Cape Gazette
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Retirement 101

Retirees can sometimes act like tourists, it’s OK

By Lisa Graff | Jun 16, 2013

I just played a message on my answering machine. Two minutes of heavy breathing. I was thinking I am too old to enjoy or even to receive obscene phone calls when suddenly a voice I recognize pants, “Hey it’s just me. I am out on a bike ride.” My husband has been threatening to clean out the garage for months now, but he is on a joy ride. Yet I couldn’t be happier for him. Retirement life is loaded with projects we think we have to complete. I called a neighbor the other day on a Sunday and asked her if she wanted to go antiquing and she said, “I am sorry, but I just have to clean the windows.” How can someone turn down frolicking for window washing? My friends often tell me about all of the unfinished projects which seem to haunt them. Here’s an idea: Why not put all unfinished projects out for the community yard sale? Let someone else count your cross stitch or spray paint your grandfather’s wrought-iron handmade table?

People tell me they enjoy reading my column and when I ask them to email me some information, they launch into their story on the spot. Only by the time I get home, I don’t remember anything. So who are you and what did you say to me? That is the challenge of being a retired old person. My friend Carolyn forgot the name of the vegetable she wanted to pick up in the grocery store. So we played 20 questions in Food Lion. Is it green? Yes. Is it leafy? No. Is it a radish? No, I said it was green. Just checking to see if you remembered that much. There it is, she shouts and lunges at the asparagus. So last year on her birthday I took a picture of some asparagus in the grocery store (despite the perplexed look of the produce guy) and taped it into the card with a caption, THIS IS ASPARAGUS. If we can laugh about our fears maybe they won’t come true.

On June 7, I participated in the annual MS (multiple sclerosis) walk with the team Zoom Zooms at Baywood Country Club. We could not walk because of tropical storm Andrea, so we sat around and ate cookies and took team photos - so if you gave money it is still OK because we turned in our pledges! “Thankfully, team Zoom-Zooms won in the end,” said Monroe and Jamie Colvett, co-captains of the team. “To date, we have collected nearly $15,000." Way to go team, and prayers for renewed hope for those suffering from this debilitating illness.

Thank you Doug from Harbeson for emailing me about where you would like to travel. Doug says he wants to go hiking where he can get lost in the solitude of the mountains and he doesn’t need a fistful of quarters to feed the meter to park his car in Rehoboth! Great news, Doug! I signed up for Parkmobile and love it. If you set up an account with your credit card online, you can phone from your parking space and enter the number off the meter. I thought maybe I would get a busy signal, but no, they answered immediately. They texted me a reminder that time was running out as I took advantage of restaurant week at the Back Porch Café. It would have been a sin to miss the diver scallops or poppy seed cake with blood orange sauce. Once I am safely parked, I love the craziness of Rehoboth in the summertime - families on vacation trying to forget the stress of the real world, sand in their shoes, ice cream cones in hand, shopping for souvenir back scratchers. Come on, retirees, we can act like tourists too.

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