Sunday, September 30, 2012

Feelin' the Love

Bliss. I think I need one of these for my garden.
Every few years, Steve and I take a weekend away to do some strategic planning. I think the first time we did so was when he came back from his tour in Sarajevo.

These are important sessions for us. They restore the couple connection that can be stretched thin, with both of us working, travelling for our jobs, four kids (even though two have left home, we still worry about and support them). They are especially important as we face major milestones in our life, as we are now.

In a little less than two years, Steve will retire from his 35-year career in the Canadian military. At 18, he signed up to serve his country and he never looked back. Three years later, I signed on for the ride.

When he retires, we both will say goodbye to a way of life. This past week, we attended a seminar on preparation for retirement. It raised a lot of good questions:
  • where will we live: city, country, snowbirds?
  • will we retire at the same time?
  • how much travel will we do?
  • what will our finances be like?
  • how will we meet the social, intellectual, and identity needs that are currently fulfilled through our careers?
All excellent questions. So we decided to use the weekend to discuss them. We had already planned a trip to Kingston and Gananoque.

Victoria Rose Inn, Gananoque. Gananoque has a population of 5,400 and is about half an hour's drive from Kingston.
My friend's daughter thinks it looks like a castle. It sure felt that special!
Breakfast, as always, was scrumptious, though it did not have any of the bacon we had smelled the night before; disappointing. Who ate that bacon? Where did it go? They are contributing to the global bacon shortage!
Morning snack. They let me take this to my room after breakfast.
They also stocked the guest pantry with jujubes and Twizzlers.
We started in on our homework after that, then walked into town and continued over lunch. And dessert.
Pecan pie and real root beer.
By then we had pinpointed some areas that still need some discussion and thought, and were glad that we still have many months to consider them.

Walking back to our inn, we passed a teeny, tiny art boutique and fell in love with a few jewels.
Don't these just scream, "HAPPY!"?
I may have a "thing" for glass art.
We spent the afternoon relaxing, and then we got all dressed up to go to a gala!

I wore gold ear rings and bracelet,
and had golden nail polish, clutch, and shoes.
(I never know what to do with my hands
in pictures.)
I felt like a princess in my red dress, alongside my dashing soldier. 

The gala was a fundraiser for a museum affiliated with Steve's branch of the military (Communications and Electronics branch, since you asked). Steve is the branch advisor, so he has a modest figurehead role.

As part of the fundraiser, there was a silent auction. Loosened up by a glass or two of champagne, we started by bidding on three packages. We happily withdrew from the third one. Then I saw someone pick up a pen to outbid us on one of the remaining two, so I upped my bid on the third one on our list. 

Moments later, I discovered that she had looked at our bid and changed her mind. Oops. 

So we ended up "winning" two lots and walking away several hundred dollars poorer. But, we have some excellent winter parkas, a new counter-top convection oven, and a free dinner at a microbrewery in Kingston, along with a night in a suite.

So it was all good, in the end.

Having finished all our homework on Saturday, we had a slow morning wandering the gardens at the B&B.

This wee fellow was trying valiantly to open the bud.
A brief spot of sunshine.
This retaining wall was probably 100 years old - and was beautiful -
but it did not look like it would be around much longer.
A happy, little flower.
So that was our beautiful weekend. We're back home now, in the thick of things. I'm procrastinating about laundry and grocery shopping. It'll all get done eventually. Probably before we retire, but no promises.


  1. Are the laundry and groceries EVER done? :P

    I love this "business" weekend away idea. Sounds like something Jason and I might have to try!

  2. Our kids sometimes tease us about treating our family like a business, but some of the practices I've learned at work really do apply to helping a family work through transitions and crises.


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