Thursday, July 21, 2016

Retirement - LBC Post 07/22/2016

Retirement. The action or fact of leaving your job and ceasing to work. The loss of your paycheck. It's usually voluntary although occasionally - like mine -  it comes about as a result of a company folding its tents due to the incompetence of senior management and the weight of years of mismanagement crashing down on all, save those floating  down to earth with their golden parachutes. Alas- I didn't have one - LOL. Sure cuts down on my travel possibilities. Fortunately Walmart is close. 

If you are fortunate enough to be able to give up your income and enjoy what life has to offer until the road you traveled ends,  you have done something right. Congratulations.

I was not sure what to expect from retirement, but I was ready for it. I had just spent the better part of ten years being the primary caregiver to my wife as she slowly succumbed to Huntington's Disease. Add to that the fact that I was also supporting my daughter and her three kids, RadioShack - my employer - was circling the drain - I was pretty well done in.

So what did I do you may ask? Simple - RadioShack laid me off  and a rule change cut my six months severance pay to two weeks. A few months later I packed up and moved to North Carolina to be near my son and his family. He had visions of opening a food truck in the Asheville area.

Visions.  Sometimes they don't come true.  To date there is no food truck in Asheville but there is a really nice house on 1.25 acres in the little berg of Granite Falls and a single wide tornado magnet (some Texas culture remains) in a place called Conover. 

The bank account remains empty but the area is nice and friendly. In fact SF Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner is from Hickory - the "big"  town in the area. It is a nice little place.  NC is a it of a culture shock - in spite of all that  prep  time in Texas. I  have yet to join the local senior center. In fact I may never join - too many old people there.

In a somewhat shocking/challenging happening, after eight months of freedom my daughter and her kids are back. They are all looking for work - the reality of the limitations  of living on Social Security  and their desired lifestyle was immediately obvious. We'll see how that shakes out. Having a six-year  grandson in the place is a bit like having the Tasmaniam Devil        as a roommate. Never a dull moment since Bubba hit the scene. The dog and cats are adjusting. 

Since January  I have read over 70 books (mostly mystery fiction, my new love is Native American mystery stuff - thank you Tony Hillerman). I've gotten hooked on Australian TV shows and Danish mystery TV. Now that I can sleep in I typically get up between 5:30 add 6:00 A.M.  Go figure. My day starts with a carafe of good coffee - I am still a coffee snob - and where it goes from there is a surprise daily. Some good, some not so good. You might even say life is an adventure again. What the hell - I had an eight-month break - to continue down that path would have been boring. I bore easily.

That is my shack-take on this week's LBC topic. Check out Ramana here and Pravin here. Prain is an interesting young man, well worth your time. Ramana is simply the sage of Pune - as always.


  1. I am glad that I came up with this topic as your post has given me some more insights of you as a person. In some ways, our lives have run parallel courses like being primary caregivers to our respective spouses. In retrospect, I too would say that my going back to work after retirement was to fill a void in my daily routine, not having the perks of office!

  2. wow shackman.
    I too feel I know you better now. and it STINKS the way radio shack treated you.
    but you obviously wasted no time in bitterness. what's the point anyway.
    I admire your energy. not sure I would have enough to live on a day to day basis with a darling little Tasmanian devil!!!
    but if it doesn't kill you i'm thinking it will keep you young. :)