A Time to Reflect

In the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur is the time of atonement. How can I contribute to the upcoming year?  I like to look at this as a time to slow down and reflect on the past year, and think of the coming year. The past year has been one of change. Moving to a new home, watching a new life being brought into my family with the birth of my grandson. My brother certainly made some changes as well. He and Leti moved into a new home, married, and my niece gave birth to her daughter making my brother a first time grandfather. Happy, life affirming changes.

The last part of the year brought one additional unanticipated change. My 16 year old granddaughter is currently living with us. I am back in the parent role, and I find that this is harder to  accept. There is a time for everything, and I planned this time for travel. With this delay I am going to continue to plan to travel, eventually. I guess I am trying to act logically, and not be so emotional about this turn of events. Logic pushes me to take positive steps toward my end goal.

Step 1.  Develop a way to communicate with fellow travelers. I know that I can only speak English. So I am using my computer to learn some Spanish. Maybe I’ll look at being able to speak some Hebrew. Who knows.

Step 2. Photography will be high on the list when I decide where I want to go. I plan to travel with my mirrorless cameras. I just sold my Olympus OMD E5 gear and purchased a Fuji XT2 camera and the Fuji X100F. I plan to use this time to become very comfortable with my gear. This also helps my emotional health.

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When I traveled overseas in 1964 I packed my things in a bright red Samsonite suitcase. It was easy to spot on the luggage carousel.

Step 3. Keep an eye out for places to visit. I plan to start making a list of where and when (best season) to visit my destinations. Facebook is one place to view good photographic places. Another place I check out are the many Flickr sites. And I’ll do some travel reading.

I just received my first passport, as an adult. So as far as travel goes I am quite new to foreign travel. My last time overseas was when I was still in high school over 50 years ago. Kind of funny the way life works out. When I left Karachi in 1966 I was thinking that I would work in the airline industry and be able to travel all over. When I graduated from college my husband and I even made plans to move to Israel. It has been over 40 years since I made the move from New  York to California. Vacations out of California didn’t take me very far in the United States either. Traveled back to New York, to Florida to visit In-Laws, Indianapolis to visit family, and to the Hawaiian Islands. I guess I have some catching up to do.

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Planning on hopping on the People Mover when the time comes!

Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the year ahead. Photo time, dog time, and time at home with my husband and granddaughter.

Who knows what the year 5779 will bring? May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.

Any suggestions as to where I should set my sights? I’ve got time to plan!

 

Decisions

It’s time to find my own way in the world. The past few weeks have past quickly, and I feel driven to make some important decisions.  Time to face the fact that life has an end, and I need to make the most of my time.

My garage filled with my parents belongings. It was hard to leave the house and pass by the totality of their possessions. My need for order sent me into a frenzy of organizing. The large items such as the huge California king bed, frame and damaged furniture went curbside for trash removal. Usable furniture found new homes with some new refugees. Since my parents entered this country as refugees with empty paper suitcases this felt like a good call. Some items I brought into my home as my mother would want.  My bedroom has three lamps brought over by my Great Aunt Shoshana from Shanghai after World War II. I have seen them in my mother’s room my entire life. They now sport new lampshades, and I enjoy seeing them on my nightstand.

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I saved some items of clothing from my father and mother. Vitas, the hospice organization that helped my mother in the last week, sent me a note that volunteers can create a memory bear out of these materials.  I finally gathered the items, wrote a bit about why the items were chosen, and I will ask for 3 bears (one for me, my daughter, and granddaughter) be created uniting clothing from both my parents in one bear each.

Getting my garage cleaned out is almost done. I have been thinking of getting a new car, and I want to be able to park inside. After 8 weeks I finally can park my car in the garage. Yeah!  Kind of narrowed it down to 3 choices.  I am looking for a SUV. Toyota Highlander, Subaru Forester or Subaru Outback. But I need to test drive them to see how I like the feel. Think I will be checking cars out this week. Been looking at all kind of cars in the parking lots. And silly as this sounds, color has importance in my decision also. Maybe I should get a hybrid. You never know about the price of gas. Probably will make this decision this week.

My parent’s passing has also brought new factors into play.  I have lived in my house for 31 years. There was no way I could think of moving away from this area after I brought my parents to Sacramento 9 years ago. Now we should decide if we want to remain here in Sacramento, or leave the city, state, or country.

At the end of 2016 I was planning on remodeling inside and out. Now before I take on expense and aggravation we should decide where we want to live. After some thought and dreaming we ruled out moving to the Bay Area.That would be bucking the trend: moving from more expensive to a lower cost of living. Wanting to find a place on a single level I checked out a Del Web retirement community. I saw some nice 2 bedroom layouts with about the same square footage, and a small landscaped yard. Plenty of activities to do, and a monthly fee for participation. This also didn’t quite seem right. Too much like following my parents path. They sold their houses and moved to Del Web in Sun City West, Arizona. For me this would not be as drastic since Roseville is only 20 minutes from my home. But one reason my Mom moved was to get my Dad involved with activities. This doesn’t work.  And do I want to live in a retirement community for “active seniors”? It isn’t completely off the table, but it may be near the edge.   There is the condo route, and there are only a few that meets my single story garden cottage feel that I am looking for. Increase in property taxes, and high HOA fees are a negative. Staying where I am, and paying for a landscaped yard, doing all remodeling and hiring a gardener and an occasional house cleaner will probably be cheaper. That is as long as we stay in California. I ruled out Florida as a permanent house change.  Maybe a short term rental would work. I wouldn’t want to worry about a property on the other side of the country. I decided that I didn’t need to make a decision this quickly anyway.

Vacation plans have us stumped.  I need to apply for passports just to be ready to travel. Probably start with a trip to the coast, or Lake Tahoe.  A new car will get us on the road. Maybe Libby will join us, or go visit her dog hotel. Many of my friends have taken some fun sounding trips. Any suggestions for a photo loving, laid back trip.

Have you found yourself in this position with many decisions to make, and also have the freedom to make them?  How does this make you feel? I move from excited to stressed. Procrastination in not the path I plan to take. Now I need to relax and enjoy the change.