I know I had promised a post on the last half of the trip, but that will have to wait for a bit. I found it difficult to post while travelling because we had no wifi on the road, and whenever we arrived somewhere that had wifi, well, of course we were busy visiting and I had no time to look at my devices. In addition, Blogger does not seem to work well with Apple mobile devices; it could not seem to "see" photos on my new iPhone. So writing a post, and especially adding photos, required frustrating work-arounds. Does anyone else have this problem using Blogger with an iPhone or iPad? I would love some technical hints about what works for you.
But that is not my topic for this post.
I put quotation marks around the word home because, after having spent only 12 days here moving in, our new house didn't really feel like home when we returned to it a few days ago. It looked beautiful, and my son who was house-sitting had left it as neat as a pin. There were our furniture, dishes, clothes, and lots of boxes. The pets were delighted to see us. But we still felt as though we were unlocking the door to someone else's place. I guess it is time to settle in and actually start living here.
During the last few days, along with necessary chores, we have begun to explore the neighbourhood where we live. We have met some of the nearby neighbours, who seem very welcoming and friendly. We have gone to the local coffee house for coffee and snacks. We attended the Farmer's Market. We stopped in at a nearby farm that sells organic and locally produced meats and produce. My daughter's family came for dinner one evening.
Yesterday, we went for a short hike. There is trail access only a block from our house. Five to ten minutes of a steep rocky climb brought us to a viewpoint that overlooks a nearby lake and the ocean beyond.
View From the Lookout
Pausing for a Breather
The trail passed through a grassy open area where there were a number of Garry Oaks. Garry Oaks are the only oak tree native to western Canada, and their ecosystem is endangered. I was thrilled to discover that we have a couple of Garry Oaks on our property.
Standing among the Garry Oaks
There were also many Arbutus trees. These trees are the only broad leaf evergreen native to Canada, and they thrive on Vancouver Island. They are beautiful trees.
Standing by an Arbutus Tree
The summit of our climb was the top of a high rocky bluff with magnificent views of the bay and mountains to the south. In this area as well, we found Garry Oaks and many Arbutus trees.
Hiking Across the Top
There has been almost no rain here all summer, and conditions are very dry. We later found out that the trails we were walking on have been temporarily closed to hikers because of the fire danger. We didn't realize it because the access trail we used had nothing posted about a closure. I guess we won't be hiking there again until we get some rain. Fortunately, rain is in the forecast for later this week.
I think I am starting to get into this retirement groove. Although really, it feels more like a lovely holiday in someone else's house in a beautiful oceanside location.
Here is what I did today:
- I woke up at a reasonable (late) time, and sipped coffee while doing my online French lesson
- I cooked a big breakfast, which included fresh blackberries we had picked ourselves
- After breakfast, I read articles on the Internet about how to look after a goldfish pond. Yes, we have a goldfish pond!
- Rob and I went for our first bike ride here. It is hilly. I am out of shape.
- I had a shower and got changed, then walked down the street to a yoga studio in someone's home. My first yoga class here!
- I walked home in the blazing sun and had a short nap.
- We cleaned algae out of the fishpond, or rather, Rob did while I looked on.
- We had a light lunch
- I caught up on reading some blog posts
- I did some laundry
- I watered the garden
- I unpacked my computer and set it up
- I cooked a nice dinner -- lamb meatballs (with meat from the organic farm), rice, broccoli, and marinated bean and tomato salad
- I did some more laundry
- I wrote this blog post.
Our Bike Ride this Morning
The day that I described above is so very different from my typical day during the last 40 years. Right now, I find it blissful, and am so happy to have retired and made this move.
I am sure that soon enough, a little voice in my head will start to demand that I "accomplish something" each day. But for now, I am going to enjoy every lovely unstructured day, and learn how to just be. Of course, I'll spend some time unpacking boxes too. Tomorrow.