Chapter 28: Starting Adventure Travel

We spent a day at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers, FL

What do you think of when you hear the term, Adventure Travel?  For us, it is our post retirement dream!

For us and the purpose of this blog, it is where we are now, more or less!  We can finally say we are “really” retired.  Isn’t that a common goal for Americans, to become retired?  I (Debbie) officially retired from a 20 year career in law enforcement in February 2006, but I ended up working part time for a few years and have been a regular volunteer.  Bill said he never wanted to “retire” so his path is a bit different.  His goal or end game was to be self-employed.  His first full time experience as being self-employed was as a Snap on Tool Dealer, from 1986-1988, too short of a time, but those were very profitable years for him.  Sadly, that ended when we divorced in December 1988 (but that story has a happy ending:Chapter 2 So why share about our marriage?)  He formally quit the working world in October 2004.  When he quit, he actually had a dream job with Nationwide Insurance as an automotive claims adjuster.

But in 2000, we began working his way back into self-employment as we began our path into retirement.  That was when we invested in our first piece of rental real estate.  When we moved to Florida in November 2004, he went full board into real estate rentals, peaking at owning six rentals homes, but also caring for our home, his mother’s home and helping my parents out from time to time with their home – all of us in the same town.  Needless to say, caring for real estate in Florida is a year around task, especially in the heat of the summer.  We sold his last piece of rental real estate in August, 2013 – a dream come true as we prepared for the end game.

My “retirement dream” was to be a volunteer and work in the community to help make it a better place for all to live.  But as a workaholic, it was hard to stop working, so I started back to work part time for our Sheriff.  That lasted four years and my time there actually introduced me to our community in a unique way.   I made connections that helped me become a volunteer and allowed me to work with some of the most phenomenal people I’ve ever met – let alone have the privilege of volunteering with!  I was able to do this for several years – and this will be hard to leave as we approach our end game – adventure travel!  I’m hoping with technology, I can still be useful!

Bill’s “retirement” dream was to travel all over the United States and Canada in a Class A motor home (one of those big bus-type rigs that pulls your car and tows your motorcycle, also called a Recreational Vehicle or RV).  Bill dreamed about this for at least three years, searching websites for the “perfect” RV and we went to many RV shows.

So here we are, months since Bill was officially retired, although he said he’d never use that word.   But the other day, he asked me, “We are really retired, aren’t we?”   I had to chuckle!

What has happened – why an end game?  Probably the greatest thing a parent could ever hope for – we became grand parents!  And that has rocked our world in a way we never could have imagined!  See, our problem is that we live nearly 900 miles from that precious grandson!  So how can we marry our dream goals?  Well, we are working on that and so far so good!  We are now saying we are adventure travelers – but swinging by our daughter’s to spend as much time as possible with our grandson.

This is a short blog as I prepare to tell more about our transition into full time retirement!  But first, I always love to see what the Bible says about whatever we are doing.  So here are a few of my favorite scriptures (all from ESV) to read as one thinks about retiring, from

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Acts 20:24

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

Numbers 8:23-26

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘This applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall come to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting. And from the age of fifty years they shall withdraw from the duty of the service and serve no more. They minister to their brothers in the tent of meeting by keeping guard, but they shall do no service. Thus shall you do to the Levites in assigning their duties.'”

Proverbs 13:22

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.”

Philippians 1:6

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

2 Timothy 4:7

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Proverbs 16:1-3 

“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to theLord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”

Psalm 1:1-6 

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;…

Until next time…


Chapter 21 – Kumamatata

Being happily married is possible for a life time, but that does not mean you are happy all the time!  We have shared many secrets of our success, after divorcing and then reconciling.  We have now been married a total of 38 years.   This chapter is about the most important struggle we face and is the most important lesson I can learn…and I have struggled with this for 38 years in fact!

First, a little recap about our greatest secret to success, the BEST principle:  Whenever one of us felt the other stepping out of line (said something negative about each other in front of others) the “wronged” person would whisper “BEST” to point out, “that hurt!”  And immediately, the bad behavior would stop!  Wow, it was exhilarating to be able to fix what was wrong and in time, we hope others who are around us, see that we are very careful to protect each other’s feelings and to build up and edify each other!

So you want to know what the biggest issue is we have?  It is our need for Kumamatata, or “no worries”!  A few years ago, we spent a day at Animal Kingdom in Disney World.  We learned about Kumamatata on the Safari and it was reinforced when we watched the Lion King.

WOW – it hit us that we needed Kumamatata in our lives!  We tend to live a pretty regimented lifestyle with more obligations than we care to admit, so we do get a bit tense in certain situations.  Sadly, we have been a very poor witness to others, usually strangers, when we are put on the spot or can’t agree on something.

For about a year after we learned about it, we began to incorporate it like BEST.  If we were in a tense situation, we would just say, Kumamatata and then let it go!  But slowly, we fell off the wagon.   We have had some tense moments, usually when Bill feels he is right about something, I challenge him and we forget our Kumamatata!  It is never pretty, but usually we are alone….

The first time we really embarrassed ourselves in public was when we went on our first “mountain” vacation in the Colorado Rockies.  It was a pretty big travel day there from Florida and we had a full day planned as soon as we arrived.  So everything was going smoothly until we got to the counter at the car rental place.  (If you have seen the Sienfield show, it was a similar experience!)  Needless to say, it turned into a huge confrontation!

After losing our tempers and making a scene in essence, we found our Kumamatata and left in our rental.  We talked about how bad we were, let it ruin an otherwise easy but long trip…and said we would never do that again!!!   Until the other day!  Once again, on vacation, we went back down that same type of road – but I think we got at the root of the REAL problem!  Oh no, here comes some real transparency….as much as we hate to admit it, we have another problem and I don’t think we have every brought it out in the open!

So here we are, on vacation, which should always be stress free, right?  For the most part, it has been.  We stopped by the grocery store one morning to pick up a few things.  We had a few items, including fruit that had to be weighed.  When we were trying to pick the best checkout line (all were full), even the 10 items or less lines …except the self-serve!  I said let’s go there, because they had a cashier overseeing the check out.  Bill said no, it is never good to take items that need to be weighed into the self-serve.

I insisted, so you know what is going to happen, right?  It turned into a disaster!   We lost our patience with each other and with the poor cashier, who seemed helpless to help us!  We asked for the manager and then somehow, figured out what we needed and got out of there.   And so embarrassed and mad at ourselves we forgot our Kumamatata!

We had to get at the root of the problem!  So I flashed back to well-known verses, the most important for ME is verse 33:   Ephesians, Chapter 5, verses 25-33:

25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.   He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.  33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

I knew immediately the problem was that Bill did not feel I respected him!  There is no doubt Bill loves me, but I have struggled with being respectful!  He is so concerned that if I am about to walk in front of an out of control truck and he says “run,” I’ll stop and say, “Why?”  It is that simple.  I seem to question his authority.  Did it really matter that I pushed for the self-serve?  I wanted to hurry to our next destination, but as Bill pointed out, my haste caused us to waste at least 10 minutes!!!

So this blog is my public confession to Bill:  Please forgive me for constantly challenging you and not respecting you as you deserve!  Thank you for loving me as much or really more than yourself!   You always put me first, think of the little things for me and have been the best husband I could ever have imagined I would have!  This is my promise to you, FINALLY, I get it!!!