Today’s the day! Happy Halloween…Off we go!

Tom went to work at 5:40 this morning for the last time after 42 years, to sign his final papers and get the traditional frosting laden train decorated cake. 

In minute he’ll walk in the door of friend Karen’s home to begin the process of packing “way too much stuff” into his SUV and head to Scottsdale, Arizona to begin the first leg of our year’s long journey.  

Most likely it will take an hour or two and we’ll be off.  One third of the stuff we’re bringing on the road trip will be ditched when we leave the US in two months. Mostly, its includes some snacks, a few remnants we couldn’t part with for now, my tea pot, my Genius chopper, sugar free peanut butter, and four bottles of Courviosier he received as gifts at his party.

Tom just walked in the door, frustrated and angry that his last day on the BNSF railroad, after 42 years of hard work, was dismissed in a few ways.  One, the usual jacket retirees receive on their last day was no where to be found and two, his departing cake had “Marty” written on it.  One would think after all these years, they could get his name right!  Marty!  Good grief! (Poor Marty. He must have “Tom” on his cake!)

Ah, let it go my love.  Your name “Tom,” was on your cake last Saturday night at your retirement party with over one hundred railroad guys and gals in attendance to celebrate YOU!  

Now, its close to 1:00 PM.  After nearly two hours, the car is loaded, the Kryptonite bike locks are entwined in the handles of the six suitcases, the over-sized black tablecloth covers it all and we’re just about ready to go.  

Surprisingly everything fits, except for the cooler which I’ll keep on the floor near my feet.  Whew!  My bad shoulder is killing me but maybe, just maybe, the manual labor will be at a minimum over the next four days as we waft our way across half of our beautiful USA.  

Goodbye, family.  Goodbye, friends.  Goodbye, Minnesota. 

Hello, New Life… the life of two traditional baby boomers, aches and pains in tow, wrinkles and gray hair escalating by the minute, hearts filled with love, hope and anticipation, embarking on the journey of our lives.  Stay tuned.