I noticed all the earthworms frozen to the pavement when I went out to scrape the half-inch of ice off my windshield in the morning. Late April in Minnesota. Yuck. Just when you pack away the boots and strap on your sandals, you get slapped upside the head by Mother Nature again.
By noon, when I headed home, the highways were fine but the county roads were covered in slush. Adding to that headache was the fact that every darn robin in a fifty mile radius had decided that it was a good day to harvest worms. Every few feet, I came upon a flock hopping in slush up to their bellies in the middle of the road.I braked every time and avoided them all. I’m no dummy. It is bad karma to splat a robin in the springtime. Or at least it should be, if it isn’t.
I’d been to a retirement dinner for colleagues the night before. As far as I’m concerned, retirement dinners are like Irish Wakes without the whiskey. Everyone says nice things and shares funny stories about the person who is leaving. Some shed a tear or two. There are bad jokes about nursing homes.There should be a better way to honor coworkers than to tell them what they DON’T have to look forward to.
This year’s newly departed have joined the ranks of the Gold Watch brigade. They’ll fish and play golf and see their grand babies more. They will volunteer or finally write that novel. Maybe they’ll find a beach somewhere warm to migrate to. Fate and good genes matter in retirement. Several years ago, a dear friend and colleague who’d been asked to sing a song for another retiree finished it by announcing his own retirement effective immediately. There were gasps from those gathered at the Legion. What? No cake? No wake? Nope. Just one last song from a sixty year old still young enough to carry his own tune right out the door. He left on his terms, not ours. I admired him for it then, and still do.
And so, I’m hatching my own retirement plan for the future. When it’s my time to go, I will do it in the springtime. No fanfare or fond farewells. No jokes about nursing homes, either. I’ll just bob down the center line of the road of the rest of my life, come rain or come shine, like a robin. In anticipation of all the juicy possibilities there for the taking just around the bend.