Bud’s the first of our little group to retire. Worked for Gagne's & Sons Heating and Cooling for what? Thirty plus years, I guess. That’s dirty work, repairing furnaces and the like. Plus, you get called out at all hours, day and night. Weekends, too, don’t matter the weather. And unless you’re doing an annual cleaning, the people you’re dealing with are usually real upset. I mean, it’s ten degrees out, and no heat. They’re all bundled up, seein’ their breath inside the house, and Bud’s gotta be the one who tells ‘em their furnance is shot. No fun. Once he hit sixty-five, Bud was outta there.
When he started talkin’ about retiring, I says to Celeste, “Are you turnin’ in your papers, too?” She’s a school secretary. Worked her way up from elementary school to the superintendent’s office.
“Geez, Celeste, you must have enough time in.”
“I do. Twenty-seven years, now.”
“Do you love it that much?”
“Well, it’s a decent job. Benefits and hours are great. Makes me feel useful. But that’s not the reason I’m staying.”
“Well, see if I retire the same time as Bud, he’ll be underfoot all the time. You know, always on me: ‘What are we doin’ today? What are we havin’ for lunch?’ Don’t get me wrong, I love him to death. But I just couldn’t take twenty-five or so years of that.”
“I hear you.”
“This way, he’ll get into his own routine. It’ll be up to him to figure out how to plan his day. I figure he’ll sit around doing nothing for a few weeks, then he’ll get bored. Maybe start volunteerin’ down to the Senior Center, takin’ folks to the doctor, pickin’ up prescriptions. Or, do a little snow plowin’ on the side, get a hobby. You know, start playin’ golf or something. He’s just gonna be more motivated I’m not around.”
“You’re wicked smart, Celeste.”
“I try. But to be honest, I’m pretty motivated, myself. Listen, when I retire, I wanna do what I wanna do, OK? Sure, we’ll travel and spend time together. I’m lookin’ forward to it. But you and me know that being with your husband every single wakin’ moment of the day is just too much of a good thing.”
“Ain’t that the truth!
And you know what? Her strategy worked like a charm. Far as the old gals down to the Senior Center are concerned (and I know this first hand, ‘cause my sister Irene works there), the sun rises and sets on Bud. Well, he’s so good with ‘em, and you can tell he really likes helpin’ them out. No more, “Mr. Bad News Bud.” Plus, he’s not comin’ home filthy every day. Can’t beat that!
Celeste got it right. Let him retire first.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Upcoming Shows and Book Events
April 16: Filming The View From He’ah, with guest Lucie Therrien, 7:00p.m., PPMtv, Portsmouth, NH
April 17: The Moose in Me, The Moose in You, The Firehouse Center for the Arts, 8:00 p.m., Newburyport, MA
April 28: A Visit With Ida, Spectrum Generations Volunteer Recognition Event, 2:00 p.m., Hallowell, ME
May 26: Book Reading Finding Your Inner Moose, Old Town Public Library, 11:00 a.m., Old Town, ME
May 26: Book Reading Finding Your Inner Moose, Pittsfield Public Library, 6:00 p.m., Pittsfield, ME