Approaching Retirement

I used to dream about this day and wished it would get here, kind of like a teenager wanting to be 16 so you could get a driver’s license. I am still excited about retirement, but I also have a sense of sadness about my impending change of status.

I will have, or I should say, can have plenty to keep me busy as long as I keep my ambition. That will be my bigger challenge. I used to be ready to tear into chores and projects at first light, and even earlier. I have to admit I am not quite that eager any more. If it is outside work, I like it to be above freezing now days before I start. Gee, about a million years ago I built a log home for us and I could stand to work down to about 20 below, and a little colder if there was no wind. You can take it to the bank that I will not be building any log homes in my retirement or working outside at -20 F. either.

I will find plenty to do, especially keeping up a home that was built in 1830. There is always a project begging for my attention, and a few more that Susan thinks up for me (had to add that in). When spring comes, I always look forward to getting the garden in and I plan on making it bigger this year. You know, “…the best laid plans of mice and men…” I do have the raspberries and blue berry bushes to tend to and the apple trees need pruning again. Of course, there are still my chickens and the “girls” need so regular care and attention as well. I am at a point where I need to introduce some new chicks this coming spring as the old girls are getting a wee bit tired. By the size of some of the eggs they lay, I can understand.

This spring I want to get hold of a mason and see about getting a new chimney built. If I slip into my old vernacular, I would say, “chimbley.” Susan gets perturbed when I speak like this, so I will use the word “chimbley” on this site and satisfy my older habits. It is like the word, “temptarily,” another good word that is mostly out of use now, but I continue to try to keep it in fashion. It fits certain situations quite well, and I know exactly what I mean – who cares if no one else understands me. This could get me into a longer story about speech that I will save for later. Suffice it to say that this story has something to do with my spending a lot of my formative years with a grandmother that was French Canadian. My early language was kind of hybridized to say the least, but I still like it. I spent a year or two going to speech lessons when I first started school due to my own bilingualism.

Ok, so I have covered my plans for the garden and my new “chimbley.” I want to add a regular woodstove to the house, not one of those modern jobs that burns pellets and requires electricity – no, I want to put in a regular firewood stove that only requires split wood and a match. I am thinking that it is better to reduce complexity, not look for ways to add it to my life. I am so sick of stuff that comes with directions and manuals that look like phonebooks with a print font so damn small, it is not humanly possible to read it unless you attach a couple of Coke bottle bottoms to your eyes. Yes, my vote is for simplicity and also for anything that does not require power other than my muscle power. I do not need something else that needs to be plugged in.

When spring comes again, I am being positive here, I also will spend some time with a fly rod on the brook in hopes of teasing a speckled beauty to take my imitation of something to eat. This is about as pleasant as life gets in my opinion. I like trout because I like the places they live. I cannot take credit for that thought and need to pass thanks to Robert Traver, a better writer, and probably trout fisherman, than I.

Well, I am getting a little side-tracked from my original thrill over my soon to be retired status. (Hint – think the middle of January) I am going to enjoy watching it snow and not have to go anywhere. In fact ,that will be rather nice the more I think about it.

I am looking forward to having some more time for my family, and especially, time with Susan. And then, there are some grandchildren that I hope to corrupt as well as I am, maybe even better if I can. And, I have a ho bunch of language that is kind of unique and it needs to be kept in existence. These younger ones are like sponges with new words – I’ll do my best.

I did mention a touch of sadness and this is more about facing up to my own mortality. I know we humans do not live forever, and I am most assuredly in the winter part of my life. Let’s hope for one of those “long” winters, huh. I am sneaking up on my Biblical “three score and ten” in 2021 so I am at least not getting cheated out of my youth – and I feel it.

And most of all, they say you know when you are ready to retire – I am ready.

Take care and have good holidays, as best you can all things considered.

Published by Ed Pirie

I am a Vermonter, been one all my life. That just about tells you all you need to know. I am not much of a follower and like to do my own thinking. I value my family and a quiet existence in a very rural part of Vermont. There is a lot in the world I do not understand. My writing is my attempt to wrap my head around much that is swirling around me. Some time ago gasoline pumps changed to the way they look now. I had stopped to fill my Jeep and I could not get the gas to pump to save my life. I went inside and complained to the attendant. She knew me and said, "Ed, the whole world is changing and if you don't figure out the changes you are going to fall off the earth as it spins around." Well, I am not always successful figuring out the changes, but my writing is my way of working through some of them. I hope you enjoy.

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  1. I love this, Ed. I’ll never call it anything but “chimbley” again. Blessings in abundance to you and Susan and your beautiful family ❤️


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