The retirement rock is rolling downhill …

The retirement rock is rolling downhill and gaining speed as it goes. The glimpses I get of that life are pretty appealing and whatever trap doors there are – and there are sure to be some – haven’t reared their ugly heads as of yet.

Like most folks, some of my time will circulate around the kids. I hope they’re ready for me.


December 15, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Today was something of a dry run for retirement, and I say it was rather quite enjoyable. Technically it was a vacation day although I did my usual early morning jobs so a coworker wouldn’t have to get up at 0-dark-thirty to do my dirty work. But I scooted out the door about 8:15 for coffee with my friend Ann who schooled me on Social Security (i.e. get off my can to apply for benefits and Medicare), left there and headed to the gym for a leisurely workout, came home for lunch of peanuts, a banana and apples, headed to Gander Mountain to buy another Penn Battle fishing rod/reel, stopped at Lowe’s for some lumber to build a workbench, sat in the sun on the porch and re-rigged all three saltwater rods with fresh line and circle hooks for our Christmas weekend fishing trip, Reid,

Somehow, the travel companies don't include scenes like this in their promotional material. Travel isn't as much fun as it used to be.

Somehow, the travel companies don’t include scenes like this in their promotional material. Travel isn’t as much fun as it used to be.

then wrapped it up the day with another couple of hours at my desk so I wouldn’t be swamped in the morning. The spending spree on the new fishing gear and lumber aside, it’s the sort of non-pressure day a guy could get used to. Of course, they won’t all be sunshine and fishing, but you know where this is going. Really, I can’t wait to get things headed down that road to see what lies ahead. We’ll know soon enough, won’t we?

On a related note, I was looking at a folder with a mish mash of recipes, and perhaps that’s my next retirement activity. Imagine a guy trying to sort recipes. The folders would read ‘Steak,’ ‘Potatoes,’ ‘Bread,’ ‘Beer,’ etc.

You'll hear more next week about Emma's artistry with Christmas cookies - and all things icing.

You’ll hear more next week about Emma’s artistry with Christmas cookies – and all things icing.

Christmas, at least the tepid non-gift side, should be a lot of fun. I just cannot believe how Emma is talking these days – full sentences, complete thoughts, etc. Ellen, I will be completely pliable as to whatever your plans are this weekend. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it, including the cooking.

Reid, I am completely thrilled that you’ll be down here for Christmas weekend. Charleston sounds like it would be a riot, and we’ll get a rental kayak to go with mine and we’ll shove off into the Intracoastal for some fishing. If you’ve not been to Charleston, you’re in for a treat. It’s a lively town with a lot to do, and hopefully, we’ll find some of that.

The tree, such as it is, is up and I’m leaving the colored lights on 24/7 since it seems to cheer the place up a bit. There aren’t any gifts beneath the plastic boughs (why does a plastic tree shed?), but gifts are almost beside the point at this stage of the game.

I’m having some issues with my right hip which is a little disconcerting. It is noticeable almost all the time now and might be the residue of running and my recent few years of daily workouts. I’ve got an appointment early next month to see what sort of steps, if any, are necessary. It seems to be progressively more noticeable. I can’t blame it on the recent spate of gorgeous weather. It was well into the 60’s this weekend and today. It will make this evening’s walk a lot nicer – albeit a lot slower, too. Such are the wages of an aging body.

I had to redeem some points earned at the bank for a few odds and ends, and ordered a machine that makes sleep-inducing noises along with a set of two-way radios and a headlamp for the mountains and some sort of solar charger/lamp I can use in my tent when I take trips on the Harley.

Speaking of which, I will trek through the Midwest late next April or May, some of it to coincide with the birth of your little girl, Ellen.

Okay, today’s note is shorter than normal (lucky for you) and I’m about to wrap up my retirement test drive with that stroll just mentioned. See you all sooner than later.

Love, Dad


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