After thirty some-odd-years of going by the clock, Gary and I are both enjoying retirement. We seem to stay busier now than ever. Recently we have decided on remodeling our house. We had to be a little nuts to do this. I am certain that the improvements will be wonderful providing we live through the mess of it all. I certainly wouldn't recommend this to anyone who isn't very willing to roll with the punches or who can't live with dirt, grim, dust and mess. When people warn you that it will cost double what you are initially thinking about, that it will take twice as long to finish as they promise, and warn you the divorce rate goes way up during the remodeling, they are only telling you the truth. We should be finished by July 4th, God willing.
We traveled to South Africa in October of last year. What a wonderful experience. Seeing the animals living in the "wild" was incredible. Since photography is my passion this was a magnificent opportunity for pictures. Of course, you need a long lens on your camera, be willing to take the dirt in your face on safaris, eat odd tasting meats and be adventurous. The trip is well worth the effort and the 16 hour flight from the United States. Gary and I took video film and transferred it through a computer program creating captions, titles and music and then made DVD's to show on TV. It takes hours but we find it rewarding and fun. We aren't professional by any means but the challenge and computer problems keep us going and its fun to share with friends when we get home.
My Mom, Minnie, passed away last year. My Dad, Charlie, passed away three years ago. They are both buried near our home in Overland Park as that was their wish. I always thought they might have their final resting place in the cemetery near our old house off Greenwood Avenue but I guess that wasn't meant to be.
Our daughter Jennifer and her husband Pat live in Overland Park, nearby. We are lucky to have them so close and enjoy their company a lot. Jennifer will turn 30 years old in September and we are taking she and Pat to Las Vegas to celebrate. I can't believe that I have a daughter that old...but then, alas, I also have a son, Brady, who is 43 year old! Now HE is the one that really "dates" me. Brady and our two grandchildren, Jake and Luke live in the Dallas area.
Gary and I keep busy seeing the Royals baseball team, cheering on the KC Chiefs football team, attending the Dinner Theater Playhouse, trying our hand at gourmet cooking, keeping the yard, swimming in our pool, taking photos, playing pool on Gary's newly refurbished antique pool table, doing volunteer work and most of all, entertaining friends in our home. So with the college bills paid off, the house paid in full, our Sprint pension and health plan in place and our good health (so far...we are fearing the changes in Sprint since they are about to buy Nextel), we feel like the luckiest people in the world. We wish each of you the same good fortune. Come see us sometime, we would love it!
Carolyn "Cookie" Cain Hanson - 2005