My friend Fran is retiring in Cambridge MA and values an urban area for reasons somewhat different from mine.
Like Karen, I plan to stay put in the city. I recently attended my high school’s 50th reunion and was amazed at the number of classmates who had retired to Florida. Not my idea of retirement, nor is moving to the country. Unlike Karen, however, I fear that I make very little use of the cultural resources available to me, abundant as they are in Cambridge, MA. I do, however, like being close to anything I want—gym, dog training club, library, garden center, lots of stores. I like knowing that I can go out for something I need in the middle of the night—though I have to admit that, except for medical emergencies or when the dogs got sprayed by a skunk, I’ve never had to make a midnight run.
Both my husband and I are homebodies and enjoy it that way. I live a pseudo-rural life in the midst of the city, spending a lot of time in my garden. I put up 30 jars of jelly from the grapes I grew (and have enough juice in the freezer for another 40 jars). I knit a lot and made almost all the sweaters my husband wears (and all the ones my dog wears). I love to potter around the house and yard. Just came in from raking leaves, which I enjoy—though unrealistically I expect them to stop falling anymore after I’ve raked. In the absence of gardening in the winter, I tend to my houseplants.
Perhaps this kind of life sounds boring to others, but not to me. I spoke with a retired friend and said that I’ve been so busy since retirement that I wouldn’t mind being bored occasionally. He said, “Ah, yes, I remember being bored one day in 1997.”