Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back to my regular schedule

Flag at Ski to Sea finish line
There's something a little annoying about holidays when you're retired. That's the way it's been for me, at least. I follow a weekly schedule that I enjoy, but when a holiday for the still-working crowd comes up, like Memorial Day, I am a little bit at a loss. No buses, no gym, no library; everything is closed down so others can take a much-deserved break.

Saturday I worked in the burgeoning garden, and Sunday I went to check out the Ski to Sea finish line festivities. The 90-some-mile relay race went almost as planned, with no rain but plenty of wind. The race officials shortened the final section, kayaking, by a few miles and kept all the participants hugging the shore instead of going around buoys in the open water. The waves were less of a problem that way. I missed the first finishers but saw a few of the kayakers coming into Marine Park on their way to ring the bell at the end.
Here comes the 11th place finisher (out of 500!) up the final chute. He's supposed to ring one of those bells signaling the official finish time for his team. Last year I entered the Beer Garden and enjoyed a beer after watching the finishers for awhile, but Sunday was cool and breezy, making a beer sound much less enticing. The entire downtown Fairhaven area was wall-to-wall people, with a street fair, vendors, teams and spectators celebrating the event. I paid $3 to ride a shuttle from downtown Bellingham so I wouldn't need to drive, although I did find the city buses were indeed running and I could have used my bus pass to get to Fairhaven. This is a big event in Bellingham, and other than a glitch in one of the relays (the timer's battery was dead), everything went as planned.

For me, it was interesting to be a spectator, and it gave me something to do with the day. I have been a bit at odds without being able to follow my old routine. There is no doubt about it: I am a bit set in my ways. I enjoy my normal schedule, since it is MY schedule designed for ME. When I was working, that wasn't the case. How well I remember those days I looked forward to a holiday when I could do something interesting outside the confines of my office. Yesterday, Memorial Day, was spent quietly at home remembering my own departed ones and finishing up a good book.
This swallow was busy coming and going from feeding what must be her babies inside the nesting box. One of the pastimes I enjoy very much is taking pictures, although I go back and forth between wanting an expensive camera with cool photographic capabilities and the point-and-shoot I have now. The picture above was taken with the 12x optical zoom on my PowerShot all the way out. The following picture, taken by Joe Meche and distributed on the Whatcom Birders list, always makes me consider getting into photography a little more deeply.
Bewick's Wren, 15 May 12 by Joe Meche
Definitely a difference in quality. And expense, not to mention time spent out in the park with a tripod and binoculars. Becoming a real birdwatcher and photographer would take up quite a bit of time and energy... and might be just the thing to do with myself on holidays. I'll give that some more thought!


  1. i'm laughing at your own solution to your 'problem'. :) i'm not sure you'd have much time, though! you're on the go!

  2. bird watching can be rather fun though...the race sounds pretty cool and i bet they were fairly exhausted on arrival...a day to just relax and enjoy a good book now that sounds just right for me...

  3. I bought a pretty-good camera so I could zoom in on birds. Still find myself using the smaller, simpler, lightweight one. But a year from now when we're mostly done with daycare, I plan to do much more with birding AND the good camera. Meanwhile, I love that you are always finding cool new things to do!

  4. You've nailed one of the challenges of retirement...we get too set in our ways and miss out on some exciting opportunities.
    I have to get more camera. My point and shoot is just too limiting.

  5. I smiled a lot throughout this post. Routine or not, you sure don't fit into the couch potato category!

  6. I enlarged the photo you took of the swallow , and trust me...you do beauuutifully with your PowerShot. The camera is part of a photographer's final product...but not the only part or best part. You have the eye and you have a darned good camera, apparently, 'cause there is nothing wrong with any of your photos. They are lovely.
    Continue to enjoy your retirement.

  7. I love the way you wrapped this all up in your last sentence. :-)
    I sort of feel the same way about holidays. All of those people out playing and shopping and having fun can get in my way. But now that I have family nearby, sometimes I'm out there with them. Maybe it's not wise to get too set in our ways.

  8. Library closed in the holiday? Utterly uncivilized place you have there.

    Marauding city citizens spreading abroad in the countryside? Oh, dear.

    Birding with binoculars and camera. Now that sounds delightful. I have 8X40 binoculars and a Canon digital camera. It's a bit to lug while hoping to see and shoot birds (shoot with said camera). But it's all good.

    Or, if the urban invasion is too overwhelming, you could go jump out of an airplane. That might even amuse the city folk. And give you a good view of the relay (at least for a few moments).

