Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Retirement dry run

This was the best 3 day holiday I have ever had.  I thought of it as a dry run to retirement.  So I thought about sleeping in, and on Monday I did not get out of bed until 7am.  Yep, 7:00.  Do I know how to have a good time or what?!  Ok, so I was up at 6:30, the point is that I rolled over and took it easy and felt no obligation to get up and get going as early as I normally would.  Monday I spent the entire day thinking, this is what a normal day of retirement could be.  I ate breakfast on the back porch reading my book.  I worked in the yard the entire day.  I know everyone thought it was so hot, but I worked in the front yard where there is shade.  I climbed the 12 foot ladder about 40 million times trimming branches and opening up the yard.  My pink perfection camellia did not bloom as much as it has in other years.  I think that is mostly because it was so shaded out by a maple tree that I didn't want.  So I was going to cut it down, but without a chain saw it was going to take more then the one day I had to cut it down with a hand saw, so instead I cut all the branches within reach off.  It opened up my front yard and now the pink perfection is getting all the sun it needs.  I opened the drive way, I removed the trash trees around a dogwood.  I took the oak branches off around the bird bell which brought in more light to the flower gardens in that area.  It is one of those jobs that you put off, but when you finally do it, it is amazing how much better the yard look and the gardens do.  And yet, it is not that you can point at a new garden and say,"Wow! Look at that."  No, this is something that you can't point to, but everything looks better.

That is more then I can say about my legs.  Between the thorny vines and the millions of yellow flies I look like a child from a TV commercial.  My legs are scratched and cut with huge red bites.  It is not attractive.  But it was so worth it.  My yard is finally starting to look like my yard again.  After a year of not being well enough to work in my yard, I am back!!!  And my yard is responding.  That is one of the best things about gardening.  You can ignore something for so long, but when you give it a little water, a little attention, and a gift card from the best plant nursery in town, you can work wonders. 

Sunday night a few of us met at the Moon's and had a little cookout.  It was just a few of us, none of us were into a big get together, but it was a holiday.  And holidays require getting together with friends and eat potato salad, bake beans and watermelon.  We did all of that and more.  It was laid back and just a nice time to catch up with a few friends, around the fire, eating summer food and laughing and talking.  

Then the perfect Monday.  sigh, I think I will like retirement.

Today I went back to work.  I wrote goodbye emails and sent them to the various field staff I used to work with.  And then sent a good bye to the other Supervisors I used to work with in the field.  I answered phones, data entered, scanned, worked and worked.  At 1:00 it was time to leave, and there was still so much to do.  I thought I could just stay here another couple of hours and get so much more done.  But, really, there is always going to be something to do.  There is always going to be more work then any of us are going to be able to do.  So I got up and left.  I have 4 days left to work.  Four days.  I am anxious.  But not about retiring, about going when there is so much to do, and so few of people to do it.  And the hiring freeze has not been lifted so they will not be able to fill a position.  But I will have to let go, and I will.  I am looking forward to the next  part of the journey.   I hope that their will be employment of some kind involved.  I like to work.  I like to do my best to help people.  And for 25+ years I have been able to do that with the Department, and where I will go next, I am not sure.  I hope to increase my volunteer work, but I need to make sure to take this step by step.  I don't need to set myself up to just making the same mistakes again.  Just working myself into a frenzy again.  I don't need to manage and take on the world, just take it one day at a time.

So after work, I went to the cigar store.  I had gone on Friday, but they were closed for the holiday.  But today they were open and the man in the store was very nice to me.  He must have gotten a kick out of my ignorance, but desire to learn.  I bought the last of a particular cigar and he gave me the box.  This is no cardboard box, or even a a balsa wood box.  This is a  wooden box with a details and gold decorations, I mean this is glorious box.  And then he helped me to get a couple of cigars ready to mail, and a discount on top of it all.  Hey, that is a good shopping experience.  I will be back.

Tomorrow I go for my blood work and a CT scan.  We will get with the doctor next week and hear the good news.  I am taking the whole day off.  I think I am starting to take those first baby steps into retirement.  And it isn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be.  

A glorious weekend, filled with friends and food and laughs.  A weekend filled with gardening.  And I have to tell you these Atlas gloves are amazing.  I can keep the same pair on all day.  I used to carry 5 or 6 pairs of gloves with me.  I would look down and see that I was missing a glove, pull one out of my apron and put it on.  And repeat this all day.  At the end of the day as i was putting everything away I would pick up the gloves I had dropped around the yard.  Not these gloves.  They are comfortable for gloves.  They breathe so they don't get as hot as you would think gloves would be.  And I can do anything with them on.  
Gardening gloves that work.  
Gardens that are responding to my attention.  
A retirement dress rehearsal.  
A cookout with friends.
Yep, I have an amazing life.  


  1. The last few weeks before retirement were tough because it seemed as if I suddenly became invisible. Projects were passed to others and supervisory work was passed to others with staff moving to other sections, etc. But now, I am so glad to be retired. It is a new chapter, indeed.

  2. You are living an amazing life.