Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A Stroke of Good Luck OR No Missed Opportunities

So the night before last, I checked my email and I got one from my friend, Suzanne, with whom I taught for many years before I retired. We live fairly close to each other (15 km or so), keep in touch almost daily via Facebook or email, and occasionally get together for dinner or a movie or both. We were both single when we started at our school and have both been through a couple of long-term relationships. She has interesting, creative hobbies like scrapbooking and photography and we both love to travel. We just have never done it together.

So I get this email with the subject: Want to go on the baltic cruise?

I then read on: You can be my roommate! The room would be free for you -- you'd just have to pay for your airfare, insurance, excursions, etc.  

It didn't take me more than a couple of seconds for my brain to scream "Hell, yes!".

Suzanne's parents are retired and like to travel as much as they can. A couple of Christmasses ago they treated their entire family to a Caribbean cruise. I think there were 13 people in total that they paid for. They discovered they enjoy cruising. Helloooo! What's not to like?

Anyway, this summer they are booking a 12 day cruise and paying for Suzanne and a roommate to go. And lucky me gets to be the roommate! I'm not sure how many were on her list of potential roommates, but I got to be the lucky one who said 'yes' first.

We're going to be sailing out of Amsterdam (which I last visited 31 years ago). Suzanne and I will fly over a couple of days ahead to do some sight-seeing. Then we'll meet her mom and dad (M & D) who will fly in a day before sailing and board our ship which will stop at: Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg (2 nights), Tallinn, Berlin (actually a port on the Baltic Sea with an excursion to Berlin) and Copenhagen.

A Baltic cruise has been on my bucket list for a while so I'm thrilled with this opportunity to do it so affordably. A trip like this would have been completely out of the question this year otherwise. I even have some left-over Euros from my last European vacation (before I retired even) that I should be able to make good use of.

Skip will be in the middle of his golfing and grass-cutting seasons, so will just have to muddle along without me for a couple of weeks. I'm sure he's somewhat jealous and would love to be able to join us, as he loves cruising as well, but he understands that Suzanne doesn't need 2 roommates.

I have been knitting on and off but mostly have been pursuing other activities lately. I know I've been eerily absent from blogging but all will be revealed in a week or so. I'm working on a second of two socks that I started on a car trip a few weeks ago. I also started Evenstar Gloves using some red KnitPicks City Tweed DK yarn from my stash. The yarn is really soft and squishy. I'd like to knit some other projects with it.

Tina at Soper Creek Yarn put a post on her blog about the classes I will be teaching there in April and May.  I need to finish one knitting project and get it blocked as well as blocking another I recently finished - both versions of the Dianna shawl. Then I'll get them over to her so she can display them in her shop and drum up interest in the classes.

Every day I am grateful for what life has laid out for me at this stage of my life. I don't take it for granted because I know it can all change in a heartbeat. As retirees, we know we are only 1 doctor's appointment away from some nasty diagnosis so I will certainly be availing myself of as many opportunities that come my way. I am a very, very fortunate person. This I know. It more than makes up for other periods in my life which were not quite as blissful. I'm certainly receptive to any good fortune that comes my way. And having a good friend with extremely generous parents, doesn't hurt either.  :-)

Happy Leap Day!


  1. Oh Geri, I am so envious!! How I would love to see Estonia and all those other places!!
    I feel the same way you do about the health thingy. So many around us getting sick and still DH and my self are not on any meds (knock on wood).

  2. I just read your comments on my blog Geri. I am not going to the Frolic because I will be a vendor at the Knitter's Fair. Anyhow lambikins are due in a month :-)
    I would recommend here bought some gorgeous yak laceweight there.
    I love the Anna Frank Huis, Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum. Rijsttafel is nice to eat...Indonesian style foods like bami, nasi, meihoon and loompia. Bonbon Bloc chocolate (Cote d'Or) is very good as well as Stroopwafels. Nicest cheese is the Boerenkaas (farmer's cheese) oude and belegan...yummy.