Geography And Retirement

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green trees

MARYLAND IS A DELIGHTFUL PLACE TO LIVE. IT’S GREEN, IT HAS MOUNTAINS AND SEASHORE. THIS IDYLLIC SPOT IS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY. BUT . . .

Time to get serious about answers to that pesky question:

How and where do I live a good life at this late age on a sustainable basis?

As I approached and passed the retirement point, the where question was the most urgent one for me. I’m still working on the more elusive how, and I’ll leave that one for later.

For many retirees, where is not an issue. If you live in a home that you love and can afford to keep, AND there’s no strong attraction to a different location, then case closed.  For most folks in that situation, proximity to children and grandchildren might be the only reason to consider relocating. I had never in my adult life established a permanent home, and I have no children or grandchildren, so I was free to move or stay put.

Two issues convinced me I badly needed a change of geography.

I didn’t mind the weather in my home state of Maryland until my fifties. But after 50 I came to dislike the winter months more with each passing year. Even so, I might not have moved for climate alone. I liked Maryland in most respects, and I have siblings, nieces and nephews, and friends living there.

My car 2

MARYLAND WINTERS CAN BE COLD AND SNOWY.

SnowMon5

HOW DEEP CAN SNOW GET IN MARYLAND?

The deciding factor was cost of living. As job prospects deteriorated in my fifties, I moved to smaller and smaller apartments. Income declined and debt increased. It became obvious that I couldn’t AFFORD the Washington-Baltimore region of Maryland, where I’d lived most of my life. I began researching the alternatives long before I would qualify for Social Security at 62 or Medicare at 65. I started the research close to home, in the different regions of Maryland, and gradually expanded outward.

In a day or three, I’ll pick up the geography story.

— John

 

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Snowzilla Blizzard Success: Car Dug Out, And No Heart Attack

It’s the simple pleasures!

It’s being grateful for the ordinary, everyday things we take for granted.

Such as living and breathing and your heart beating. Can’t get more ordinary than that. You’ve got to do it every day.My car 2My Honda Accord has been freed from the grip of Snowzilla. Took me two days  to accomplish. I consider it a grand success, anytime a male  over 60 digs a car out without a heart attack! And I do not brag. Some other folks were not so fortunate. There but for the grace of God go I. Heaven knows, it’s not because I’m so physically fit. Because, well, I’m not.

I’m delighted to report that here in Gaithersburg, MD, Snowzilla is in full retreat in above-freezing temperatures.

Thanks to all who shoveled, to all those who were prepared in advance with snowblowers, and thanks to the guys who drive those little mean, green machines.

— John Hayden

Snowzilla Blizzard Photo Gallery

Posting this gallery, Blizzard of 2016 snow photos, before the snow melts.

Snowzilla in Gaithersburg, MD, January 2016. I estimate we received 35 inches of snow, with drifts deep enough to bury a Corvette.

All photos by Bernard John Hayden. Please do not reproduce without giving credit to the photographer and/or the blog. Thanks! Stay warm.

Snowzilla In The Rearview Mirror

Amazing, isn’t it, how quickly the first snowfall of winter loses its appeal as an exciting adventure? Even if it’s a blizzard?

Saturday evening, it was so deep that even the plows could hardly move. And snow continued to fall, at a rate of one-half inch an hour or more!

We were all in this together. Hopelessly, helplessly, stuck. When the blizzard finally tapered off Saturday night, the world was quiet and at peace. It was perfectly cozy, being snowed in.

That didn’t last long.

By Sunday afternoon, eager beavers were digging cars out. (Hey everybody, what’s the big rush?) Little green machines — miniature bulldozers — were doing what the big snowplows could not. Busily hauling snow away, one scoop at a time. The green machines didn’t care that they were destroying my excuse for hibernating in place.

Monday, even though everything important in Maryland remained closed — all the schools, the federal government, most businesses — people were impatient to be out and about. Even with no place to go. Turns out, there are places to go. The Giant is open, and McDonald’s.

