No wolves at the door …

So, what do I do now?

Whatever that is is already beginning to unfold. Perhaps the larger point for my two is to continue to underscore that things indeed are ‘… far better than fine and far better than well.’ It’s not enough for them to read between the lines; they’ve heard as much from me as I double-up on assurances.

So that’s where we are today. Adjusting, as many of you have, to the new regime that is retirement. I mean, what the hell? The hand has been dealt and now it’s about playing the cards.


November 2, 2015

Ellen/Reid: So, what do I do now?

That’s the $64,000 Question (that’s the title of an old game show when I was a kid). I can’t sit around and read the paper all day or spend time posting inane fishing videos on FaceBook or just idle around or walk or pick up trash. There has to be something of substance out there for me to do. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing to work a part time job. What that might be, there is no clue. No real thought has devoted in that direction but the noodling on it begins right about now.

There’s no particular rancor directed at Bank of America. It’s just a big business, that’s all. Employees account for roughly 60 percent of expense cost, and something had to give if the bank wanted to make its numbers and assuage The Street. Some friends have asked if I was shocked but the correct answer was no; if you didn’t feel this coming something was wrong. My run there was fine although I was never sure they knew what they had in me. They are caught in such a trap of corporate lingo/non-communicativeness that it is beyond its ability to escape. It’s just the way it is in business. What’s maddening is that is not the way the rest of the world communicates. They ought to gravitate toward plain English/plain spoken-ness. But I guess musing about that kind of foolishness isn’t my concern now, is it?

The ‘package’ arrived over the weekend via FedEx and it’s nothing that wasn’t expected. There were a few pages of added – and likely unintended – tidbits included; someone’s hand-written notes about me and how managers should approach me. That was sort of bizarre. It wasn’t anything that was bad, mind you, just kind of weird. My severance runs through the middle of March so that gives me some time to get my financial ducks in something of a row. I’ll surpass age 66 between now and then which is some sort of magic number of Social Security. But you both should know I’ll be fine and am doing quite well with the whole sordid affair. In fact, far better than fine and far better than well.

It was a great thing, then, that Dave H. and I spent the weekend fishing and talking in Charleston.

Dave is just a plain good guy and a good friend. His last-minute plan to visit Charleston got my 'retirement' off on the right foot.

Dave is just a plain good guy and a good friend. His last-minute plan to visit Charleston got my ‘retirement’ off on the right foot.

Reid, I wish you could’ve been there. Dave hauled in pounds of big black drum. We really knocked the fish for a loop. We kept a few but freed the others. We hit the barge repeatedly and that really is the nirvana of inshore fishing. But the tide has to be right. When it’s high you might as well anchor and take a nap. The trip came together very quickly. Dave is such a good guy, he’s in nearly constant communication with me and reads the blogs religiously. His presence was cathartic. We went over the top on Halloween night in Charleston. It seemed one in three people was in full costume.

There's something about being on, or along, the water. There's a symmetry to it - and was a relaxant at the right time.

There’s something about being on, or along, the water. There’s a symmetry to it – and was a relaxant at the right time.

We had stiff drinks and fabulous food. It was just a riot and is further reason why Advil has earned a place in my dob kit. He invited me down to Florida in a few weeks yet I reminded him about ‘ol Ben Franklin’s admonition about guests and fish.

I’d remind you of that, too, Ellen. It would be great to come up your way before much longer but I’ll be mindful of not being too invasive. What would you think of a tentative plan that would have me there shortly after Thanksgiving? Reid, I’d make a pit stop in Chicago to see you and Liz. There’s need to hightail it down to Des Moines to see John to get the income train chug-chugging along.

The guest bath is a wrap. The custom order towels and rugs ought to arrive today. Once those are slung out on the floor it will all be done. Except for the credit card payments, of course.

Really, don’t sweat a minute about how your old man is doing. Things are good, the shackles are unlocked, and the wolves aren’t at the door. It will all come out in the wash. In fact, it already has.

Love, Dad


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