retirement status

I’m approaching my third anniversary in retirement. A lot has happened to me that I haven’t documented here; it seems that the last nearly-three years have just flown by. As time continues its relentless passage I’ve been working on organizing my home tasks, prioritizing them and determining which ones will help with all the others I’ve listed. Sounds almost like work, doesn’t it?

The one high-priority task right now is to clean up my garage. It’s packed with decades of detritus, including what I helped my wife move out of her mother’s Ocala home in the 2000s. It’s still packed in the center of the garage. I’d built the garage out when we first moved into this house in 1985, creating shelves and two work benches against the walls. I’ve managed to clear out enough of the internal section that I can walk around with the garage door down. I’ve started to clean off the benches, throwing away the really old material and reorganizing everything else. I need those benches clear in order to do other projects around the house, as well as clear out the center so that I can park our car inside. It’s been over two decades since I could actually park a car inside the garage, and I’d like to do that again starting next year. I’ve taken care of our current automobile, a 2020 Acura MDX. So far we’ve only put about 16,800 miles on a vehicle we’ve owned for over 2 1/2 years. And while I wash the exterior and detail it at least every month, I’d like to roll it into the garage to take even better care of it by keeping it out of the Florida sun as much as possible.

It might seem like I’ve been slacking off, but there’s the overall interior of the house which has been cleaned out considerably since I retired. All the stacked books are either on bookshelves or else they’ve been given away. I can’t tell you how many boxes of books we took up to Gainesville and the Friends of the Library on North Main Street. I’ve cleaned out rooms and given away unused furniture. The floors, which are tiled, are vacuumed every other day at least, and mopped once per week. This is a far cry from when I had to work for a living and paid for maid service to come in once/week. With me doing the housework the place is a lot cleaner, to the point where I need to start thinking about painting and doing other interior work.

Then there’s the outside. I have a huge garden in the back yard which is slowly “creeping” into the front. The goal is to basically remove as much grass as possible, and replace it with flowering shrubs for birds and butterflies. I’ve learned to successfully root cuttings, to keep from having to spend money buying new shrubs at garden shops. I’ve even got an area in the corner of the back yard where I can recycle old potting soil, to be reused when I rebuild a pot. My garden won’t win any awards, but we enjoy the butterflies and birds that come through. And we like having all the trees around to help keep the micro-environment reasonably cool and green.

I thought we’d be traveling a lot more than we have, but the pandemic threw a major monkey wrench into those plans. The specter of new COVID variants continues to throw a shadow over everything, especially here in Florida where our crazy governor wants to marginalize COVID and has hired an idiot as state surgeon general. We’ve taken our Moderna shots as well as the three boosters that’ve come out. We also keep up with our flu vaccinations as well. We still mask and pay attention to distancing, even in public places. If I walk into a public area and feel it’s too crowded I’ll turn around and leave. So far we’ve been blessed with great health, with no COVID or influenza infections since the start of 2000. As far as health is concerned, I’ve grown cautious and conservative with regards to activities. That may change in 2023 as we both feel we need to visit our family more than we have since I retired.

And speaking of health, I’ve volunteered for a medical study for Alzheimer’s. The group leading the study want’s to derive methods and treatments to avoid it. They were looking for possible particpants in my age group who had a family history of it. I fit the basic profile. So I went to their office and gave them a sample of my blood for chemical and genetic analysis. I won’t know anything until January 2023.

Things might be better, but things could definitely be very, very worse.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

2 thoughts on “retirement status

  1. It’s amazing how much we manage to accumulate that we in fact just don’t need or use, isn’t it? Even armed with that knowledge, getting rid of the surplus is a task. When we bought this place I built an entire shed just to hold the extra stuff that was in paid storage. Can’t say I’ve made any significant progress in getting rid of it either. After clearing out my Dad’s place you’d think I’d be better motivated.
    I sure hope you don’t succumb to Alzheimer’s; seen too many cases of that and it’s horrible (the Mrs. is in the UK again dealing with her sister who has it severely).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is amazing how much I’ve accumulated, and so depressing when I remember the time I got those items. Tech books in particular document technology that’s so obsolete. I found an old original Zilog Z80 programming book, for example… As for Alzheimer’s, I’m still angry over how they tried to force Aduhelm on us, and it caused Medicare prices to rise so that we could all pay for it. You can read more about that crap drug here:

      Anyway, I’m working to clean up all the stuff I didn’t do when I was officially employed because I was working too many hours and too tired when I came home. At least it keeps me busy and my time and mind occupied. And when I succeed and finish a task, I’m a lot more satisfied than when I never seemed to accomplish much of anything important in a paying job.


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