Thoughts about Retirement


Sunset

Sunset

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…

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Life and Its Peculiarities


old man digging

Life is such a peculiar thing
as we go about our daily lives
for every action whatever it is
is needy enough to take our time.

How varied our tasks through the day
each important in their own way
to take up our time as we hurry along
trying hard to get everything done.

I used to think that when I retired
I would have more time to call my own
and yet in truth more busy am I
then ever when I was gainfully employed.

That is not to say that a slacker was I
as I went about my daily tasks
it’s just that now that I have more time
I pack more into every day.

Sometimes the work is very hard
when digging or building some project new
at others like painting, more tedious by far
hardly working my muscles except in my arm.

The work I do has a twofold task
one  is that it needs to be done
the other is to keep my body fit
and my mind active both as one.

And then at the end of each day
my dogs and I sit and relax
and watch a game on the TV
usually of soccer, my favorite sport.

To bed to refresh and recharge
ready to do it all over again
as with each day a new set of tasks
to keep me busy in the usual way.

 

LunchToday


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.

Life Used to be Simple…


Heathfield and a Double Decker Bus

Heathfield and a Double Decker Bus

The simple things in life are free
at least is how it used to be
but life today has changed its way
and things are now different how we play

In days of old for most folk
they lived they died and in between
they worked and loved and struggled on
just so they could play their song
nothing special did they expect
and usually that is how
and if blessed with luck they did thrive
it was only to keep them all alive.

The simple things in life to them
were family, friends a decent job
a living wage so they could feed
their families who had the need
of sustenance and shelter too
and a pint on weekends with their mates
and maybe watch their favorite team
play the game and provide the need
of relaxation for just one day
before come Monday and back to work
and repeat the cycle over again.

There were no electronic things
beyond the radio and it too
worked on valves to bring its sound
to the family gathered around
listening to their regular shows
and imagining the wonders of how it must be
with the sounds from the BBC.

I have been lucky enough to be
a part of that society
for when I was young that is all we had
and books their stories to add
to that wondrous thing our brains would see
from words marked down or sounds all around
and if outside we could be
either in the garden or for a walk
close to nature we would find
peace and harmony of a different kind.

Heathfield, Sussex

Heathfield, Sussex

If by chance we had to be
in some other place that day
outside of our usual territory
we walked or rode our bikes
and if it was too far to hike
we caught the bus and paid a fee
to get to where we wanted to be.

Things today are different now
knowledge is spread further around
regular guys like you and me
drive cars to get where we want to be
electronic gadgets all abound
information is free for all to see
with phones and computers and TV‘s too
and we must not forget
this thing called the internet
where messages flash from place to place
travelling at a remarkable pace

With all of these modern things
life is no longer a simple place
instead we have no time to breath
as we hustle and bustle in our quest
to feed out families and lead our life
just like we  did fifty years ago
except we now do it at breakneck speed
with no time to relax as it was before
for fear of missing out on our chance
to be a part of the big dance,

A part of me often does wish
that simple again our lives could be
except it is so hard to see
that simple as a word describes
images of things from long ago
life was simple way back when
you lived you died and life was gone
and sometimes in between that song
sons and daughters came along
to further complicate the plot
but things were still simple then
as life for them would still go on

Pets-Why do we love them so?


Danny looking comfortable

Danny looking comfortable

A very old wise man once said
to all who would listen to him speak
“A home without any pets
is really not a home at all.
Just a place to eat and sleep
devoid of the love that a pet provides”.

With that, his followers all rushed out
and pigs and goats and a donkey or two
appeared in the houses to make them home
but they of course had got it wrong.
“No, No”, he cried,”You misunderstood
I was thinking more along
the lines of cats and dogs
something smaller and so much more
cuddly and cleaner too”.

And so it came about
that every home from there on out
had a cat and maybe a dog
to brighten the lives of all inside.
and from that day on companions all
living together side by side.

For those of us with pets at home
maybe  a dog or two or even a cat
are always subject to their needs
as they rely on us for the deeds
which they cannot do for themselves
like open the door or fill the bowl
with food and water for them to partake
at least why we are still awake.

In return what do we get
undying love and devotion too
companionship and a work out friend
always ready for a run
and even though you have just begun
and you are already tired
your tireless friend who by your side
urges you on to go further still
oh darn, here comes another hill.

Cat’s, on the other hand
do disdain from exercise
for them the most they ever do
is walk to their bowls or maybe your chair
where they will find a comfortable lap
and settle down and take a nap
for twenty hours out of twenty-four
staying asleep is no chore.

