Moon over Racetrack

I titled this post after walking up the street from my neighbor and took a quick shot on the phone.

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It seemed appropriate that the moon illuminated the house, as today marks one month that I am officially retired.Shedding light on a new life as this moon is on the house, well, it has been an adventure so far.

It has been fabulous not to deal with the expressway, the buses, the fellow commuters,..I could go on and on. I miss some of the folks that I worked with, and the nice part is, they know who they are.I am sure there are just as many folks who couldn’t give a hoot that I am gone, or even realize that I am gone. Uh, news flash,folks…who cares? I don’t.

Being in a new stage of life gives you new appreciation of age and of time.When you need to do things through the day, you wonder however did you accomplish things when you worked.People would constantly ask me if I was bored.Gee, when I get a free minute I’ll let you know.Age comes into play when you actually realize some places start giving senior citizen discounts at 55.Not too shabby.

The moon is my friend. It has given me light on retirement, and hopefully it will continue to guide my way.

Flip side of the Day

Once again, the morning reminded me why I am retiring.

Suffice it to say I won’t be teary-eyed about leaving the local transportation systems and some of the riders on it.

Coming home was a different story.

While we were down at Undisclosed over the weekend, my neighborhood was busy.Below are a few new shots of Christmas light shots I took while coming home off the bus.

Enjoy!

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I really had a crappy bus commute this morning coming into work and texted Jim that I was going to blog about it tonight.

Until I came home and got off the bus, and got home and got the girls.

My mood changed.

We went for our pre-dinner walk and we took in the local Christmas lights of the immediate area that we walk in, where there was basically semi-detached, or “twin” houses.The girls are always happy to be out with me, especially in my zip fit bit stage, because they know we will WALK!
We did, and we paused on occasion to take the lights in. I have to watch with the big blow up snow globes, because Kasia gets scared of them.

Below are a few of the pictures that made a crappy morning and mediocre day into a fun night.

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Memory Triggered

I took a bus down and because it was cold , I got off the bus and made my way to the train platform. I had decided to take a train into town.

There was a little scene going on at the platform: a 30-ish mom with her little 6-year-old boy and she was trying to talk him into wearing her scarf to stay warm.

I was so fortunate to go on the train and who sits across from me from the mother and the young boy. He sat there proudly holding a $10 dollar bill between his fingers to pay the conductor for the fare. We started talking about the boy and I spoke to her of my nephews and their love of trains. I had an actual pleasant start to my day, with pleasant memory triggered by this mom and her boy, for which I thanked them and wished them a merry Christmas, and they did the same to me.

I felt good, for the first time in a long time.

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Schuykill

Schuylkill (pronounced School-kill) is probably an old Indian name. In Philadelphia, one of our rivers is called the Schuylkill. There is a county in Pennsylvania called Schuylkill.

And then there is our expressway running through Montgomery county and the county and city of Philadelphia-the Schuylkill Expressway.

Well, it was not an expressway this morning. It lived up to the second half of its’ name-kill.
There was a one car fatal accident this morning that made the Schuylkill a parking lot. I left for work and got on a public transit bus at 7:25am.

And I sat…and sat…

Traffic was bumper to bumper and then some, if possible. What normally would be a 40 minute commute took close to two hours and twenty minutes.Sad for the person who lost their life on the expressway.For the rest of us, it was avoided. The SEPTA transit authority opted to take the local route. The local route was bumper to bumper with everyone from Philadelphia and Montgomery county and I ran everyone, or so it seemed.

I will not miss this commute in the least.

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The week that was…

It has been a really long week.

Zosia’s injury had worn really worried us both, but she is working her way toward getting herself better, and with a watchful eye, we’ll keep our girl around for a good long while.

Then there was the camping out on the Schuylkill expressway in the bus.

To end the workweek, I started dealing with having to go to a needed doctor’s appointment this coming Wednesday which opens up more insecurity.Am I approaching retirement with the right health carrier? Do I need someone else?Do we switch physicians?Fortunately, this is a four-day weekend for me, and I am scheduled for a seminar about my retirement benefits in two weeks. It doesn’t stop the worry though.

Jim is just struggling dealing with me and Zush and everything else.

It goes without saying that a restful weekend is hoped for.

Here’s hoping yours is the same.

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To Paraphrase Seinfeld’s George..

The expressway was angry that day.

Well, not actually the expressway.

I left work at 5PM.

Where my bus would take the exit, there was a major back-up on the expressway because the accident closed the main road up to my current homestead.Fortunately,my nephew Greg was there to save the day.

