Monday, September 13, 2021

It's the Driving

As John gets closer to retiring (probably early next year), I'm also counting down to some things I'm looking forward to. Once he's retired, I won't have to iron his work clothes (and I do hate ironing). I won't have to worry about library books that are due in NJ that I've left in MD. I won't have to wonder what state my phone charger is in when I can't find it in my suitcase. I won't have to do the same things twice in different locations.

When John's company announced that they were buying the R&D parts of Dupont after Dow and Dupont merged in 2015, they also announced that they were moving to Newark, DE. All of the employees were a bit shocked, but in the end it wasn't a complicated decision. We weren't financially ready to retire, but John didn't have a job if we didn't go to Newark. We ended up buying a small house in MD, just four miles away from his workplace, but we kept our house in NJ. We like the NJ house and plan on going back there after retirement. I know we're lucky to be able to do this. We usually drive down here to MD on Sunday, hoping that we won't encounter too much traffic on the Delaware Memorial Bay Bridge and drive back to NJ on Thursday, hoping we won't run into bumper-to-bumper traffic on 295 N. This has created issues I never thought about.

Some of the issues are silly, like having enough clothes at each place without buying double of everything. My yarn stash is in NJ, but there are times I wish I had a stash in MD. I bought some tea from Plum Deluxe a while ago and wanted a cup of chai this morning in MD, but after digging through the tea cupboard here in MD, I think the tea is in NJ. Some of the issues are larger, like having to mow the lawns in both places and then there is snow to contend with), shop for groceries in both MD and NJ, clean two houses, and pay bills for both places. Then there is the worry and work of flooding in NJ while you're in MD.

But I think that what I l dislike the most is the actual driving back and forth. John and I take turns driving, but I dislike the actual drive (a lot!) no matter whether I'm the passenger or in the driver's seat. It's not a relaxing scenic drive at all, with people whizzing past at 85 mph (the speed limit is 65) and usually loads of traffic. It's at least five hours out of our lives every week, and I tend to resent it every week. 

But I counted this morning and I've got fewer than 20 drives! That is cause for a celebration on Monday, and I hope your Monday is off to a good start, too (even if you resented what you had to do on Sunday). 


  1. I don't usually mind road trips...and I don't knit in the car! But, I do not envy you your "commute" weekly. I know that route and it is not scenic and the pace is ALWAYS frantic. glad to hear you are winding down on that. I keep thinking of retiring...but I'm still trying to hold out. As I say to Fletch, I have a pretty sweet gig going on. But I will admit that there are days when I think about it a lot!

  2. I can imagine just how tiresome that drive must get. But less than 20 to go is a milestone for sure!

  3. It helps to peer into the tunnel sometimes! It's only going to get closer, too! Yay.

  4. Woo hoo! So very happy for you and all the good changes that will come 20 drives from now!

  5. I don't know how you do it with such sangfroid, Bonny. Your flexibility has been admirable. I know you think you didn't have a choice, but I would have tired of this very quickly. I am not a good rider since I cannot read or knit in the car, and I don't enjoy driving on the interstate (morons are us). I am so glad to hear that you are only 20 drives away! Is that 20 drives, or 20 drive/rides? I hope you don't have any problems selling you MD house, and that all other obstacles will be quickly in your rearview mirror!

  6. I don't know how you do it, it makes me tired just reading about it! It's a good thing that you can count down how many drives you have left!

    1. I am (so very happily) counting down the number of drives left!

  7. I have a slight inkling of how the double-life feels . . . having an up north place. I know the irritation of having something you need in one place . . . be in the other place. I understand the drudgery of having to do chores in TWO locations. And I totally get hearing about a big storm in one place when you're in the other and can't assess the damage. BUT it's a big difference to be living in two places because you choose to for pleasure . . . and needing to make the best of a not-great situation. (Plus, we can close up the up north place for the winter and never have to worry about snow removal.) I'm so glad your countdown has begun . . . and you can see an end to your double-life. XO

  8. I've never had to deal with a truly similar situation, but I do remember when I was teaching and had a long commute every day. I hate driving (well, I hate dealing with other drivers), and after a long, stressful day, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in the car for an hour. I'm sure knowing that the drives are numbered will help you get through them -- as will thinking about what you will do with that found time once it comes!

  9. I'm glad you were able to do that but it would take a toll on me splitting my allegiance to two properties! My husband retired from being a full time professor but he still works at various 'things' and has his toes dipped into projects that keep him busy. That is why we were able to make this move near family. Nothing ties us to the other place...


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