Month: September 2011

A Changing Life

Retirement is truly incredible.

It is taking some time to adjust to the freedom. I find I am adjusting well. A typical day is a relaxing breakfast, playing guitar or banjo for an hour or so, going for a bike ride, doing some writing and catching up on books and movies that I’ve been meaning to get around to. I see friends, family and play a lot of poker

One thing that has changed radically is watching T.V. Working long hours meant little television. Truth is it never really interested me that much. It wasn’t long ago that I discovered BBC America. I found great shows like Luther, Top Gear, Torchwood, Life on Mars and Dr. Who.

At night I sit and work on a song that I want to learn like Sally in the Garden. I take a musical phrase and play it over and over until it becomes part of me. I have the T.V. on and I find the distraction helps with the repetition.

Couple weeks ago we were watching Animal Planet and a new show came on and I was gobsmacked. The show is called Hillbilly HandFishin’. The gist of the show is people pay money to a couple of guys who take them out to body of water where they stand in the mud and stick their hands or feet in holes where large catfish are. These fish can be anywhere from five to sixty pounds. The fish bites down on your appendage and you yank it out. The people claim it is like being hit in the hand or foot with a hammer. Many of the hands come out bloodied with skin missing. It’s called hand fishing or noodling.


I went online and found they charge $350 a day per person not counting food and lodging. I was planning on taking the wife on a cruise but for the same money we can stand in a muddy river and stick our hands in holes and get bit by slimy fish. It’s a toss-up. We’ve been married twenty-seven years and I may have to save it for our thirtieth anniversary.

Retirement and a New Beginning

When you are in your fifties you still have time, but no time to waste.                              Alec Baldwin 

August 31st was my last day at work.  I retired after nearly thirty-seven years at UPS after just turning fifty-five.  I started there in 1974 as a loader and in 1978 I became a delivery driver.  I started delivering in Avon Lake, then East Lorain and finally Sheffield Lake where I delivered for over thirty years.  I have hundreds of stories from my career and plan to share them here.  I’ve met so many kind and interesting people.  I’m very lucky because I have a really good memory and I write things down.

I’ve taken a few weeks to transition into retirement.  Been playing a lot of banjo, working on old fiddle tunes and trying to figure out exactly where I plan to go.  Things are becoming clearer.

I do a lot of things and I want to become the best at all the things I do.  I want to become a really good poker player, competent musician (guitar, banjo, dulcimer, ukulele and harmonica). get my master’s rating in chess, get my writing published and so much more.

Being raised by an agoraphobic created an odd anxiety about travelling.  I found it ironic that I didn’t go more than a couple blocks from my house growing up and then as a UPS driver I was locked into a route three miles wide by a half mile deep.  I want to see the world and meet everyone.  I want to bicycle the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, I want to visit South Africa and see my beloved lithops in their native soil.

Essentially I want to become the person that I’ve always known that I wanted to be.  I no longer have any excuses.