Todays Thoughts

dsc_4746I spent some time just looking out of the window
thinking mostly about the fact that I spent all day
in front of my computer fussing with a blog page
on the other website I maintain
for the Austin Pond Society.

I could not get the page to do what I wanted it to do
and I was getting frustrated
luckily, I am blessed with infinite patience
when it comes to working on a computer
so much different than when it comes to people
who can irritate me no end.

Not all people of course but just a few
those that support Trump for instance
or those whose ideas are really poor
and yet they will not listen
because they know it all and cannot be told.

I patted my dog on the head and talked to him
it was as though he knew that things were not going well
and he looked at me with his big brown eyes
as though to say, don’t worry
I am here for you.

One of the other dogs came over looking for attention
he licked my hand to tell me that everything is OK
I made a fuss of both of them and felt much better
all of my frustrations just disappearing
with their calming effect.

I had plans to do some work outside
but the computer problem took all of my time
and it was late before I had it solved
but I walked around the yard looking at the ponds
and figured that I could do the yard work tomorrow.

That is the beauty of being retired
there is no urgency to perform any task
as long as the task does not have a deadline
I can do it today or tomorrow
either day is just fine.

Most deadlines are self imposed
so even they can become flexible
depending on the time of day
and the urgency of the task
and the mood I am in.

Now that I have solved the computer problem
at least for this time around
I can turn my attention to the simpler things in my life
Like feeding the dogs and the cats
and then feeding myself.

Sometimes the most mundane of actions give the most pleasure.




Thoughts about Retirement



I have been retired from the University of Texas where I worked for 22 or so years in many different capacities although all related to Managerial Roles within the Physical Plant for 13 years now. When people have asked in the past just where I worked, their immediate response was, “What did you teach”. I don’t know if that is a standard question or whether I have that imperial look of a very knowledgeable Professor type probably in the field of Literature or World History. Others have thought, because of my long years associated with the Soccer Program in Austin, that I might have been the Athletic Director or at the very least, Head Coach of the Women’s Soccer Program. Alas, I can lay no claims to any of those exalted positions and had to content myself to what I knew best which was the many aspects of Construction and Maintenance.I guess we can’t all be brainy or worthy enough to be Professors and hold Doctorate’s and after all, someone had the keep the place running and the ship afloat.

I was sitting here waiting for three videos to complete uploading to Vimeo, the video site I use for that purpose and the thought suddenly struck me that it is Saturday. I got to thinking what Saturday meant in years gone by and immediately the fact that I have been retired for so long hit me. To me, unless I have something specific arranged for this day like a Pond Tour or maybe a visit to someone or something, Saturday and Sunday are just like any other days of the week. They are not days off as for me every day is a day off. I can pick and choose what I do and when I do it and if what I have chosen to do falls on a Wednesday or any other day, I can go do it without having to call in sick or by using a vacation day.

Some of the places I like to hike like the Greenbelt or Bull Creek are very crowded on the weekends as every one of those mostly working people is trying to make the most of their days off. Me, on the other hand can go any day I choose to avoid those masses of humanity as they desperately try to make the most of their time. It is true that many things only occur on Saturdays or Sundays in which case, I am forced to join in with that mass of humanity if I want to participate. On those occasions, I just grin and bear it knowing that come Monday, these poor suckers have to go back to work for their weekly 9-5 shift. Been there and done that. I’ve served my time. Hooray for retirement…


Red Rose

Red Rose

I had lunch today with a friend
who I have to say I have not seen
in quite some time and
probably the fault is mine
for not being a better friend
and calling to make a date
to have lunch together as before
but instead the fact remains
that my friend I haven’t seen
so the question that I ask
is what sort of friend am I
if I do not have the time
to share a lunch and to chat a while.

I really enjoyed the lunch today
and to see my friend in the same old way
as we have done many times before
sharing lunch and catching up
on things that have happened since
the last time we sat down for a bite
and as we rose to go our ways
we both resolved on another day
we would have lunch again as before
only this time we would not wait so long
as the friendship bond between us is strong.

It’s been way too long…Thanks for the company.

