Retire? Why not?

Published 7:08 pm Friday, July 21, 2023

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Sometimes people kind of slap you in the face with things.

I didn’t know exactly what the nice lady meant when she said, “Why don’t you retire?”

Perhaps, she meant that I was taking up office space that could be better filled. Or, maybe, she noticed the dark circles under my eyes or that I seem a little addled at times.

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My response was that I’m not yet ready for the rocking chair.

But, after giving her question a little more thought, I decided that maybe it is time to put on the sunscreen and head to Margaretville and watch the sun bake.

But, I don’t even like the beach. The Rocky Mountains, I could do but I just don’t like saltwater in my hair and sand in my bikini.

Give me a mountain to lean on and one to rest my eyes upon.

But I’ve got a cat depending on me to keep her from starvation so a Rocky Mountain high will have to wait.

But the question, “Why don’t you retire?” kept spinning in my head like a stuck record. Retirement, I could do. There are lots of weeds that I haven’t pulled and books that I haven’t read. And, there’s a swing under the big, oak tree with my name on it.

The answer was found in a box that was catching dust under my bed.

As I plundered through the box of old newspapers, I realized why I don’t retire.

It’s the people.

It’s their stories and the love and laughter that they have brought to my life.

I sat there basking in the memories of those who have shared their stories and parts of their lives with me. Memories of watching Ovie Hughes weave white oak baskets and grinding cane with Grover Poole and Donna Gail. “Coming aboard” with Captain Machada, picking “scupnons” with Dutch “one r” Parish and watching for buzzards with Elizabeth Law. Hundreds of memories were “kept” on the pages of those fading newspapers. Hundreds of people. Hundreds of stories, to help me not forget –a picture of “Miss” Louise Chambers playing bridge and one of “Miss” Sadie Johnson and her “burndt” cake.

Those old newspapers hold memories of triumphs and defeats, births and deaths, joys and deep sorrows of friends here and others gone.

What a priceless thing they are, these community newspapers that chronicle the people, places and events of our lives and that preserve the history of our little neck of the woods – pages of history that we can fold and keep to stir memories.

It is an honor and privilege to be a part of the keeping of these stories and to know think someone will pick up a yellowing newspaper and read about someone or something that was important in his or her life and smile or shed a tear in the sweet memory of times and people past.


No ma’am, not just yet.