It really tickles me when a lovely moment of serendipity strikes. You never know when you go out the door for a bite of lunch who you might meet. Well, that moment of serendipity struck today when I slipped down to Nordstrom Cafe for a quick mid-day break from the office. It was noon and the place was packed. I ordered my half salad – chicken/apple/walnut/feta – yum! and had to squeeze myself into a tiny table along the wall between two other tables. I settled in, put on my reading glasses and pulled out my current lunch time companion – 65 Things to do When You Retire. It’s a compilation of essays from people like Jimmy Carter and Gloria Steinem and many lesser known but still very interesting and inspiring folks. They are true stories of people in retirement who found meaningful new opportunities. It’s sort of a user’s manual for making the most of your retirement. A few moments later, the lovely woman on my left (I believe her name was Carol) tapped my arm and asked “May I take a look at your book? I’ve just retired.” “Of course” I said and I passed the book over to her table. I then took the opportunity to introduce myself and share my newly acquired knowledge about retirement and traveling on the cheap. Carol was interested, excited and open to all of the possibilities and adventures ahead. I told her about the backpack and rollie plan and how I had come to be a blogger. I learned about her career as a teacher and her recent trip through Spain, Italy and France with her daughter who was sitting across the table. We chatted for quite a while about home exchange, house sitting opportunities and even WWOOFing. She was a sponge for information and I was thrilled that I had lots of ideas to share!
It was a lovely exchange with a truly lovely woman who, like so many of us, is excited and eager to get on with her new life. Carol, it was a true pleasure to have met you. I’m glad fate guided me to that tiny table in the middle. You brought a spark of joy to my afternoon. I hope we meet again somewhere out on the road. I’ll be the one with the backpack and the rollie.