Clomp around in the swamp? Or go to a retirement party?

Well, on a day like today, I could’ve clomped around in the swamp all afternoon. What a gorgeous November day in the Great Lake State! I should probably clarify that our swamp is really dry right now. We have not had a lot of rain around here and there were a few rather soft places but those were fairly easily avoided. Still not the easiest walking. There is deadfall absolutely everywhere and did I mention picker bushes? We emerged from the swamp with our clothing *covered* in sticky little seeds. If it had been any other Sunday, I would’ve probably hopped into the Ninja for the three hour drive home in my swamp clothes and that would not have been a good thing because I have a feeling I’d’ve been scratching the entire time.

As it was, after we draaaggggged ourselves outta the swamp, I changed into some rather more presentable articles of clothing! Skirt, tights, tank top, my fave sparkly handmade [by meeeee] jacket, Tweak necklace, scarf, and, er, well, ratty old Chaco hiking sandals. Why all this folderol? Because we were scheduled to attend cDon’s retirement party on the way home. cDon is a longtime colleague and friend of the GG over at the EPA and I interacted with him a lot for many years when I worked for CSC over there.

Siiiigggghhhh. I worked over at the EPA for 15 years, quitting in 1994 or thereabouts. Since the GG is a career employee there, I occasionally attend these retirement parties, especially if the retiree is someone I remember well. Or if it’s someone I regard as a friend, like cDon. (I even rather independently know his *lovely* daughter but that’d be a whole ‘nother story.) Parties can be difficult for a socially introverted person like me and these parties are sometimes harder because I see faces that I know but I can’t always put names to them. A bit like a high school reunion without the name tags.

And then there are the questions (and these are normal questions from wonderful people). “How are your little girls?” Our beautiful 20-something daughters who traversed the EPA with us as babies and young children. “Have they graduated [college] yet? Do you have any grandchildren yet?” Yes and !!!!!!! And then they start in on the GG. “When are you going to retire?” And that’s where it all starts going downhill. The GG *is* thinking about when he can retire, as he should be after working his entire life. Paper boy, gas station attendant (robbed at gunpoint *twice*), automobile factory worker, computer scientist.

Well. Then the finger points to me. Retire? Me? Well. We are a bit out of sync here. Because I am nowhere near ready to retire yet. Retire? Me? After my tenure over at the EPA, I took a 14 year hiatus to be home with the beach urchins and volunteer. I never planned on it being that many years and there were a few years toward the end when I wasn’t sure if I would ever figure out what to do with my life or if anyone would ever want to pay me more than a “stipend” again. I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life but I was wrong that I wasn’t worth anything and I love my job and pretty much the whole works. I have landed in a good place where people value what a person can do over their age or looks or connections or [sometimes worthless] paper credentials. Who knows what the next few years will have in store but I hope I can continue to carve out a career in what I am doing now. It is the first time in my life I have had a job where I have not felt somewhat under-employed. I cannot think about retirement yet. Sorry.

Anyway, Godspeed to cDon and I hope he will find some time to drag the GG out for lunch in between playing with his grandson and pursuing his hobbies.

2 Responses to “Clomp around in the swamp? Or go to a retirement party?”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I would like to retire because I’ve been teaching for 31 years. I wouldn’t mind trying something else, but with our two in college/grad school and the medical insurance issue, we need my secure job, so I’ll be working until 62. (at least) I’ve always wanted to work in a bookstore or library. (maybe I can when I’m an old lady) 🙂

  2. Tonya Watkins Says:

    Uhhhh…retired? Maybe I already am. Which would not be a good thing.