Thursday, November 4, 2010

It Is What You Make It

I started blogging several years ago, with a blog about the possibilities of retiring. I dropped that blog when I realized that I had absolutely no interest in retiring, at least not until I get old!

During that time I blogged about visiting my friends Bob and Rick on one of my annual fall trips to New England.  I'm going to incorporate some of that blog into this one.  This photo of the three of us was taken this year, during my October visit.

This photo is of the front yard of their house in New Hampshire, which they built about 17 years ago.  Bob worked in construction for 25 years, and has finished out every detail of the house to perfection.

They are surrounded by wooded preserves,
and can sit in their patio room and watch deer
and wild turkeys cross their back yard.

Bob and I first met during flight attendant training in 1991, his second career.  Bob retired a couple of years ago, but Rick will not be eligible for retirement anytime soon.  This has posed a few challenges for both of them.

The main challenge that they have is that Rick wants Bob's life (Bob says that the position is already taken), and Bob wants Rick to be free to travel more.  They still manage to take several vacations a year, and travel on weekends, taking little mini-vacations.  They are so much fun to be around, making friends wherever they go.  They have open invitations to visit people all over the world, myself included.

I arrived a bit later this year than I usually do, and still hit the full beauty of the just passing peak fall colors.

We stopped on our way in from Boston's airport, in Merrimac, New Hampshire, for lunch at the Homestead Restaurant.

It was overcast and drizzling rain, and this was the perfect place to cozy down and warm up.

I had a delicious chowder, that was full of seafood.  I followed up with sea scallops in an unusual balsamic vinegar reduction.
Delightful.  The site below shows their menu.

In my previous blog we had driven up to York,
Maine, where we made a favorite stop at Stonewall Kitchen.

They manufacture all of their delicious line of foods there, as well as offering tasty samples of their wares.  The grounds are always superbly
landscaped, and lunch is an extra treat to be had

We had run into a group of touring red hatters, out on an adventure. I have always loved the poem "Warning", by Jenny Joseph, which the Red Hat Society has taken to heart.

The poem seems especially fitting here since it warns that she will "gobble up samples in shops" and "pick flowers in other people's gardens".  You can read the full version at the site below.

This year we visited the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Their permanent collection consists of around 13,000 pieces and you can view most of them online.

The museum has been enlarged, but they preserved the beautiful
old entrance in the restaurant courtyard.

Later, we drove out to Lake Massabesic, outside of Manchester, where Bob and Rick like to kayak.  There are many hiking trails there, and gorgeous scenery all around.

We had dinner that night at a delightful cafe in Manchester.  It is a lovely, unique place, with very interesting food pairings on the menu. The couple who run this "gathering place" are highly involved in it's daily operation, and help to create the ambiance.  Read about their lives and the concept of "Republic" at the link below.

We returned to Bob and Rick's warm and comfortable home, had drinks on the patio, and took delight in the richness of life at every age.  I am overwhelmed with good examples of living life to the fullest.

I left early the next morning for my flight to Dallas.  I was returning to temperatures in the 80's, and no signs of fall in the air.  I still have cool autumn weather and fall colors in my future!

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