When all is well and their health is good
life is never misunderstood
but when one gets sick or even worse
joins his maker in the Universe
then sad are we heavy with grief
and we think of the times we once had
and we turn back to the others left behind
and consolation with them do we find.

Brown Cat

Brown Cat

Dedicated to all of the cats and dogs that unknowingly provide us with so much love.

Saturday Morning


Sunrise

Sunrise

Ah, Saturday morning, what can I say
I’ve worked all week for this day
to sleep in later than I normally do
or maybe get out early to have some fun
or better yet, go for a run
all of these things are open to me
and a host of others too numerous to see
what it is I want to do
on this day off from the working zoo.

In years gone by it would be spent
on the soccer fields with my teams
the ones that I was with all week-long
teaching them the soccer song
Teams of young kids all wanting to learn
how to play so they too
could use their skills and with the ball
of dribbling and juggling they knew it all.

Soccer team

On Sundays it would be my turn
for me to run and jump and twist and burn
the guy opposite me with my incredible speed
mostly only in my dreams
as speed was a long gone thing
just like me trying to sing
I can’t hold a note and neither could I
run faster than the other guy.

But speed notwithstanding I still enjoyed
my time on the fields with the other men
who I had known for many a year
each season we would do it all again
occasionally there would be fights
but mostly just for the bragging rights
and to sit around after and share a beer
content that the weekend was here.

My soccer team

My soccer team

Actually, it’s not quite true
although when I was a working man
is how I felt for the week’s end
to spend my time how I wanted to.

Now I’m retired and much older now
and Saturday is very much the same
as all of the other days in the week
as no longer the need for a special day
as every one is special in its own way
It matters not what day of the week
as I can do anything I think
I would like to do on this day
and as I can no longer play
what use do I have for Saturday.

The body is old and the mind is weak
so I spend my time in my yard
working on things that I used to think
had to be done on those magic days
Saturday and Sunday for the truth to say
they were the only days I had time
when I was working to make a dime.

When I wake up every day
I think to myself, what day is this
as they tend to one another run
when I no longer routines keep
and no more nine to five
to govern how I stay alive
every day is a Saturday to me
and the weekend no speciality
as I can do any day of the week
the things I used to keep
just for the weekends to do.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

Even so, Saturday still has its place
with Farmers Market or maybe a race
things that can only be held on the weekend
so others may share and participate.

The same fields I used to spend my time
are still just like they used to be
with kids running around and Parents too
together to play and watch and shout
for them, nothing much has changed
as they are still in the game.

As I drive by, sadness I feel
that no longer can I do the stuff
I used to do years ago
before the body got old and slow
and Saturday was a special day
to be spent in the way
I wanted to.

Sunset, end of the day

Sunset, end of the day

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Been a while…


BeBe in the middle of the jungle

BeBe in the middle of the jungle

It’s been a while since I posted last
quite a bit of time has passed
at least a month and maybe more
I don’t know as I don’t keep score
all I know that the time that has passed
has not been wasted and will not be the last
when other things get in the way
things I do from day-to-day
like administering for a soccer league
or checking rosters for Texas State Cups

The Streams and Pond

The Streams and Pond

And I’ve been busy on other things
enough to keep me away from this blog
and writing which I love to do
has to take a back seat when duty calls
especially as money I get
from doing these tasks as they arise
which helps pay the bills as they come in
as they usually do on a regular day
gas for the car, food for me
and don’t forget the menagerie
of five dogs, two cats and seventy Koi
all demanding their share of the spoils
to feed their hungry bellies they know
that they come first on our food chain
and in return they give me love
and attention too although it should be said
that I have yet to see a Koi show love
and probably that’s just as well
as I have watched their rituals to mate
chasing each other around the pond
and crashing and bumping is part of the game
which I am not going to join in.

Best of Buddies in the sun

Best of Buddies in the sun

It’s a beautiful day as I sit here
looking out of the window and at the yard
that is already alive with plants so green
Nature has already started her thing.
The dogs are sitting out in the sun
enjoying the warmth and taking in rays
It has been windy and things are down
I need to get out and clean up the mess
which I will do just as soon as I
finish this poem of my thoughts
and apologies for those of you
who can’t wait to read the words that I write
and wondering what has happened to them
as these past few weeks has taken my time
on other more pressing, more urgent things.

The time away has not all been in vain
as I have collected words and pictures of things to write
and have them stored and when the time comes
will be back writing in my usual way.

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