7,000 miles from Florida to Vermont to Wisconsin to Arizona and then to California. Some photo memories:
I spent time with my children, staying in Seattle an extra week before the trip to China and also before Christmas week, gathering us together in Los Angeles for a fantastic Thanksgiving, and ending the year with a magical Christmas in a snowy cabin in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.
I spent time with extended family. I stayed with my cousin Betsy for a week in Virginia, and saw my cousin Barb for a quick visit in Florida. I met a first cousin in Missouri – Dixie and her many descendants. DNA found Dixie a half-sister and me a brand new first cousin, Deb, who we never knew existed. I met a second cousin, Melody, in Pittsburgh. I stayed in LA with my Uncle Jim and Aunt Vicki, who I hadn’t seen in many years. And I think the most exciting family visit was when I got to see my wonderful niece and nephew for four hours in LA at Thanksgiving!
I spent time with friends. My very dear friend Agnes came back into my life. I reconnected with old friends Jeff and Dawn in Vermont, Kris in Virginia, and Marty in California. I visited my childhood friend Carol on Long Island, and she and Debbie came to see me in Vermont. I traveled with Sandra, an old friend who also lived in an RV this year, in Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York. And, I visited a genealogy friend, Marina, in Phoenix. I saw my Bucks County friends briefly (too briefly) when I was there in May and August.
I spent time at genealogy events. I attended three conferences and one week-long institute: RootsTech in Salt Lake City in February, the National Genealogical Society’s annual conference in Raleigh in May, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in June, and the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ annual conference in Pittsburgh in September.
I spent time researching my family history. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and I got to do a lot of it. I went to archives, courthouses, libraries and cemeteries to my heart’s content.
In spite of all the visiting with friends and family, I spent a lot of time alone. That’s the part that wasn’t so good, and it’s really the part which is driving me to go back to Bucks County in 2018 and settle down in my community.
So, my first full year of retirement was fabulous! I feel like I really lived this year, doing so many exciting and fun things. Now it’s on to 2018 and even better years to come…
Happy New Year – wishing you all the very best in 2018 and beyond!!