After 12 years as Pastor of Caring Ministries at Doylestown United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania, my retirement date is suddenly on the horizon, and moving closer at an alarming rate. Sixty-five days from today – tick, tock.
The house is slowly emptying out, in preparation for the arrival of The Pod – an 8′ by 8′ by 16′ storage space, that will arrive in our driveway on June 25, and depart several days later with all our earthly possessions inside. Except for what we sell. Or pawn off on our kids. Craig has marked out the size of the pod on the floor of our garage, and don’t tell him I said this, but I don’t see how we’re going to pull this off! To be continued…
We have developed a little game. Every day when I get home from work, I try to discover what he’s packed up while I’ve been out of the house. The game goes something like this: I walk into the living room to get a stamp from my desk drawer, and notice that the vibe is different. I look around a bit, and then shriek, “What have you done with the end tables?!” And he replies, “I packed them.” I remind him once again that we still have to live here for more than two months. His defense: “I had the perfect size box.” So off they went.
This time period is both exciting and bittersweet. In some respects. I wish we could leave tomorrow, because the protracted departure period is painful. On the upside, I’m suddenly everyone’s favorite lunch companion. In four days, I’ve received five invitations!
We have mapped out our itinerary in detail until March of 2019. We had to stop at that point, because hotels and airlines don’t allow bookings further out than one year. Here are our travel plans thus far.
- Down the eastern seaboard of the US visiting friends for the month of July
- Ecuador, including a cruise in the Galapagos Islands, August through late October
- Guatemala from Day of the Dead until mid-January
- Back to Florida for a cruise to Cuba
- Home for two weeks
- Portugal for spring 2019
We expect to spend the remainder of 2019 visiting Spain, some other European countries, South Africa, and countries in eastern Africa. We’ll let you know when we figure it out!