Archive for December, 2015


Charlotte and I had a conversation via e-mail today, like we do every day, and it reminded me how lucky I am to have a sister who is also my BFF.

Years ago this time of year we would get to play outside in the snow until after dark.  We didn’t realize dark occurred sooner in the winter than in the summer.  Mom would slide bread bags over our feet and secure them to our legs with rubber bands, then would help us into our snow suits and boots and send us out to the front yard to play.

Me and Charlotte

The street light on the corner would make the snow, which came up to our waists, shimmer like a million diamonds.  We would dig tunnels and roll around until we saw Dad coming down the street, walking home from the bus stop after work.  We’d greet him at the intersection and walk him home, where Mom had some kind of fabulous warm meal for all of us.

I was thinking today how great it is to have someone in your life who shares fifty years of life experiences with you.  Charlotte and I have that.  In the years since we frolicked in the snow after the sun set we’ve been through the usual sibling conflicts, but have grown to develop one of those sisterly relationships you see on a Hallmark movie.  Ack!  It sounds sappy, but I am eternally grateful for the gift of a sister who is also my friend.

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The Gift Of Time

I’ve been retired for two weeks now and so far I would highly recommend it.  Every day if feel incredibly lucky to have been able to retire as early as I did, but there’s one drawback – I have no job to use as an excuse for not getting things done.

For many years I’ve used the forty hours of work every week as an excuse to fall behind or completely ignore some things in my real life.  I now have those forty extra hours and I’m still falling behind.  My excuse these days is that I’m not yet used to my newfound freedom.

I haven’t been completely aimless, however.  Since the office farewell I’ve been to a holiday bazaar, a fabulous antique shop that’s so glamorous to visit during the holiday season, a European Market held at the Union Depot in St. Paul, and out to some venues for delicious things to eat like lobster bisque, crab-articoke dip, and a “Dream Burger.”  (It lived up to its name.)

Then there was the whole thing about decorating my house for Christmas.  It’s quite a task, but what a wonderful task.  Much better than the mundane dusting and vacuuming required in routine household maintenance.  I put decorations everywhere, trimmed the tree, and made plans for future holiday gatherings.

Also somewhere between all of that I went shopping with my nephew, Paenney, to Ikea.  That’s a whole ‘nother blog post.  Right now I can say it was a fabulous adventure and a learning experience for his old auntie.

All of the things I mentioned deserve their own blog posts, and perhaps I’ll start on that soon.  After all, I have forty extra hours in my week.

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Yikes! I’m Retired!

Well, it’s done. I have finished the Work chapter of my life. Maybe it would be more accurate to say,  the Working-For-Someone-Else chapter of my life. Today at 1:20 p.m. I turned in my ID badge, walked out the door, and forgot all about the things I left behind. Oh yes, as much as I’ve done since I turned in my resignation letter three months ago there was still plenty of work left for my replacement, whoever that may be.

The festivities began yesterday having lunch with my coworkers. They treated me to a lovely Greek buffet at Christos in the Union Depot. Glam and delicious.

I don’t often post pictures of myself on the interlinks, so I’d be interested to know if any of you can guess which one of these people is me.

Today my boss set up an open house of sorts. Come on in, have some cake, and wish me well! It’s always fun to see who comes to see me and who comes for cake. The best ones are those who come to see me and enjoy the cake.

Yikes! TWO cakes, vanilla and chocolate!!! Plus cookies and peanuts! This is my kind of party!

I might have reconsidered leaving this great group of people after they threw me such a nice party, except for the part where I’ve burned out and have paid my dues. I deserve to retire, right? After all, I’ve devoted nearly thirty-six years to the State of Minnesota. That’s over half of my life. Half of my life!

After driving home in a daze Husby greeted me with a tremendous hug and a dozen roses. “I thought I should do something,” he said.

Weeks ago he offered to take me out for a fancy dinner to celebrate my retirement, but I requested a special meal, made at home, at the side of a blaze in the fireplace. Pizza Rolls, frozen clam strips, and mini eclairs for dessert. He filled the order to a T.

As of right now my retirement is going very smoothly. The only thing I’m concerned about is that I don’t have the day job as an excuse anymore. Will my “side” business thrive? Will I publish my novel? Will I whip my home into shape to my severe satisfaction?

Stay tuned for the next episode in the adventures of Auntie B!

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