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May 16, 2000

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Subject:  The Sweet, Sweet Taste of Freedom
Author:  1HappyFool

Today was my last day. I'm savoring it as best I can. This cold Corona tastes somehow better than any of it's many ancestors. We've sold the house into the hottest seller's market the Northern Virginia area has seen in 20 years. We have so little time before the grand uprooting that will make this change in employment status seem like just a small step in comparison to the changes ahead. We have so much to pack and so much to accomplish before we turn over the keys to the dream house we designed just four years ago.

It's time to build another dream house on a 20 acre parcel in another hot seller's market. Fortune smiled on us when we bought the property in a depressed market just 8 years ago. Our equity from our old American Daymare house should cover the cost of our new post-corporate downscaled, rightsized, golden years shelter. Who woulda thunk those golden years could start at 42? Pardon me while I revel in this feeling. WooHoo!!!!

The new house will be smaller and more practical for a kidfree couple, but we're taking the best design ideas from our current house. A big master bedroom suite and an open plan kitchen/living room. This time it will have a cathedral ceiling. This time we will be living where we decided to be and not where the job market dragged us. We have a big pond in the back yard for fishing and an overgrown Christmas tree farm next door for those wonderful pine and spruce scented breezes. We're almost there.

I raise my Corona bottle in toast to all those who are ER wannabes. To you I wish the best of fortune and hope you will join me when your nest egg is ready to hatch. I will let you know if I trip on any concealed roots in the next year or two.

To those of you who have ERed before me. I ask admittance to your secret society where I will learn the Holy Handshake and hear the wisdom of the sages through my new ears. What? There's no secret society? No Holy Handshake? The message from the sages doesn't change? Well it has gotten me this far, so I'm not disappointed. I thank you for helping me gain the confidence to make this day real and now. Intercst, you've heard it before, but you deserve it. Thanks for bearing the torch and lighting the way.

I guess it's time for my new ears to hear the call of the late night talk shows. Perhaps my new eyes will convince me to haul out my telescope later in the evenings and more often to gaze into the dark skies of this latitude before I make the move to 5 degrees north and lose a few stars below the horizon. So what if I don't wake up until 10 AM? A week from today the truck for the first load will be here and if my old back muscles hold up, more than halfway packed. If you don't hear from me much, I hope you'll understand.

1HappyFool -- who's gonna have a fine venison terderloin and his last bottle of '89 Eagle Point Syrah with his sweety tonight in celebration of this momentous event.

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