Cape Gazette
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Retirement 101

Reclaim your passion this spring

By Lisa Graff | Mar 16, 2014

James wrote to tell me about his retirement project. “Let me tell you what I am up to. I have made a twig sign that says ‘Foreverwood,’ which is what we have named our home. So I decided to make a retirement sign. It turned into quite a project. When it was done, I was afraid my partner Sue, who recently retired, would not understand the meaning of it, so I designed a handbook to go along with it. The handbook describes and defines each of the words on the sign which we are now calling the Retirement Tree. The manual is a work in progress in that I suggested that Sue add her own words and observations about her retirement. It took on a further life of its own when I thought it could be turned into a book or form the basis for a workshop. I have titled it, ‘A Reverently Irreverent Look at Retirement.’ By the way, my career was in higher education. I have also owned a restaurant and worked at KSI placing adults with disabilities in jobs. I moved to Delaware in 1998.”

I like how James has emphasized the prefix “re” in the word retire. He found a way to recreate his life through art, and now he wants to renew that energy in all of us.

My husband Rayquest, a retired systems engineer, has renewed the art of organizing our home, beginning with, of course, the garage. Never mind the six booby-trapped closets inside our home where the summer cushions come barreling down like snow geese. He consulted with expert Patti Brown, who owns the business Behind Closed Doors. (Sounds like a reality show starring Sally Fields.) Together they came up with a strategy to hang lawn chairs, snow shovels, bicycles, rakes, hoes and bungee cords. But try as they might, there are so many objects stacked in between the two cars, I have to exit my vehicle through the sun roof. Yesterday I complained that I couldn’t find the oregano in the spice rack, so Ray applied his organizational skills to our kitchen. My spices are now in alphabetical order beginning with bay leaf and ending with thyme. Time for the old golf swing, yes?

So you think you might want to adopt a new puppy in your retirement life? I just left a dinner party early so I could go home and let Princess Grace out of her crate to pee. We are now four months into the life of Princess Gracie, and she has total control over two intelligent people who qualify for Social Security. Behind closed doors, this is what our home sounds like, “Did she poop or did she pee?”

“She did both!”

“Wow. That’s terrific.”

Now I am on the floor kissing and caressing her belly. “Does the widdle widdle Gwaicie love dis? Ohhh we dove dis. Doves dis so much. Ohhhh loves dese kissy wissies from her mama.”

We are pathetic puppy lovers. Jim can make us a sign: Re-dic-u-US. Retired or not, let’s revel in the sights of spring. Let those red red robins come bob bob bobbin’ along! See the widdle birdees!

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