So, it was with a great sense of satisfaction that Betty, Bailey, and I loaded up R.T. ( the name of the RV - Road Trip) and spend three nights at our favorite state park in Arizona, Follows Hollow, just outside Show Low. At 6300 feet the area is 20-25 degrees cooler than our desert home, a blessing.
The camping sites are spaced far enough apart for a very private feeling. Situated above the beautiful blue and shimmering lake, it is hard not to relax. A picnic table and fire pit are perfectly placed for meals and evening fires. Bailey has miles of trails to explore and smell new smells.
|Betty getting the fire ready|
|She is loving it|
During the day we hiked, read, talked, napped, played games and made plans for our grandson's upcoming birthday party. In the evening, fire pit time was followed by more game playing or a movie brought from home. Winds were gusty, sometimes reaching 30 mph during the day which made for the constant rustling and swaying of trees.
Importantly, I had the time and stillness to think about adjustments to my schedule and direction this fall. I saw this time as a end to summer and the beginning of the new season with all that might entail. I came home feeling as though I had flipped the calendar page to a fresh start.
A while back I wrote about my "need" to become involved in some volunteer activity, to do something that served those who are less fortunate or somehow marginalized in our society. My initial step is to become part of a steering committee being formed by United Way to find ways to get seniors more actively involved in service opportunities. The first meeting is next week, as part of a Connect day, a regular event when hundreds of folks get access to help with housing or medical issues.
My time in the mountains also helped clarify the importance to me of a schedule. I am finding it much too easy to drift through a day, putting off chores or activities for no particular reason than because I can.
I am going to take a page from my business days when I had to juggle dozens of different responsibilities and deadlines: have a daily schedule that has definite time slots for various things that I know are important to me: exercise/gym/bike riding time, writing, and guitar practice.
It might seem strange that retirement requires a more rigid schedule, but that is what I think will be best for me at this point in my satisfying journey. I will let you know how it works.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit, even for just a picnic and a hike, I can't say enough good things about Fools Hollow State Park. Arizona may have some problems with governance and its budget, but Betty and I have yet to be at a State Park that wasn't clean, well maintained, and well run. I am guessing the dedicated and friendly volunteers who man these places are responsible for much of what we experience.
In the meantime, enjoy these photos:
|Our home away from home|
|View of fire pit and lake|
|Stored until Spring|
|If we caught any fish, Betty was ready!|
|The family that camps together........|