RT Cunningham


Four Seasons? You Can Have My Unused Share of Them

Four Seasons I have a plan to avoid the worst of the four seasons. Well, a plan that I’ve already executed. I didn’t realize I executed it until after I did it.

I will no longer live in the Philippines for the full 12 months a year. The hot and dry season takes too much out of me.

The Four Seasons

There aren’t four seasons in the Philippines but that’s not my point. The people who live in places that have them know what they are: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall (or Autumn). The hot and dry season starts in March where I live in Olongapo. From then until mid-June, I’m miserable. Then it rains for the next three or four months, usually until sometime in October.

There may be a “summer” in the Philippines but there isn’t a “winter”. Not really. If it rarely dips below 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), it isn’t cold enough to be considered as such. The only one of the four seasons I want to avoid is the “summer” in the Philippines.

I spent the last summer here in Florida. It was hot and humid but not even close to what it’s always like in the Philippines. I’ll be spending the next summer in Hawaii. Having lived in Hawaii twice, I can honestly say that summers there don’t really exist.

I don’t mind the winter most of the time but I don’t like it when it goes below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. What didn’t bother me when I was young bothers me a lot nowadays. The cold (and snow) of Temple Hills, Maryland had me retreating indoors much more than usual. I never want to do that again.

My Four Seasons Plan

I’ve been living off a military pension since the beginning of 2006. I won’t be eligible for my social security pension for another few years but I’m not waiting for it. I want to enjoy my retirement years while I still can. My oldest brother died last month at 66 years of age. If I only live as long, then I only have eight years to go.

My plan is to live in the Philippines during the moderate months and live elsewhere during the extreme months. My older daughter-in-law is in the Air Force and my younger son is in the Army. As long as they’re stationed somewhere I can go for a few months every year, I will. That is, as long as they’re not stationed some place where the four seasons are distinct.

I’m not complaining about anything, if it sounds that way. Many people, some I know, would give almost anything to not have to work anymore. All I can tell them is they have to wait their turn. The choices I made early in life allowed me to retire earlier than normal. But then, what’s normal these days?

My Backup Plan

It’s very simple. Although I want to avoid two of the four seasons in the extreme (cold winters, hot summers), I’ll suffer with at least one of them if I have to. I’ll remain in the Philippines if the other choice is to go somewhere worse. There really are places where the summers are more miserable than the Philippines.

I have two unoccupied bedrooms in my house in the Philippines, when Josie (my wife) and I are there. Three when we’re not. If you’re related to me in any way or a good friend (and you’re drawing a pension of some kind), you’re more than welcome to join me when I’m there.

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By RT Cunningham
February 6, 2019