I’ve heard it said that when you retire, you either get real busy or you get real bored. In my experience, though, I’ve found a third way to operate. I just stay available. Instead of planning all my days and weeks, I just let people know I’m here and willing to help out occasionally. Then folks contact me, and I get to say “Yes” or “No”. I have a bit more control over my life that way. Mostly I help friends out with light carpenter work. It’s very therapeutic to build things. You put in your hours and when you’re done, you can observe the fruits of your labor. It’s more rewarding when you don’t work for money, though. Labor trades are great. I build a bathroom in a friend’s steel building, and he gave me a deal on some aftermarket wheels and tires for my
truck. Pretty cool.
What else? Oh chainsaw work. I cut wood to heat the house we built a little over 30 years ago. Love wood heat. Last summer’s derecho provided an amazing supply of wood. My wife and her sis own a couple of places in Cedar Rapids. Of the dozen or so trees on the two lots, one tree remains standing. Decades to grow, and minutes to be destroyed. So we found a silver lining: Tree trunks become slab wood for my son in law’s furniture business and the smaller stuff becomes my firewood.
Oh, I haven’t mentioned that my daughter, Jen, got married just over a year ago. She met an excellent young man online, dated for about a year, now the lucky guy’s a member of the crew. They live just east of Galena, IL.
Speaking of members of the family, our son, Phil, lives with his wife and four kids, aged 11, 9, 7, and 2 in Waverly. Love watching those grandkids grow and develop.
So we’re staying busy. Sue’s still working at the ISU library. Says she’s going to hang it up this winter, but we’ll see. She loves the work and the people (most of them) so what the heck? I stay out of trouble with the motorcycle, the woodshed, and the firewood. Oh, one last thing to mention: I was blessed to be involved in a couple of trips to India for our little church. We sponsor a couple of orphanages there and the pastor tries to make the trip over every year, so I asked if I could go along. What an amazing experience! Not sure if I’ll ever do anything that rewarding again. But who knows? I’ll just stay available and see who gives me a call.