And so, this afternoon, I have no choice but to put on boots, venture out and see about the damn car. Personally, I think  it’s too soon to declare that Snowzilla, the Great Blizzard of 2016, is over. My rearview mirrors, at least, are still covered with snow.

I hate to think about Tuesday. 

— John Hayden

Snowzilla Is a Nor’easter Along Maryland Coast

Interstate 70 and Interstate 270 reported Closed.

The state of Maryland has closed Interstate 70 Saturday evening, from the Baltimore beltway in the east to Interstate 81 at Hagerstown in the west.  Interstate 270 is also reported closed from the Washington beltway to Frederick, where it merges into I-70 going west.

The Snowzilla blizzard of 2016 is also a Nor’easter along the Maryland coast. Nor’easters often cause some flooding and erosion on Maryland’s ocean coastline and the Chesapeake Bay area.

In Ocean City, waves driven by high winds and unusually high tides were reported pounding the beaches on Saturday, continuing Saturday night and probably into Sunday. For some Ocean City streets that typically experience flooding during storms and extremely high tides, this storm was no different. Continue reading

Snowzilla Survival Plan

The Capital Weather Gang reports as follows:

“Snowzilla is just beginning to hit its stride. Conditions deteriorate into the night as heavier snow moves in.”

I’m always skeptical about blizzards and hurricanes until they live up to expectations. So often they breeze past without much trouble. Maybe not this time.

In 2050, will people still be talking about Snowzilla and calling it “The Blizzard of the Century?” Or will climate change bring us ever more amazing blizzards, piled higher and deeper?

Yes, we expect to be snowbound until Monday, maybe longer. No problem. I have a plan.

Sleep, eat, read. Repeat. Have a nice weekend.

— John

Blizzard of 2016, Snowzilla, From Virginia to New York, At Least

The Blizzard of 2016 is beginning to bury the entire Washington, D.C.-Baltimore urban area and surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs under a predicted 16 inches to two feet of snow.

One of the best sources for continuing updates on the storm is The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. The Gang has nicknamed the potentially record-breaking snowstorm “Snowzilla.”

Snow began falling in my part of Maryland, just north of Washington, about 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. It will continue snowing all night, reaching a depth of up to 20 inches by dawn Saturday. Then the storm will continue all day Saturday, into Saturday night, possibly reaching depths of two feet to 30 inches. All this according to many weather forecasters. Continue reading

Gaithersburg Is Most Diverse Small City In America, And Don’t Forget Silver Spring, Germantown and Rockville

How diverse is Gaithersburg?  Go ahead, take a guess.

MAP OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD, SHOWS GERMANTOWN AT THE NORTH END OF A PROPOSED TRANSIT LINE, THEN, GOING SOUTH, GAITHERSBURG AND ROCKVILLE, AND SILVER SPRING, NEAR THE D.C. LINE.

MAP OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD, SHOWS GERMANTOWN AT THE NORTH END OF A PROPOSED TRANSIT LINE (green line) AND GOING SOUTH, GAITHERSBURG AND ROCKVILLE. SILVER SPRING IS AT THE SOUTHCENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST CORNER OF THE MAP, NEAR THE D.C. LINE.

Gaithersburg is the most diverse small city in America. Number One in diversity out of more than 300 cities, according to Wallethub.com!   Continue reading

Half The People Arrested Monday Night Have Not Been Charged With Any Crime

Half of the 235 people arrested during disorder on the streets of Baltimore on Monday night have been released without being charged with a crime, The Baltimore Sun has reported. Read The Sun story here. Apparently, paperwork on many of the arrests could not be found. Continue reading

Sun Is Shining On Baltimore Today; Trouble May Continue In Coming Days, Or Not

BALTIMORE SUN PHOTO

BALTIMORE SUN PHOTO

Baltimore Orioles-Chicago White Sox game is being played to an empty stadium in Camden Yards Wednesday afternoon. Game closed to public after trouble in the streets on Monday and Tuesday. For more breaking news, see BaltimoreSun.com

Continue reading