Retirement Villa on the Central Coast


I’m retiring. I think I’ll work until Christmas vacation and turn in my papers on that Friday when we leave.

It is a more complicated than retiring from a school district. There, you just tell them in March and then empty out your classroom.

Here, you have to go to a workshop and figure out exactly which DAY is the best day. It really makes a huge difference if you retire say, October 1 or October 31.  I have 42 years on the books.  50 years (that’s another 8 years) would be better, but not if I’m dead.

At one time, I really wanted to be able to say I had taught for 50 years but my job is just not that rewarding anymore.  My brother is probably going to retire this year, too. He has a place in Santa Cruz and I think he, too, has just been eaten up by the classroom. It is a much harder kind of job than it used to be. Well, imagine. 42 years—a lot of changes have taken place and not especially for the good of anyone,  especially the teachers.

So it will be sometime between October 1 and May 1. I am hoping that it is during Christmas vacation, so I can just up and leave. No party, no luncheon, no gold watch. I don’t want parole; I want to finish up my time and walk out.

So we are spending a long weekend here at the Retirement Villa, here at the seaside. It is just now warming up enough that we can spend the sunny part of the day out on the patio, watching the boats sail by. I’ve made a new rule that we HAVE to go someplace, besides the grocery store. If I have to go to a fabric class, that counts. But we have got to get out of the house. At home, except for the million medical appointments, I mainly stay home. So today, we drove up the coast to Cambria, where they had a car show, a chili cook off and i stopped at Ball and Skein, which is under delightful new ownership. I stopped at the cross stitch shop in West Village but they were closed. Next time.

Cambria is mainly a tourist-y kind of place. When I took my little stroll, I saw dozens of shops standing empty. Still plenty of people wandering the streets, but nothing like it was even five years ago. Whenever you can find a parking spot in a place like that, it’s a depression. Just sayin’.

I have a ton of things to do. Right now, I’m getting my sewing room in order–and after 50 years of sewing, there is a lot of organizing to  do. I’m dividing all of my  sewing/smocking/quilting/cross stitch/handwork magazines organized (with labels from my new label maker, which I adore).

I do actually have photos, but no download cord. I have to manage to go to Staples WITH camera in hand and get a new one. (I’ll find the old one as soon as the new one walks in the door). I did look at Target when I was there with Lisi, but she explained that she needed more information than “You know, it is sort of little on top and bigger on the bottom. Like the phone plug in thing-y.” I think I liked it better when everything was the same.

I have  the whole thing gridded out and it is just a matter of getting everything organized and tidied up and dragged upstairs and put into place. If you don;t have a dozen projects up in the air at once, there is no way you can appreciate the magnitude of this undertaking. But IT IS HUGE and makes me incredibly happy.

Most of the stuff is recycled from former rooms and oddly, it is all going to fit together, in a “L” shape.

I have my mother’s desk (oh, she spent hours at the desk. It held the only telephone in the house and I had no idea what the heck she was doing there. Now, I know she was doing the books which is totally time consuming.  Easily a full time job, along with keeping the house and “helping” my Da on the farm.  In reality, there is no such thing as HELPING on a farm. You are either working or you are not.  You might “help” clear the table or “help” do the dishes, but farm work is HARD and not one minute of it counts as helping.

I have a hand carved spinning wheel that is going up on the wall, like art. I have a small library card catalog where all my little bits and pieces will go and a camel back truck that I think will fit under the upside down “U” of the wall hung bookcase.

I’m going to use one of the dining room chairs (HATE THEM), but it is going to work just fine there at the sewing table. (Needs a new cushion. Hate the old ones).

One wall is going to have a series of shelves to hold all of my buttons. I have my grandmothers (as in more than one), my mother’s and my buttons. I was forced to buy fancy jam so I could have the fancy jars. Yes, you read that right. FORCED.

I’m putting a double thick foam core bulletin board–you know, the kind with criss-crossing ribbons to hold stuff in place?  That’s going in the window, so I get the light from above (the windows are eight feet tall) and it will keep the room from getting sun-bleached. Over that, a shabby chic flowered fabric Austrian shade, so I can actually drop the shade. But it will be just awash in sunshine.

It sounds like I have a ton of projects and I don’t. Not really. Cross stitch at the coast. Beaded Christmas stocking at home, during the news or something else I don’t like. Lace knitting when I’m watching stuff I like. And of course, reading. I can knock off a book a day, if it is the least bit interesting.  Real sewing during the day.

Now that the weather is warming up, we are sitting out by the pool and reading for an hour, so I can get some color in my face. I am like “White Girl #3” when I’m looking for makeup–very fair. And with the totally white hair, I need a little color or I just sort of turn into one pale blotch in jeans.

I know this is going to come as a total shock to you, but I’ve been bumming around the house in my nightgown since I’ve been off with my shoulder. No more. I have to wear real clothes all day now. I think it will make me feel more myself.

So, that’s what’s going on at Chez Chloe.


3 thoughts on “Retirement Villa on the Central Coast

  1. Your day sounds lovely by the water. Glad you have made some happy decisions. You deserve the break.
    Enjoy your sewing room 🙂

  2. It’s good to make decisions and to include getting out of the house daily. You live longer that way! I was just at the beach in northern WA doing a beach cleanup with Katney and her hubby and many others and the day we arived it was beautiful and I enjoyed taking photos on the beach BUT the following day , it was nothing but rain.. It is the RAIN FOREST after all! lol

    1. The whole outside thing was inspired by you. You never complain. You revel in your life. You find beauty everywhere you turn. How can I not use you as a model?

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