Your Hopes and Dreams Are Waiting

We advance through a series of milestones in our lives that generally include high school graduation, marriage, children, promotions, retirement, and death.

I suspect that we balk at retirement because we somehow imagine that postponing the next to last step will defer the final one. That’s a shame, because retirement can be the best stage of life. Work is overrated.

I had a rewarding career in Facilities Management that concluded with service to New Mexico State University as AVP of Facilities, CAPPA as President, and a term on the APPA Board of Directors. I was a recipient of the APPA Meritorious Service Award, and NMSU achieved the Award for Excellence. This all occurred as I turned 65 and completed my 10 years of service to NMSU, thus earning retiree insurance. My boss, the Senior VP of Finance and Administration, and the President also retired. The signs were flashing that the time was right.

Yet, I was ambivalent. We get so much of our self-worth from our profession that I was not quite ready to turn in my keys. However, every single retired person I talked with wished that they had retired sooner. All were pleased to learn how much less money they needed now that they weren’t frequently eating out, and every one of them was pleasantly surprised to find out how much less in taxes they paid. Each was glad to have time to spend with family and on hobbies.

The people who were still working advised me the other way, commenting that “I don’t know what I’d do,” “I need a few more years of earnings,” and “I still have things to accomplish.” Many of these folks were well past the requisite retirement age.

After a lot of thought, prayer, financial calculation, and discussion with many wise people, my wife finally convinced me that it was time. In March of 2019, we sold the house, moved into our RV, and took out across the country. At my retirement party, the Deputy Chief in the NMSU Fire Department told me that there were several occasions where he was with someone as they lay dying, and he never had anyone express the wish to have spent more hours at work.

In fall of 2019, we settled in south Texas for the winter. I mentioned to my doctor that I had a small ulcer under my tongue, and she sent me to a specialist. That led to a biopsy, and then a life-changing conclusion: “You have cancer.” I completed treatment in March of 2020, and my last MRI showed that the tumor had shrunk remarkably. I am in for a lifetime of twice-yearly monitoring scans.

You will never have as much time as you think. In her poem, The Dash, Linda Ellis writes that our gravestones record the dates of our birth and death but what really matters is what we do with The Dash – that time in between. As she writes,

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

If your hopes and dreams are to enjoy a different aspect of life when you finish working, there is less time than you think. Plan now, and more importantly, think about holding your nose and just jumping in with us, the water is fine. Work is a phase of your life and not the most important one at that. I’m glad I learned that while I had time left.

Glen and ElizaBeth travel the country with their three dogs Izzy, Sugar, and Pepper in a 30 ft RV and chronicle their adventures here: http://ghaubold.com/itinerant-rvers/

(A full copy of the poem, The Dash, by Linda Ellis, Copyright © 2020 Inspire Kindness may be found here: thedashpoem.com)

Van Horn TX – Where We Started!

Dates:     
October 15, 2020 to
October 16, 2020

Mileage:    
9,188

Location:    
Van Horn RV Park
Van Horn, TX

We’re back to our very first stop, we spent several weeks decompressing at Van Horn when I first retired. ElizaBeth has a cousin here, although Van Horn is just a perfect waypoint going to and from Las Cruces NM. It’s also a nice little park with Penny’s Cafe – and they deliver to the RV now with Covid.

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Schulenburg TX, waypoint to Las Cruces NM!

Dates:     
October 08, 2020 to
October 10, 2020

Mileage:    
8,654

Location:    
Schulenburg RV Park
Schulenburg, TX

We like to try new places, but we had stayed in this park before and really liked it. It’s also the perfect waypoint on I10, as it’s 2 1/2 hours from Goodrich. There’s a grandson in Hallettsville, 20 miles away. The owners remembered that we canceled last year and asked why, it’s just a nice place.

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Home Base in Goodrich TX (Visit #5)

Dates:     
September 26, 2020 to
October 08, 2020

Mileage:    
8, 485

Location:    
Magnolia RV Park
Goodrich, TX

We just feel at home at this park, we’re good friends with the owner and several of the long term tenants, Izzy can play off-leash, it’s easy to pick up mail, and there’s a really good meat market close by. We get a spot on the end of the row a little away from others, with a lot of space around us.

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Lakeview RV Park and Houston TX

Dates:     
September 17, 2020 to
September 26, 2020

Mileage:    
8,362

Location:    
Lakeview RV Park
Houston, TX

We are a little tethered to Houston with M D Anderson, and for the 6-month CT scan, we decided to drive the RV to Lakeview RV Park, just down the road. We know our way around pretty well, although the route I took was a little too stressful, and we’ll be taking the back way out.

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Sandy Creek Park, B. A. Steinhagen Lake

Dates:     
September 14, 2020 to
September 17, 2020

Mileage:    
8,227

Location:    
Sandy Creek/Steinhagen Lake (COE)
Jasper, TX

We had resolved to make better use of state and national parks this year, and we wanted to try a Corp of Engineer Park – this was our first! It was also the first time we could use the Lifetime Park Pass I got right before they stopped issuing them.

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Side trips – the New Ulm Cemetery, Haubold gravesite, and the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site

On the way from La Grange to San Felipe de Austin, we passed through New Ulm, where my great grandfather is buried. Driving around outside the park, we came across the San Felipe de Austin Historic Site. We wound up making a trip back to New Ulm to see if we could locate the gravesite.

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Stephen F. Austin State Park, San Felipe TX

Dates:     
September 07, 2020 to
September 14, 2020

Mileage:    
8,054

Location:    
Stephen F. Austin State Park
San Felipe, TX

After we left La Grange, we went down the road to Stephen F. Austin State Park, and this time we were on the Brazos River. The original 300 settlers of Texas (“Old 300”) started at San Felipe, TX, so when we went from the Colorado to the Brazos Rivers, we were in the area where Texas was born. Over the years as the immigrants arrived by boat, the two rivers were frequently confused, and Fort Bend was founded in its current location when settlers mistook the mouth of the Brazos for the Colorado River:
https://www.sugarlandtx.gov/1695/History-of-Fort-Bend-County

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