Saturday, August 29, 2015


I submitted the paperwork at the end of last year for my retirement from the university where I worked and I started receiving my monthly checks right after the first of the year. 

A couple of months ago Tom and I submitted our paperwork for our Social Security and not only did we receive our first check, but we both received a lump sum equal to 6 months back pay.  A really nice big chunk. 

Tom had always said he was going to wait until he was 70 to retire and even then he thought he would work part time. But so much has happened in the last 6 months or so to change his mind. The last straw was the time we were able to spend with our granddaughters this summer. He began to realize he'd rather be traveling and enjoying himself than working. 

When that big chunk of money hit the bank account, reality hit like a ton of bricks. At first Tom started only working half days. Then when jobs got delayed or schedules were rearranged, rather than work another job into his schedule, he'd take the whole day off. If you know Tom, you know he just doesn't do that. He gets too antsy and generally feels completely unproductive. 

No one has been more shocked than me. 

He's trying to decide how he's going to close the shop. He's comparing sheds to hold what tools he plans to keep. He started removing the signage from his van. Yesterday he came home about noon and proudly stated that he had removed the letters from the back doors and the large staircase logo from one side. Today he will remove the one on the other side. 

Last week Tom suggested attending a Silver Sneakers class together at the gym and maybe go for walks together. I was momentarily stunned. 

He's started reading more often. He takes more time to do the yard work. Maybe one day he will do the back yard and do the front yard the next day. If he's home for the day, he makes the bed before I even have my second cup of coffee. That works out fine for me. It's when he gets a little antsy and follows me around the kitchen asking if there's something he can do to help that I have to tell him in my stern voice to take a seat elsewhere and stop bugging me. But those times are fewer than they were initially. 

So we have another trip planned to California in September. In October Tom's oldest sister is coming out from California and we'll spend several days in Hot Springs visiting. And we have another trip planned to Florida in December. We're looking at work camps for next year. Campgrounds all over the U.S. provide a free campsite in exchange for a 15 hour work week doing light maintenance or office work with a three month or more commitment. 

Who knows what we will wind up doing. Whatever it is, we won't be kissing each other good-bye every morning as we head off to work. 

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