Saturday, January 26, 2008

Retirement decisions

Here is an announcement. I plan to retire before my full retirement age of 66, not this year, but soon.

The question is, have I made the right decision to retire early? I just read a blog entitled "Wait if you Can" by Dr. Ron Evans, a semi retired professor at Washburn University in Topeka. He suggested, in jest, consulting a fortuneteller. After all, when one should take retirement depends on length of life. Eighty years is the breaking point to make up the difference between the lesser amount at 62 and the full amount at 66.

As I said, the decision is made. Unless there is an unforeseen circumstance, I am retiring before the full age of 66. Maybe because I am even writing this, I have second thoughts. It's a difficult subject with coworkers. No one wants to comment. Many of our friends have already made the decision to retire early, but they have more lucrative management type retirement plans.

Bottom line, I want to have time for grandchildren and travel now when my health is good. Maybe that's the deciding factor, not a fortuneteller.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ski Kansas

There was a poster that was available sometime in the 70s or 80s. It said, SKI KANSAS There was a straight line across the bottom with a guy on skis and one corn stalk.

It was great.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Christmas in January

The ski trip is part of our family’s Christmas celebration. Rather than converge on our Monument families house, Drue found a Breckenridge vacation home to use for three days.

The trip as far as Monument on Thursday went well. After visiting our uncle near Old Colorado Town, we head to Breckenridge the "back way" on Hwy 24.

This route through Woodland Park, Lake George and Fairplay is in a wide valley plane with mountains always in view. It is especially beautiful with new snow. Fairplay is a tidy appealing little town. We arrive hungry. There are several tempting restaurants but we are in a hurry and opt for a sub at the gas station. What a surprise. The sandwich is huge and delicious.

From Fairplay, Hwy 9 passes through Hosier pass, drops into Breckenridge valley and our destination.

By 2:00 pm on Friday the adults are enjoying the cabin's high glass windows with views of snow topped trees and Norwegian style snow covered rooftops while the kids find the hot tub and games. We plan our menu, run to the grocery store and rent skis.

The Breckenridge ski slope is a short distance away, however we choose to drive to Copper Mountain, another 20 minutes away. Copper offers discounts on already high priced lift tickets so is worth the extra time and miles.

Dan and I watch Carly and Evan on Saturday. Those two little ones are a joy. Carly will keep up with her brother and cousins on the slopes in a year or two. Evan at six months has a few years to go.

Dan's fire is roaring when the group arrives red faced and cold. The January weather is in the teens with gusts but the snow is perfect. Trent knows his stuff. In order to keep up Aaron and Adam worked hard learning to manage the skis and turns. We hear about the exciting day over our home cooked meal and wine.

Sunday's dawn is cold but with forecasts of sun. Kim and Trent are under the weather though so they stay behind with Dan,Drue, Evan and Carly. I am excited to be with the remaining family to experience the perfect snow myself.

What a fun day. Aaron and Adam master the skills which enables us to catch another lift that takes us to the top of the mountain. Beautiful scenery and snow.

The sun is slipping down as we return our skis and boots to the rental shop and head back to the cabin. A trip to the doctor assures Trent and his Mom the fever is just a bad cold. Kim is feeling better, thankfully. We enjoy another good meal and pack our things to leave.

Monday morning the sun was peeking over the mountain when we pulled up in front of the Blue Moose cafe for coffee and breakfast. By 8:00am nearly everyone was headed east on I 70.

We encounter nasty weather near Denver slowing traffic, but we slip through Denver without too many delays. The rest of the way home, we hit our time goals including a stop at Peg’s for a delicious dinner with her family. Her son Todd made his famous spaghetti sauce. We soon learn how it acquired its name.

With goodbyes to Peg and family, the last lap went quickly.

Christmas in January is relaxing and provides many memorable connections with family. Our family highly recommends it.

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Son, Doug. Aaron & Adam, Kim & Marc's boys and me. Marc is there too taking the picture.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ski Copper Mountain Colorado

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Son, Doug. Aaron & Adam, Kim & Marc's boys and me. Marc is there too taking the picture.

It was a great belated family Christmas gathering in the Colorado Mountains. We stayed in a cabin in Breckenridge but skied at Copper Mountain.

We are home. If you want to know what we did on the way check Peg's Kansas Prairie.

More about our days in the mountains tomorrow night.