Turn The Page

Time rushes toward me —
it has no brakes. Still,
the radishes are good this year.
Run them through butter,
add a little salt…. Jim

“Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of the open highway.” Thursday I will start that new chapter of my life. Robert Earl Keen sang that the road goes on forever. We all know that isn’t true but my hope is that I can cover many miles on this road and hope and pray that this road doesn’t have the potholes to maneuver around like that our wonderful South Carolina roads have.

I think retirement is a time of reflection. I started our business with a friend of mine when the manufacturing plant we were employed closed back in 2003. Due to the sins of the past where some facilities relieved themselves of paying to have waste drums shipped off, instead they would bury them. Over the years those drums would deteriorate and leak into the ground water table. Years later the government created laws that those facilities that committed these atrocities would have to pay to clean up the ground water. There are various ways to clean up contaminated ground water. We ran the groundwater remediation system at that facility and parlayed that job and many others into a wonderful career. That career is ending as my part of the business is being bought out by my other business partner.

There are far better things ahead than we ever leave behind.”- C.S. Lewis.

I have mixed emotions with retirement. I am grateful that by the grace of God that I have made it to retirement and that somehow with only a high school degree and some broadcasting school I have to say despite my shortcomings and mistakes I made I somehow made a wonderful life for myself. One of life’s mysteries I guess. Also there is that feeling that I am this old and that retirement is turning the page on the final chapter of the book.

So what happens now? Thankfully I have hobbies. The golf game that I thought I would have time for when I started this business never materialized. I will shake the rust that has collected on my club and do what many old men do while missing putts and driving the ball in the woods. I will be cussing a lot. I helped start a soup kitchen many years ago and will be spending more time there. I am looking forward to that. I will put the photography classes to use. There will be more wearing of Hawaiian shirts. I will experiment with my cooking just so I can hear Rebecca asking, “What the hell am i eating.” There will be more gasbagging, I’m sure.

James Harrison was a poet, writer and essayist. He wrote Legends of the Fall. I find him fascinating and read many of his writings. He once said, “I’m hoping to be astonished tomorrow by I don’t know what. Bingo……..Cheers everybody.

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