Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide

When I Retire...

When I retire, the first thing I'm going to do is put away the Christmas tree. The next thing I'll do is vacuum the rug where that tree has stood for about four or five years. It has become a focal point in my living room. I put valentines on it in February, and shamrocks on it in March, and - well you get the picture.

The next thing I'm going to do is clean out the closets. This alone will take a year or two. In the hall closet, I have the flag and broken flag pole from the 1976 centennial celebration. I wonder if that is worth anything now. And I have been looking for a particular lapel pin of mine that has a circus cage with a lion in it. I haven't seen that pin for a decade. But it's in there.

Then I will organize my pictures — boxes and boxes of them. Maybe I'll catalogue them in chronological order. That way, I can document my aging, weight loss, and weight gain at the same time. I may throw away the pictures from early 1970 because that year I had an acrylic wig that I wore instead of fixing my hair. Now, I can't imagine who the woman in those pictures might be.

The sewing room is next. I may not win the award for the most fabric, but I'm close. I think what I will do is roll the pieces of fabric and then place them on a shelf, like so many wine bottles. I'll dust off the sewing machine. And I will arrange all my thread in rainbow order in a brand new thread caddy that I will purchase at the dollar store.

Now the computer area is another story. I am into those plastic milk crates. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I could imagine how organized I'd be, placing hanging files in these crates and then adding color-coded labels and all. Unfortunately, I didn't always remember to add the file labels, and I have about ten milk crates full of files, plus one simply filled with papers to be filed. The good news is I very seldom throw away a piece of paper that is important. I did buy two four-drawer file cabinets to really help organize things. They are both crammed to the hilt, and the bottom drawer of one is filled with "to do" filing. It's not exactly what I had in mind.

Books are another problem. I have too many, and not enough space to stack them. But the opportunity to use them for future reference is so compelling that I am reluctant to toss a single one. After all, I have a collection of diet books that even the largest of libraries would envy. Remember Dr. Rubins' The Thin Diet Book, the one in which he advises his disciples to simply peel and eat a whole cantaloupe in one sitting? I have that book. I also have an early edition of Dr. Atkins' carbohydrate diet book. Somehow that didn't work, either! Still, they may come in handy some day.

The game room is next. It really should be dusted...even though my son, Scott, is now 45 years old, and I doubt if he is bringing the boys in tonight to play ping pong. I'll definitely plan on painting that room, right after I move the twenty bottles of water that were to get us through the Y2K "crisis". They all expired in 2001! Maybe I can pour them on the garden.

The garden...that reminds me. I must cut back the roses and feed them this spring. I'm actually a Master Gardener although my husband, Alan, says I should be ashamed to tell anyone that. I have chives from my grandma's garden out there—somewhere. Maybe if I weed the hillside, I'll find them.

Perhaps if I develop a five-year plan and a flow chart. Rats! That was the corporate world talking. I don't want to go back there for my retirement!

First, I think I'll ask Alan to pick me up a new lounge chair at the store. Second, I'll dig out the latest Sue Grafton mystery. And third, an ice tea would be nice with a little shot of rum. Now we're talking retirement.

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