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  9. I most likely need a better camera too..I think you and I have the same Canon..I am seriously considering it:..and yes it would keep you busy on holidays! :)

  10. Swallows are so beautiful. I hear you about your schedule. Actually my Monday was sad just because my daughter and her family left on Sunday night. The house was so quiet and lonely yesterday.

  11. Since only one half of our household is retired (me) we still spend weekends doing fun stuff or just working around the house like this long weekend.

    You take great photos DJan, you have the eye for it. A camera is nothing more than a tool.

  12. We have very little schedule here at home. We are off in a moment's notice to goodness knows where. We do plan some holidays and anticipate weekends with relish. Just like the old days, looking forward to weekends. Even though we are retired, we still "do stuff" just on weekends - not to say that we can and do "stuff" during week as well. I love my retirement and have only been at it for 12 yrs. I love the fact that when I wake up in the morning I can say "Do you wanna go??????" and it usually happens.
    I found myself that a schedule messed me up more than it organized me. I can see the schedule of regular hikes, skydiving and things that you have to plan ahead, however, I have two friends that schedule their day from the time they wake up for breakfast, till they have brushed their teeth to go to bed. Their very rigdid regime of a complete day, every day scares me. That would be routine and too much of it for me. Stuff just happens for me in and about my day and seems to fill everyday - holiday weekends usually find me "Somewhere" over the rainbow.....lah,lah. Now I'm just being silly.
    I think you would love birding - wish I had someone to go with. I do watch our birds, when walking, sitting on the deck, down by the riverside - lah, lah, lah down by the riverside, down by the riverside, Well, I met my cute brown eyed man down by the riverside (I'm playing on my UKE now) ha,ha
    You are one of the busiest women I know DJan, so of course you need to be MORE BUSY. Happy Gardening Kiddo. Take Care - Saucy

  13. When every day is a holiday, and the holidays come for those still working, it tends to turn the tables on those of us who are retired. You always seem to find interesting things to do. Ski to Sea looks like a great way to spend a holiday.

  14. Every day is like a holiday for me, because I tend to be house bound most of the time. Retirement is bliss, and I don't have a schedule to adhere to.

  15. How exciting - a kayak race. I've never heard of that here. We have rowing boats mostly.
    I've left a comment on your previous post, which I nearly missed because I've been so busy outside.
    You always take such pretty pictures. I wouldn't worry too much about a new camera. Remember how heavy they can be to carry.
    Lovely post but yesterdays was so inspiring to me. I can't wait to see how you get on in that garden.

  16. Interesting, isn't it, how everyone looks forward to these holidays for some free time? And I, who have the time every day now, am a bit annoyed at all the hoopla.

  17. It's kind of funny how the holidays feel differently to those of us who are home. They were different when I was young and home with my son, too, than when I was working. Everything is relative, I guess. ;)

    Having a fancy camera would be something! I get jealous of pictures other people can take with the super zoom lenses and such--but I barely get the things done I have to do now. You, on the other hand, could be using a fancy camera on your hikes and travels all the time. And have bird feeders and lush greenery to peruse. Might be worth it for you. ;) I already love your pictures as they are, though.

  18. Well, you well know I love bird watching, so your images were an extra special treat today. As for schedules and retirement, I find that most everything I do is still up and running except for shopping, which I am all the more happy to have them closed on a holiday...that way I stay home and out of the crowded malls. LOL

    Loved your image on #11 coming in at the finish line. Oh, and a beer is always good on a hot day ---but when it's cold and rainy it's more a hot cup of tea. LOL

    Enjoy your day today DJan

  19. You have to just stand back in admiration at all those athletes willing to take part in such an exhausting race. But I see you weren't tempted to compete. Nevermind normal schedule resumed I expect.

  20. I've always preferred to work when others are celebrating a day-off. Not sure why, I'd just rather enjoy the peace and quiet of having a day to myself when everyone else is working.
    The bird shots are spectacular, I would love to have a decent camera with a manual zoom lens.
    I love the idea of the community garden, lots of fresh veggies !

  21. I think your photos are always lovely, DJan. You need to keep in mind that a 12x zoom would equate to a pretty expensive lens on a DSLR. Especially if you want a fast (crisp) one. If that's the closest a 12x lens brings you to that bird, you wouldn't likely zoom any closer with a DSLR unless you had a super fast lens... and then you probably wouldn't need to be as close optically (and you could zoom and crop it later, digitally).

    As for binoculars.. I have never considered bringing a pair along since I usually carry an extra lens with me and don't want the additional weight. I do however, on occasion, use my zoomier lens as a means to scan an area and find what I'm looking for.

  22. I agree that if you vision allows it you should take up this hobby. Your photos are superb.
    But I cannot believe that you really feel at a loss if the routine is a bit altered. You found a lot to do on this weekend.


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