Brighter Skies at Home

grey cape with blue skies on Friday
Monsieur and I returned home Wednesday to torrential rains and wind. The bougainvillaea and cacti  are just a memory for another year. Retirement certainly brings surprises and challenges. These weeks in Arizona and some summer trips to the Methow Valley in Washington State tend to be our only holidays as a couple. Monsieur is definitely more of a homebody than I am.

When I retired three years ago, Monsieur was still working and was only playing music from time to time. He has since joined two bands and is singing occasionally. There are regular rehearsals and much of Monsieur's life is involved with his music.

In addition to reading blogs, I enjoy listening to podcasts. Recently, I listened to The Ballad of Tin Ears on CBC Radio's Ideas. Although I know all the lyrics to the great Broadway musicals, I am completely
tone deaf! We tested it and I really can not distinguish pitch. I am not embarking on a musical career any time soon!

Soon a new year will be upon us and I will have another birthday in January. Another year has almost passed. My father has been gone 2 years in January. Although Maman misses him every day, our lives carry on. I am aware of the more frequent aches and pains in my own ageing body.

So my challenge in the new year is to try to find more engaging activities in my own neighbourhood. My retirement plan involved "front loading" travel for my healthiest years (60-65). I will be 63 in January so now is the time to create my "at home" life.

Before I went away, I took a course in Writing a Children's Book. Yesterday, I met with a publisher who is going to mentor me in the process. I have written since I was a little girl and I am constantly reading.  At University, I studied English and French literature as an undergraduate and Children's lit as a postgraduate. I will be working with X to develop a story that I hopefully will publish. I am always happiest when I have a project.

Monsieur drove me to Granville Island for my meeting. The skies were blue and clear. I put on my charcoal cape and grey Eileen Fisher pants to walk along the waterfront. We stopped for lunch at The Vancouver Fish Company. I have eaten in so many restaurants and dining rooms recently that I am really looking forward to simpler fare.

I have hardly thought about Christmas. Our gift list has shrunk as more family members have opted out of the gift exchange. It is a relief! We will spend some time together but gift giving will not be our focus. There are some special Advent services at our neighbourhood church and I am looking forward to a Christmas Cantata.

My challenge for today is a performance of one of Monsieur's bands at a larger, probably noisy venue. The band doesn't play until 10:00 and Madame finds band wife a very stressful role. Oh well! Life is about compromise.


  1. It sounds as though retirement is much like life leading up to it: we plan, but sometimes it takes turns we don't expect. My BIL is a children's book author and loves writing for that genre; I'm sure you'll have fun with it. The trim on your cape sets off your hair so nicely, great look!

    1. We never really know where life may lead. I have always enjoyed children's books and I am really looking forward to the process. Since I have been looking at grey as my neutral colour, I have found a few interesting pieces of clothing. For me, grey might be the new black.

  2. You must be quite excited at the prospect of writing a children's book. I think the whole process will be fun.
    You look wonderful in your cape and EF pants...I have a pair of her pants in black (quelle surprise!) your role of band wife sounds quite must be meeting up with all kinds of musicians and possibly groupies!

  3. We have so many wonderful Canadian children's authors, that it is inspiring. I have always loved to share books with children. Thank you, I really like EF pants but they are quite expensive. I wore mine a lot in Paris last year. They could be washed in the basin and I took a couple of clothes pegs so that I could hang them to dry. Each gig is different and the audiences are always interesting. Tonight is Rockabilly
    Roundup. As my brother says "It's all part of the adventure."

  4. You make retirement seem very promising! So many projects, and you always seem to be setting goals for yourself.
    I'm curious -- do you nap at all before heading out to your band wife gig? I'd have a tough time with the hours, I must say . . . ;-)

  5. I am a person who needs to have some purpose each day. It seems that in retirement, I need to balance scholarly activities with physical exercise and still have time for friends and family. If things get out of balance, I tire very quickly and my mood may be affected. As Monsieur already suffers from a mood disorder, my equilibrium is very important. I do need a rest before gigs because I tend to be a 5:00 am woman. By 8:30, I am usually ready to listen to a podcast and to doze off.

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  7. Hello Madame, I shall be so interested to hear how your book moves towards publication. Like you I'm a grey-haired woman who loves children's books. I used to work as an illustrator but failing eyesight caused me to retire and now my energy and enthusiasm is spent in writing. My NewYear resolution is to try to get some of my work into print - we shall see! I'm in my seventies and think that retirement is wonderful!


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