Monday, August 17, 2015

A Needed Vacation

Retirement!  One doesn't realize just how exhausting being retired can be!  Think about it —

Sure, I don't have to go to work every day, but still, I must decide what I am going to do to fill my day and make it an exciting event.  Trust me, waking up in the morning is great (that means I'm still breathing!) but there is more to retirement than just sitting on the front porch, rocking.

The garden needs tending, the flower beds seem to sprout more weeds than posies and well, if I don't go get the mail at the end of the lane each day, who is going to do that?  Plus, the lawn needs mowed, the dog wants to go out and there are those constant doctor appointments one must make and attend.  In a hindsight thought, going to the doctor can be a good thing since it proves you're still kicking.

But, it is the little things that make retirement worth the wait.  Imagine the excitement of a broken/leaking waterline?  Or the phone ringing?  Who could it be?  Remember, with retirement comes a very dubious honor: pallbearer or mourner.

If your name didn't make the "obit" column, there's a great chance today is going to be a fun one!

Hold on a minute.

Remember?  You work 50 weeks a year … okay, take away another 2 weeks for sick time, another 2 weeks for holidays and extraneous non-work days — I could continue but that isn't what this blog entry is about.  Out of each year, at least 2 weeks — that TWO weeks, could be more since I was up to 5 weeks when I retired — that is dedicated to that family favorite: VACATION or HOLIDAY for my non-US readers.

Yes, when I worked, I took vacation. It was a my get-away moment; that time when I grabbed the family and escaped to some idyllic locale and vegetated.


You're wrong.  Strangely enough, being retired can appear and seem like an eternal vacation.  My joke is 6 Saturdays and 1 Sunday.  If it wasn't for Sunday and going to church, I'd lose complete count of time.

Just like a person who works full-time, a retiree needs a break from … well, being retired.

I did just that.  I just got home from a week in the wilds of mid-Michigan's southern section.  I realize that sounds a little silly but let me explain.  My wife's sister and her husband have a small place on a private lake.  It is down in a valley.  To get a better idea of ownership, think of a pie with the lake being in the center.  Each slice of pie gets a portion of lake and then anywhere from a minimum of 10 acres to over 25 acres.  They have about 250 feet of shoreline.  Being a private lake and "ruled" by the owners, there are no motorboats allowed.  Electric motors only.  The water is pristine clear.  The wildlife is amazing: loons, eagles, beavers, deer, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks, of course.  Would you believe bear?  Yup!  Got them, too.  I saw the tracks of one AND the night camera picture, catching one in a berry patch.

A perfect place to sit under the shade of an oak tree and look out on the lake, listening to the wind whisper through the leaves and nearby pines.  What could be better?  Being on the lake, fishing.  I had two of my granddaughters along and we spent many hours on the pontoon, fishing.  Caught some nice bluegills and a couple of bass.  The girls are hooked on fishing.  They enjoyed catching small bluegills in the ponds at home but to catch the monsters we pulled from the depths — WOW!  Our first day fishing was astounding!  We caught enough for a great fish fry and the next couple of days brought in enough for us to bring some frozen fillets home.  As you can see, the fish were nice sized.

Corra with her bass

Corra with one her many bluegills

Hailey with her bass

Hailey with one of her four bluegills

A very proud ME with one of my many bluegills - no bass!
Notice the size - just a little over 10 inches!!
Some of the fish in the scaler - getting ready to filet.

No Internet and we barely had cell phone service.  My sister-in-law has a land phone and finally took the plunge for DISH TV since they live up there 6 months of the year.  Meals were simple.  Okay, we did have a couple of "big" meals: the fish fry and then a wonderful pork loin roast dinner.

I took my laptop along and was able to do a little editing and writing — very little.  I was relaxing, getting away from the frenzied life of retirement.

I might just have to make another trip up there real soon, maybe next month.

Until next I ramble on...


  1. Being retired as well, I understand this column! Now that I'm retired, I don't know how I ever had the time to work. Of course the things I do now are my own choice (or the things my husband asks me to do) so being busy is my own fault. I was self-employed so that was my own choice but not as much fun. We just had our granddaughter visit last week and she went fishing with my hubby--lots of fish in the freezer, too.

  2. I enjoyed reading this blog so much - what an absolutely fantastic vacation. That idyllic slice of land your family owns just seems like something out of a fantasy land that I can only dream of in my crowded, overpriced NY town where I'm lucky to live on a 50x175 acre lot. Sigh... The girls got so big and so beautiful. You're a lucky man, Bob.

  3. I know what you mean about writing on vacation. It always seems like the perfect place, but other than my last trip, I rarely do much writing on vacation. There are so many more things to do!

  4. Nice post, Bob. Retirement isn't what the working folks imagine. Or maybe writing every day means I'm not retired.

    I've been away visiting grandchildren, and you just reminded me of the pleasure I had a few days ago when my nine-year-old granddaughter took me fishing in the Trinity River, about a mile from her house.

    That was right after she shared with me the book she's writing, complete with illustrations. "Mom says you write books. Me, too. Want to read it?" I did, and I enjoyed it; she's quite a storyteller. Not sure, but maybe it's in her genes.

  5. Sounds like a nice break from the every day. If I get to retire I plan to pack every minute with things I enjoy then throw in a little housework when needed.