The 7 year itch and the countdown to retirement…

It’s been 7 mostly good years years in North Carolina but there have been some &*%#$ stinkers, too. Ellen and Reid have seen the trail of letters that paint the larger Southern picture.


August 12, 2013

Ellen/Reid: I’ve about had it with humidity. Heat, not so bad, but feeling drenched all the time, not so good. It’s just the dog days down here. Yesterday when we played golf, I was soaked by the second hole and it didn’t improve from there. But the forecasters predict cooler temps ahead yet they completely, and conveniently, omit any mention of insidious humidity. It’s just the price you pay for choosing to live in these parts. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The longer I'm down here, maybe I am beginning to show some 'neck tendencies.

The longer I’m down here, maybe I am beginning to show some ‘neck tendencies.

Reid, I hope you’re keeping track of the airline changes on your ticket to Savannah. I’ve not really taken a close look, probably a shift in flight number or such, but you’ll need to follow that. How do you opt to follow flight changes on your phone? I just want you to keep getting in early enough so we can spend some hours together before Emma’s entourage blows into Hilton Head.

This retirement thing keeps rearing its head. I had a chat with my good friend Ann who was a big-time exec with the bank, and she thinks it’s doable for a variety of reasons. I think back a couple of years after that hospitalization/surgery scare when the doctor said he didn’t think it did my long term prospects any favor. What I may do is poke around about part time writing at the bank that may allow me to keep my benefits but let me get on with other things. There’s a book in me somewhere but it doesn’t know how to get out. I’d like to teach a little more. Your more pragmatic uncle may toss buckets of cold water on such thinking for loss-of-salary reasons but it’s worth an exploratory conversation or two.

The now-deemed-illegal tomato plant vilified by the HOA garden Nazis continues to produce delicious fruit. We’ll continue to flout the nay-sayers and enjoy small ‘slicers’ even if it’s with turkey bacon BLTs. The basil will also continue to stand up to the criticism of its existence.

Felicia was with her parents for the last few days out in Shelby. Her mother had shoulder replacement surgery and they needed the help. As a nurse, Felicia gets all that stuff which would make me squeamish. I bached it but didn’t do much other than play golf and pony up to the bar at Mac’s one night for more of those tasty wings. Geez, one day Emma’s going to think her gramps has gone totally nuts, but once she and I get to Mac’s and she digs into the wings and crusty mac & cheese, she’ll understand the zaniness.

This week – Wednesday, Aug. 15 – marks seven years in Charlotte. Hard to believe 1/9 of my existence has been here. I’m not quite sure how to grade it. You have to account for livability, work, costs, politics, weather, etc. Probably somewhere near a 6.5 on the 1-to-10 scale. I suppose the longer you live somewhere smoothes all the rough edges and un-clouds the unfamiliarity of things. If nothing else, life is an adventure and is what you make of it. That’s pretty much how your old man looks at it these days. There are still days that seem surreal where you almost pinch yourself when you smell or see something that is not of the Midwest and you think, ‘Jesus, am I really here?’

Today is the fourth week of hitting the gym. The scale remains uncooperative so I’ve started to chart my day-by-day weight. Ice cream on Saturday night surely didn’t help, but I can’t be expected to give up all my vices. Besides, that would take a second sheet, or more, of paper.



Filed under Writing to adult children

3 responses to “The 7 year itch and the countdown to retirement…

  1. mort

    DB – Don’t be concerned about Emma thinking you’re crazy… one day she’ll meet your friends and doubt will flee. My advice: worry about your golf game – an easier fix.

    M – One of those guys

  2. mort

    … and get the damn book STARTED. I want hear about that. Retirement is a myth.

  3. Maybe we should collaborate on an experimental novel for kindle. How about “50 Shades of Cynical” for a tentative title? Let me know what you think. JS

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