Zush isn’t feeling well: she’s in some pain. Greg was able to go to the vet for me and pick up her medicine.We were going to meet and I was going to pay him and then we’d part.Little did we know from the texts we exchanged and I exchanged with Jim that I would still be on the bus at 6:24 and not able to get off until 6:35 by Greg’s phone.He was the one who found out what happened and I was able to relay the news to my new friends on the bus.It was like being on a lifeboat.You let your loved ones know you were ok and put dinner in the refrigerator because it’s going to be a while until I come home.Then there were the “Hello Dr Soso? I can’t make my 6:15 appointment, as I am parked in a 9 bus on the Schuylkill expressway.”There were no useless conversations on the bus today.We were all tired and frustrated adults who just wanted to get home.

Retirement looking really good right now.

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Living out of a suitcase…sort of

Our home of twelve years was sold last June.

I’m not due to retire until this coming January, God willing.

I’m living at my late parent’s house. it is truly transitional housing.

What does this spell?

My handbag is my life.

Women accessorize.It’s a given. Fashion’s fifth avenue has more than enough magazines where you can blink and you still won’t miss the newest handbags on the editorial fashion pages, if not the ads.We are taught that it is an extension of ourselves. Sure it is, until we have our first chiropractic visit or physical therapy trying to regain a normal state in our shoulders, arms or back.Yes, you, reading this rubbing your sore shoulder. You know what I am talking about.

Most working women have their lives, to some degree in a handbag.After all, we carry them, we keep our transit fares in them, our building passes in them, house keys in them, make-up in them, cell phone, e-reader, and so on, and so on…you catch my drift?

Well, being between two houses, I am in a constant state of,” Oh, I might need this:I’ll put it in my bag.” That’s starts one thing, and as Jim likes to call it, you end up having an avalanche effect.For example, as soon as I post this blog, I have to figure out to get a few pounds off the handbag.**chuckling**I know many women, myself included, who could clean out their handbag twice weekly and still wake up in the morning wondering what gremlin got in and throws even more stuff in our handbags.

I thought I was saying something when I went to a Vera Bradley bag, thinking cloth has to be lighter than leather.Yeah, right.The material doesn’t matter,when you put your belongings into it.

I am going to post this, and then,well, my handbag is not the fabric of the picture below but it is of this style, which of course, is so serviceable that Vera Bradley discontinued it!**sigh**
I will go and try to lighten the load.Of course, it goes without saying that I look forward to the time I’ll be living in our new home and won’t need my “stuff’ clogging up my handbag.

Feel free to share your handbag stories with me. I’m all ears.

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Daily Public Transit-The Good,The Bad, The Ugly

I am climbing on my soapbox again to talk about my daily commute.

Back in my prior life, when we lived two blocks away from the train station, life was sunny. A nice morning train, a brisk walk to work;in short, no worries.

Then our house sold and we moved two miles further from the train.There lies the rub: the bus.

I honestly hate the commute. In order to get into the city I take the bus onto an expressway, where I lose forty-five minutes to an hour one way.It irks me because it is time I’ll never get back again in my life.Traffic usually sucks.If you aren’t entertained by someones’ blow by blow description of how their life is going, how their **fill in the blank here: sex life, date life,third marriage is going, well,I know, I know, read or something** Well, there’s only so much to read or listen to. I refuse to be chained to Verizon and use my hot spot to be on-line. Then, when the bus reaches center city, I get off the bus and wait for a second bus.

Did I mention I hate personal trivial conversations on a cell phone on public transportation?
**Sigh**

Fortunately, I hope to God I get through this last stretch before I retire taking public transit. Pretty sad when I get to “treat” myself, thanks to my Flip Fitness class and physical therapy,and walk to the train station to get on a train that spares me the expressway.The indignity is I have to get OFF the train to get back on a bus to get home.

I won’t miss this at all.

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Transportation Cocoon

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We had a little stretch of weather the past two days.

As George Costanza from Seinfeld would say “The sea was angry that day, my friends.”Well, we have had some angry weather here around quitting time. You go and join the rest of your fellow office workers waiting for a bus to go home.
Winds blowing,trees bending,rain starting,juggling of umbrella positioning so you don’t bang into anyone…get the picture?

Then,up the street,comes your bus.

You have never seen so many people get on a bus in a quiet and orderly fashion, so happy to be drying off in that cocoon that only public transportation can offer.No glares of folks whose toes have been squashed, backpacks swung around. Forget the fact the entire bus knows that we will be stuck on a major traffic artery for at least an hour to get home in this rain.

Thank goodness for the bus!

Just patiently waiting

In-epta struck again this morning.

I went a few blocks on the bus when a supervisor called the bus driver over. It would appear that he had called the supervisor to tell him he had trouble with a ride mirror on the front of the bus. It was determined that the bus would only go another 10 blocks and stop before going on the expressway.

The driver was soft-spoken,and to everyone getting on the bus he announced how far the bus was going.Great. Except I figured I’d try to get the train. I needed to get to block 9 in 12 minutes and the way this driver was spreading the news, it was hard for me to be patient.

It paid off. I made the train with four minutes to spare….whew!

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