For years and years I’ve wanted to do some classic rides and attend some classic events. Sturgis, Daytona, Americade, Laconia, Tail of the Dragon, Route 66, blah, blah, blah. All of them. But I was always held back by two things: Time and Money. While most are able to find the time or have the time, they also find the money or have the money. Other commitments is what keeps some away, perhaps most, while others are simply content without ever doing any of these things.
I will not accept that content-ness.
My time problem has always been that a full-time job always got in the way of my otherwise rock star lifestyle. Work Monday through Friday, tend to household needs and other worldly plans on weekends. No fun for me. Money was the other issue. All funds were constantly tied up in paying bills, mortgages, car payments, yadda yadda. Look I get it, all of these things were all my fault and I am solely responsible for my bills and expenses. Right, I got it. That doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed with my poor financial choices but I do live a good life. No money in the bank, no money in my pocket, but I do live quite comfortably.
But things are about to change.
Not that I’m going to live less comfortably, no, not at all. In fact I’m going to live more comfortably soon. Yes, more so.
For the past 21 years, my wife and I have owned acreage and a cabin in upstate New York in Otsego County in a little hamlet called Burlington Flats. With a full-time population of about 1500 most of whom were farmers of one kind or another, we were among the few hundred or so part-time residents and although we never met 99% of these people, I can assure you, they knew who we were. You can’t get anything buy anyone in a small town and I love that.
What was 150 acres and a small 440 square foot cabin with no power, no facilities, no running water, evolved into 92 acres and an 860 square foot cabin with solar power, a well, septic system and all the comforts of home. While still off-grid, it is completely self-supporting with the exception of the need for propane for cooking and heat. We called it “The Blue Mouse Ranch” and we love it there. However, for the entire 21 years we’ve owned it, I’ve been working on and improving the house and it’s still not done. It’s not far from completion, and I’m sure with maybe 1 year of an on-site presence of daily work, I could have the place finished.
But I can’t.
In November of 2021, my wife and I moved from New Jersey to North Carolina. The once 5 hour trip to the cabin turned into 15 hours. What used to be trips to the cabin every other week year-round, has turned into week long trips, every-other month. Where I used to spend 26 weekends and one full week per year has turned into (this year) 3 week long trips and on 3-week long trip, I still have one more week long trip to go in October. While it may seem like more time there, I was also working from home during those weeks, so in essence, minimal work got done and I learned just how taxing it was on the solar array. The trip to and from the cabin which used to cost me, at best, $75 for gas for the truck, maybe $150 if I had to use the generator to supplement the power. Now that trip costs me nearly $400 round trip including gas for the generator.
I can’t do it anymore.
We made the long and hard decision to put the place up for sale in July and on September 12th we received an offer. An offer we accepted. Now, the ball is rolling and things are in motion to where the property will exchange hands once again it’s existence. It is bittersweet for sure and I have cried a few times already over it and I’m sure I will cry again. But from this, good things will happen and I keep reminding myself of that. Good things will happen.
Good things like……. RETIRE FROM THE WORKFORCE.
That’s right, I’m hanging up my mouse. No more CAD work, no more drafting, no more annoying projects, no more condescending co-workers, engineers and supervisors. I will be able to leave a career I never really liked, never cared for and sometimes hated with a passion. To be fair, in the 36 years that I have been a draftsman I can honestly say there were two months that I absolutely loved it. But that’s it. Two months out of 36 years. I’m done.
We’re supposed to close on the sale the second week of November. From there, after all the funds have been distributed and debts are paid, I will announce my retirement in February 2023, sooner if they annoy me. What that means is that there will be reservations made for the 2023 riding season. Sturgis, Americade, maybe Route 66, maybe a Saddle Sore 1000 or two, maybe more than that. Who knows what the future holds on two wheels.
But there will be miles on two weeks for certain. You can count on it.