Back to the plan

My basic (non-touring) retirement plan was to ride my bike (or hike) every day and do one other thing. This other thing could include a social activity like a happy hour or an adulting thing like grocery shopping. A few weeks ago I started substituting napping for “one other thing.” After I while I was beginning to feel rather pathetic so I decided to make an earnest effort to get back in the game.

Within the last couple of weeks I have attended my old office’s holiday lunch, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association holiday party, a happy hour with my wife and some former co-workers, a concert (Mumford and Sons with Maggie Rogers as the opening act) with my wife and daughter, the Hains Point 100 bike event (in the cold rain), two Friday Coffee Clubs, and a happy hour with my former co-worker Jessica.

My daughter, who is interning at the Irish embassy in DC, took me to a screening of Black ’47, a film set during the Irish potato famine. The screening was sponsored by the embassy. Before the film, the Irish ambassador made some remarks about the movie and its historical context. Ireland had a population of about eight million before the famine. One million Irish citizens died as a result of the famine while another million emigrated to the mostly to the U.S. and Canada, but also to Great Britain and Australia. After the film I met the ambassador who happened to be sitting behind me during the screening.

This experience prompted me to get my Irish citizenship application process in gear again. A few months ago I had been denied access to a couple of family vital records for lack of proof of lineage and sworn affidavits affirming that I was seeking to acquire these documents for good cause. This week, I found the documents to prove lineage and then I rode to a notary public and had the avidavits notarized. I mailed all this paperwork so I should be in good shape in a month or so to apply for entry into the Registry of Foreign Births.

One day last week I discovered that I had 23 matured EE U.S. Savings bonds. So I spent an evening entering data into the U.S. Treasury’s website. I spent Monday morning in a bank redeeming them. Lo and behold, my bonds were worth over $4,000. Dang.

My son moved to Thailand over three years ago. His car – which I call the Millennium Falcon –  has been sitting in front of our house slowly absorbing money for insurance, taxes, and maintenance. Today my wife and I sold it, put the money in his bank account, and contacted the state and local authorities and our insurance company that the car was sold.

Still to come before Christmas is one more #bikedc happy hour, a Friday Coffee Club, and a performance by my friend Rachel’s instrumental trio at a local restaurant.

Speaking of Christmas, we are toning it way down this year. No big live tree, just a little fake one with lights on it. Stockings are hung. Decorations include a few lights outside and some ribbons and wreaths here and there. The big change is we are not doing presents. As an utterly incompetent consumer, I find gift giving incredibly stressful and, more often than not, a complete waste of money. It’s fun when your kids are little or when you are in a new-ish relationship, neither of which apply to my household.




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