Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All hands look out below; there's a change in the status quo

The career of country singer Jim Reeves, sad to say, ended in July 1964, when the small private airplane he was piloting got tossed about in a storm.  Before he left this mortal coil, Reeves recorded a song called "This Is It."

Well, my career with Baltimore County, Maryland, ends today.  This is it for me. I have retired; there will be a cake and punch thing at the office for all of us who went out on this early retirement incentive program, and off I will ride into the sunset along with a couple hundred other young old-timers.

I won't go into detail about what I did and where I did it, except to say that it has been a privilege to serve the citizens and visitors of our wonderful county. I mean that. I have come in contact with thousands of people since May 9, 1983, and there have been some interesting citizens among them. Oh, I could weave tales and spin stories about crooks and bad people and abusers and cheaters and grifters, but what I will take with me is the memory of people who said, "Thank you.  You saved a life."  Sometimes, they added something about how they always heard The Government was unfeeling and uncaring and unkind, but not the government where I work(ed)! 

And the people I work(ed) with - I'm not going to name names, because I don't want to leave anyone out inadvertently. The people at work become a sort of large family while you're there.  That means you pull together and get the job done, and the mutual goal is met.  We've had fun together, we've laughed and cried together, and now some of us are moving on. 

But I'm not going to be a stranger. I'm not going to be that retiree who shows up all the time and just plops down in the chair of whoever is out that day, but then again I'm not going to be the one who moves to Arizona and starts sporting a tan and a turquoise bolo tie, either.  I'll be running around the house, doing something about the 150 boxes of stuff I put down in the basement when we moved in back in '99 (I told Peggy, "I'll take care of this as soon as I get a chance" and guess what! My chance is here!) and visiting the great nieces and nephews and who-all else, and I'm going to take some time to exercise and some time to enjoy my life with the simple difference of not having to worry about this meeting or that trial.  And I can make Peggy's life easier by handling all the household chores (vacuum/dust/launder) while still cooking dinner...just a bit earlier in the day. 

Stewie watched Mr Belvedere and now I'm going to try to be Mr Belvedere. And, according to this new arrival, life is more than mere survival.  Thanks, everyone.

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