What shall I do today…

Peace and quiet

Peace and quiet

What shall I do today
as I go about and play at what is now my life
my time my own to do as I like
to spend it on whatever I feel

No longer do I have to wait
for weekends to spare the time
as  that was the only day
when work did not get in the way
and I could do the things I had planned
and could not change my mind.

Sometimes I ran out of time
as Monday morning came around
and my time was no longer my own
as back to work I had to go.

But now I have the luxury
of retirement that I have earned
with years of work and sweat and toil
and all that comes with being embroiled
with earning a living a family to keep
and somebody else managing my time.

Lets see, I could maybe mow the yard
as that is not so terribly hard
or change the filters and take care of the ponds
which I have to do each day
or maybe put in the ground
some plants that my neighbor gave to me.

Or maybe I should call my mate
and he and I along with his dogs
will take a hike a few miles long
at one of our favorite parks.

Or should I go to the gym
and work the body for a couple of hours
and listen to Stephen King
on Audiobooks as I work out.

Currently as you can see
I am writing about my destiny
as it comes day by day
leaving me with much to decide
of what it is I shall do each day.


Sitting in the sun

View from the deck

Ever since I started this blog, the need to write is constantly with me. I have no shortage of things to write about and more and more, I am finding things other than my life story as a subject. Today, I am sitting on my deck in the sunshine listening to the water as it splashes in the ponds. The dogs are in various positions of sleep enjoying the warm sun on their backs although in Abigail’s case, her stomach as she is sleeping on her back with all four paws facing skyward as though praying to St Francis or some other god of the doggie world.Every now and then she will twitch and whine as she is dreaming about something that has aroused her curiosity today and is now reliving it as she sleeps.

It must be a great life to be so trouble-free with the only worry where and when will dad feed us today. Will he go out in which case we eat late or will he stay in and feed us early.No matter even if he goes out we will get a cookie to tide us over. Of course I have no idea what Abigail or any of them are thinking but that is what I would think if were a dog. How bad is that, I’m thinking like a dog now…

My next door Neighbour has complained that Richie keeps her awake at night so we have had to change the routines and close the doggie door at about 10:00 pm. I can’t blame her as he can be very annoying. I think that my hearing is getting worse as I usually hear him and call him in but just lately, have not heard him bark. Obviously he has been otherwise she would not have complained.Problem with him and the rest being shut indoors is that the raccoons and rats are having a field day (or should that be field night?)with the bird feeders. The rats just eat the food but the coons are much more destructive and literally will pull the feeders up into the trees in order to get at the seed. They are pretty smart about some of the things they do. They have figured out how to open the wire holders that have the slabs of bird feed in them and to turn bird feeders upside down to empty the seed. I go through about 40 lbs of birdseed a week and probably 20 lbs of that feeds animals instead of birds.

The rats are getting so bad that I have resorted to a couple of rat traps, of the live cage variety, in order to reduce their numbers.So far, I haven’t caught any but just give it time. After I catch them, I have to dispose of them and as I am not into killing anything, I will have to load the cages in the car and then take a drive out in the country and release them. Know anyone who needs a few live rats?

I was in Callahan’s general feed store yesterday. It’s been a while since I was there. The place was packed and they had a live chicken seminar going on with small piglets and goats on display. I don’t know what it is about those sort of stores that make them so appealing to some of us but it probably has a lot to do with our early years and how we spent them and the pull of the land is very strong in some of us. The people who work there are so interesting and many of them are older country folk who still talk like real Texans. They have the weathered look of those who have spent their entire life out in the sun and have worked hard all of their life. So different from the rest of us who only dream of living off the land but never will as we do not want the hard work, the dirt and toil that goes along with it.

Besides for many of us, our working days are through and we are enjoying our retirement that we will tell anyone who cares to listen that we spent x number of years working for so and so and gave them the best years of our lives and by golly,we earned this retirement.

That is how it is with me and why I can sit on my deck and write articles for my blog. Any hard work that I do now is in my own back yard or inside the house. I have no need to trade my services off for money being able to live comfortably off the outcome of my twenty-three years working for the University of Texas at Austin for which I am very grateful.