On this day last year, I retired from the Marine Corps. Well, I had my retirement ceremony and started my retirement, even though my actual retirement date wouldn’t be until May 30th. But I started my retired life and I started it with my wife and daughter as we drove across the United States on our victory lap, visiting family, friends, and places all along the way.
So what have I been up to since then? Well, I’ve recently, as in yesterday, decided to try to teach myself to play the guitar. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to learn, at least a little bit, so I picked up a little electric guitar starter kit and something I saw on Shark Tank called a Chord Buddy to attempt to teach myself guitar. I think that at first the Chord Buddy seemed like a good thing to help, but the more I played with it, the more I’m not sure about it. I think I would rather learn the actual chords instead of the Guitar Hero version of the chords. Time will tell how this works out.
But lets start at the beginning. Let’s start with when we got to Washington. It’s been great being home with our daughter, and getting to see her every day. Getting to put her to bed and wake her up in the morning. So the first few month have been getting to know my daughter Allison. The flip side of this is that my oldest two children, Haley and Hunter are in New York and I don’t get to see or talk to them as much as I did before. I even got to spend a day with my daughter at school as part of a program called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students), and I loved it. We go to Home Depot once a month for their Kids Workshops so she can build things. She loves it so much, I bought her her own set of tools to use at home and there.
For Father’s Day, we went to Safeco Field and watched the Mariners play baseball, got an awesome Seattle Mariners BBQ Spatula, and ate ice cream out of a mini helmet.
I introduced Allison to the world of geocaching. She loved it when we find it and hates it when we aren’t able to find it.
Last summer I made a trip to San Francisco to take a tour of Candlestick Park before they tore it down. I may or may not have managed to break off a piece of concrete from the stadium and bring it back with me.
Later on, the family took a trip to Aptos, California for a week at the beach house there. We go there every year and spend a week just relaxing in sun and beach.
And while there, I even managed to take in a trip to San Jose to the new 49ers stadium, Levi Stadium, and tour the 49ers Museum and catch the team during an open practice.
And since I am still talking 49ers, I joined up with a great group of 49ers fans in the Seattle area called the Seattle Faithful. It’s been great to have other Niner fans around in the sea of 12’s.
Christa and myself went on a Disney Cruise that was fantastic. We loved every bit of it, even if I did manage to lose my GoPro somewhere in the water while attempting kayaking.
I worked for UPS as a seasonal driver and seasonal helper for a bit. I was trained and hired as a seasonal driver, but they ended up not needing me as a driver, so used me as a helper. I still got paid as a driver, and had better hours, so I really can’t complain. It was nice to get out of the house for a bit and be doing something.
I enrolled at Bellevue College, but then used every excuse in the book to not follow-up on it and do the things I needed to do to register for classes. I’m a dumb ass for that, and I’m thinking of going back and starting all over again.
I took my wife to Las Vegas for her Christmas present to see Britney Spears live in concert. OK, so this was a present for me too. But it was an awesome experience and a great time. The only bad thing was having to rush out of the casino in the morning after the airline called to rebook because of flight troubles. If we hadn’t taken the earlier flight, we wouldn’t have made it home to the next day, so kudos to Virgin America for being proactive.
I treated myself to the WWE VIP Experience when they came to town for a non-televised house show, and started to write my thoughts on wrestling at my own little blog, My Stupid Wrestling Views. I followed this up with a trip to see Mick Foley do his stand up routine and loved it.
I’ve seen a lot of movies, and then started blogging about movies I’ve seen, and how they are doing on my own movie blog, My Stupid Movie Reviews. And by the way, if you haven’t seen Kingsman: The Secret Service yet, and it is still in theaters near you, go see it. It’s a great movie.
I went to the 2015 Props and Hops at the Museum of Flight. Lots of beer, food, and planes. What’s not to like?
I’ve picked up more autographed 49ers collectibles than I have room for.
I’ve picked up a ton of Funko Pop!s for both me and the family.
I go shooting every week or so to relax a bit and release some stress. Even taking some Defensive Shooting classes. Because, why not.
And I’ve now started looking for a job. I say now, but I’ve been looking off and on for a bit now. Depressing at times, especially when you are told that you have no managerial experience. Or the time I got excited about a possible position, and really loved the company and their philosophy, but to not get the job offer. I still check their job openings to see if there is anything there that interests me. But I’ve had some great friends try to get me in with different things and getting people to talk to me, and I’m sure I’ll get something eventually.
And the biggie in the last year is that my loving wife has found out she has breast cancer. Needless to say, it sucks. And dealing with Tricare has been interesting to say the least. But we are slowly stumbling through it all in order to make her healthy again. She writes about her experiences over at Trixieland if you care to read about it. I’ve started writing about my own thoughts about what is going on and my own thoughts as well.
So one year later, I sit here, looking for a job, trying to teach myself how to play a guitar, taking care of my wife, and trying to take care of my family. Could things be better? Of course. But I right now, I love being able to spend all the time I can with them.