Just Chill

After weeks of sharing ideas and evaluating how we want to evolve in this retirement home of ours, we took a step forward with one of the many options and went back to the idea of “simplify.”

First, we acknowledged that it’s been six months since my husband officially retired from his business. We’ve settled into a bit of a routine around the house. We evaluated our pattern of living and what changes we can make for greater comfort. And while we’re keen to keep addressing repairs and improvements, a little at a time, we are in no big hurry to take on too much nor do we want to spend tons of money in the process. We fix that, clean this, improve whatever, and feel like we’re going forward on our home maintenance list. It works for us.

In addition, we’ve increased our levels of physical exercise (walking, Pickleball, Corn Hole) and have purchased passes at the college recreation center up the street. This has resulted in meeting new folks, developing an exercise routine, and feeling more energetic. I joined a virtual walking challenge community and have been racking up miles more than I ever thought I would. I’ve changed what I eat and am noticing the difference in how my body reacts. Room for improvement? Of course, all ways and always!

A big accomplishment over the past several months was learning that we can live on much less income than we once did. While prices in many categories continue to rise and fall (depending on where you live), we’ve learned to adapt within our budget. Also, as mature adults, we just don’t need that much of anything. I won’t bore you with all the ways we’ve done it (in this writing), but the cost and money awareness we now have, coupled with the above changes, means we’re spending much less overall… including what we spend on home improve­ments. HGTV used to be my favorite go-to channel; now it’s YouTube DIY-er’s from around the globe.

So ALL of these areas of life came together this week as we worked out a solution about how to use the attached garage space.

We have really missed our covered patio from our previous home and wanted something like that here… so we can sit “outside” but protected from the winter months of rain. We want to watch the rain – not get rained on. We also wanted to protect our fairly new patio chairs and cushions from the winter weather, as well as the mold that would surely follow if left outside. We finally came up with a solution we could both agree on (the hardest part). We created a “chill” space in the garage… for both of us.

This idea was somewhat fashioned from descriptions provided by friends who converted their garages into summer living rooms… an area to chat with neighbors or hold group BBQ’s. A place to lounge close to the elements yet still have the comfort of home. An extra “room” created without any extra expense.

So yesterday, we took action! A large area rug was unrolled and placed in the center of the garage floor. The motorcycle was repositioned to one side. The patio chairs and footrests, with a small table between, were placed facing the outdoors. A quilt is close by for those chilly, rainy afternoons. There’s even enough space deeper inside to place a twin-sized bed for naps (or guests). The garage is insulated, paneled, electrified, and already feels quite cozy. Now for a good cleaning.

I’m looking forward to more custom touches, using what we have first or repurposing found treasures. We continue to come up with ideas to make it more useful and inviting. Battery-powered lamps. Curtains. Ceiling lampshades for the bare bulbs. There are several more items that will be moved out, sold, or given away so that we have additional room for extra chairs. For the neighbors and new friends and visiting family members… and us.

A place to chat as the deer stroll by. To read and watch the rain. To just chill.

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