Yesterday, it was 82 degrees in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at 5:30 PM when we checked in to our hotel, a newer Comfort Inn & Suites. Never having stayed in a Comfort Inn, I was tentative at the low price of $79 a night including tax. We’d decided when we began this journey that nicer hotels would be reserved for our future travels, not for getting us to Scottsdale.
Surprisingly, the room was a clean mini-suite with living room, comfortable sofa, spacious bath, mini refrigerator, microwave, flat screen TV and free wireless although unsecured Internet.
We left Des Moines Iowa at 9 am, stopping twice for gas with two additional stops to stretch our legs, mine particularly cramped from sharing the passenger floor space with the cooler.
Since starting our low carb, gluten free, sugar free way of eating 15 months ago, we no longer are hungry for lunch. We saved at least an hour by not stopping for meals. It was a good day, our first official fully retired day for both of us together.
Frequently we glanced at one another in a state of awe. We did it! We left! We said our goodbyes to loved ones with tear filled eyes. We let go of all of the entanglements one acquires in their lives, the stuff… and we left. Sadly? Yes. Easily? No. But we did it. And, we can’t stop smiling.
During the day, I received a text message from Verizon reminding me that I’ve used up most of my allowed text messages with three days left until the end of the billing period. Ah, who cares?
Along the way, my fingers flew across the tiny keyboard on my Android phone (soon to be replaced by two unlocked international smart phones) chatting back and forth with family and friends. See, we aren’t going to be so far away!
Tom and I chatted. We laughed. We silently contemplated our lives. We enjoyed the driving, not anticipating the future as much as reveling in the moment, coming to a single conclusion: We are on a permanent vacation that may never end.
No longer will we have angst on Wednesdays as a week’s vacation rolls into its mid point. No more will we be dreading the mail accumulating in the box (we cut our snail mail down to a few pieces a month, now going to our new mailing address in Las Vegas). No newspaper to call to resume the delivery. No sense of dread on Sunday evening anticipating Monday morning’s tough reality. How in the world can this be?
How in the world did this happen? The first discussion, flippantly spewed from Tom to me, resulting in us both surprisingly saying “yes” at the same time, seems as if were a lifetime ago, when in fact it was only 11 months ago.
And this morning, as we packed the organized layers of only that which we need in the hotel room, not a stitch more, we’re already in step as to who does what.
In these few short days we’ve developed a routine, so familiar, so comfortable that, oddly in itself, begins to feel like “home.”