Monthly Archives: June 2016

Happenings in Paradise-The Letter

happenings-with-title-boldNorma and Doreen moved languorously through those first days of summer. Trying to get the worst out of the way, they rushed to finish their daily chores, spurred by an urgency to spend their extra hours together. In Norma’s family, ‘helping out’ was a well established tradition: Norma and her brother James were given chores from the time they were five or six, expected to do little jobs like wiping dishes or loading the firebox without being reminded. Now that they were older, they were supposed to dedicate a few hours every day to the endless work on the farm—there was always so much to do. This summer, James worked at a neighbor’s farm in addition to his own chores, tilling fields and clearing weeds whenever they needed a hand. This was a matter of great pride to James, and a source of great irritation to Norma. read more

Happenings in Paradise-Summer Begins

happenings-with-title-boldIt was June, and the sun hovered on the horizon until close to midnight, rising three hours later, but it never got dark. Between sunset and sunrise, there was a smokey dusk, and if people couldn’t sleep, they lit a lamp so they could putter around or read. The constant light threw everyone out of kilter. Farmers, tired from a day of discing slept restlessly for a few hours, waking to worry about what was left undone because of the heat. Their wives struggled heavy-lidded through their day, sleep-walking through the most necessary of chores. Only small children, their energy depleted from their extended day of play, slept well. read more

Retirement – The Other Side of the Story

retirementLast week I wrote about retirement. It was an upbeat article, with a few remarks about my experience as a long time retiree, and some links to other blogs and articles. It was well received, with many readers offering their positive experiences. But a couple of readers took me in a different direction—to a less comfortable place, which I’ve always known about, but didn’t really want to acknowledge.

What was pointed out to me was the other side of retirement. While I was writing about the people who were having a happy and successful retirement, I was ignoring the thousands who were not enjoying it at all. read more

Retirement – The Best Is Yet To Come!

RetirementIt seems that there is a rush on retirement these days. I guess that makes sense—the baby boomers are getting older, and many of them are turning 65, some even 70, if they were born in 1946.

When I retired there was little fanfare about it, we decided to retire, we went to the banquet, we got our watch (in my case, an engraved tray) we went home and figured out what to do from there. Nobody speculated about our numbers or least of all, our well being.

We were part of a generation that enjoyed the last of the benefits of a long term secure job, and the last of the pensions that were awarded devoted servants of the system. We owned our own homes, we saved for a rainy day, we went along with the corporate decisions whether we agreed with them or not, and we didn’t complain (that’s why we were called the ‘The Silent Generation’).We worked as long as we felt we were productive, and when the age of 65 approached, we took the hint and moved on. read more