Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Recipe for Retirement

Missing lately from this website: Amber L. Jones, star blogger, amateur sailor, exemplary editor, and travel enthusiast. Where have I been, you might ask--glibly conversing in French on a tropical Caribbean isle? Traipsing the jungle in search of medicinal herbs? Crafting a tofu cordon bleu in a culinary course?

Getting warm! For those of who cynically think I've just been sitting on my arse, sobbing and moaning and nursing a broken foot, think again. I've been busy in my metaphorical kitchen, whipping up some tantalizing recipes. Why, just a month ago I donned my chef's hat and hobbled into the night to cook up some Halloween magic.
Photo courtesy of Jim Colwell

After that, I limped slowly into our Capitol Hill kitchen and cooked up some fresh organic greens, onions, and tomatoes, lovingly grown by my gardening partner, Pope.
I admit, I have spent a lot of my time lounging on the green sofa. But not all of it.

The metatarsal is mending, according to new x-rays. But continued swelling, soreness, and nerve damage after 7 weeks has kept me resting, elevating, soaking, and limiting my excursions to within 1-1/2 blocks of a bus stop or metro station.
 And then there's the little matter of the black eye. Some people think I went sky-diving and crashed a second time; but no, it is courtesy of a clumsy curtsy on crutches. 
Yet the bum foot is not enough to keep me from getting out and brewing up some fun! Bring on the rum and becherovka--my spirits are high, and I'm cooking up a recipe for a happy retirement--whether on my feet or on the same old sofa.
High up in the ingredients for my recipe are good friends and simple pleasures. Start with Belgian waffles around the corner on Barracks Row, with my old friend Sally, visiting from California.
 Stir in a day on the town in a borrowed wheelchair, with vivacious Leslie from New York City. (If it weren't for this darn foot and her knee, she and I would be at Glen Echo whipping up some zydeco.)
Throw in a cupful of El Grecos and a dash of Van Gogh at the National Gallery.
Top off the recipe with some music--jammin' the blues with my hiking buddy Linda on harp.
If you're planning to retire, take a page out of my cookbook. Plan ahead for activities you enjoy.  Register for Spanish classes, join Toastmasters, make reservations in Mexico. Find a gym with a sauna. Line up some folks (preferably fellow retirees) to take morning strolls. Stir lightly, and season with enthusiasm.
When the stew is ready, sit back, chew slowly, and savor the taste of contentment. Don't let little things like bum knees or fading eyesight ruin your days; get off the sofa and have fun. If you find yourself getting bored, give me a ring, and we'll whip up some good times together!

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