Today is my hubby's first official day of retirement. He woke up at 5:30 a.m., his usual time, and did a load of wash, painted the rest of the basement, and fixed breakfast. Then he woke me up at 7:30 a.m. and we had a cup of coffee together and looked at each other and started laughing!
"Pinch me...is it real?" he asked.
"Yes, dear, it's the real deal. You are officially retired and today and every day is ‘Saturday’ if you want it to be," I whispered back. (I'm still recovering from laryngitis!)
We got on our snow boots and went for a walk with the wind whipping in our faces. After about 1-1/2 miles we turned back because my face was numb and had a slightly bluish tint to it. Then we got in the car and drove to "La Tienda" a.k.a. Rutter's convenience store for a hot chocolate. Afterwards we drove to our Ecuadorian mechanic to check on the status of our car. The familiar refrain resonated, "Manana!" It's been manana for the last two weeks (but we're used to it!). Sorry, I can't find the "squiggly" mark that goes over the "n"!
We are now going to take our afternoon nap (albeit a little late), and then have a movie marathon tonight with popcorn.
We tested our budget for living in Ecuador on $1,300 a month and passed with flying colors! We lived on $25 a week for food (actually $23.50). We had lentil beans and rice every day for the past month. We have an apple for breakfast with a teaspoon of peanut butter, beans and rice for lunch, and salad for dinner (with almonds and seedless grapes). Except last night we went out to dinner and ordered quesadillas to celebrate. And that's with a $800 mortgage!
If we can do it in the States, can you imagine how life will be in Ecuador? The only thing I might miss is being a "mystery shopper"; we've been eating out at five-star restaurants for free for the last five years. If you call "free" staying up until 2:00 a.m. to write the report and then wait a month to be reimbursed?! But we keep that money in a separate account so we have never paid for eating out.
Our system of selling things is working out well on E-Bay. I have ready-made printed stickers so as I clean out closets and drawers I slap the sticker on it for the garage sale we’re having the first week of May (that is if the snow melts by then!).
I love our new life and I've been writing a series of articles about retiring overseas on the Internet which I'll post later. My Internet writing will provide us with another source of income as we don't want to touch our savings unless we have to. We will not be living the "high life" in Cuenca, more like the "low life" and we like it that way. Most foreigners consider Americans wealthy and we are out to prove them wrong!
I’m sick of the winter landscape around here, so I’m posting pictures of spring in hopes of seeing it soon!
Until next time...hasta luego!
Connie and Mark