Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

February 18, 2013

IN ALL CANDOR: Life — it’s always changing

CROSSVILLE — Well, goodness. I’ve been working in Cumberland County a few days more than 11 years now, the bulk of that time spent serving the journalistic needs of Fairfield Glade and Lake Tansi communities.

I had always wondered what people did in retirement, maybe because I had never seen it in my future . . . . But working with these two communities has given me the answer. Frankly, I have never seen a population so dedicated to helping their fellow man.

Early on, I realized that most of the people in these two retirement/resort communities have lived their lives very carefully, preparing all along the way for the future. In retirement, I see them approaching their health and philanthropic work the same way they approached their working years — with dedication and planning, and making work into fun where possible. Seriously, why be an old goat if you can laugh, have fun, and raise $3,500 for a worthy cause all at the same time. Kudos, golfers, quilters, artists, actors/actresses, top chefs, and musicians! Kudos! And wait, I failed to mention walkers of the Appalachian Trail, the Relay for Life, and March of Dimes, etc. Walkers — kudos indeed!

All this has certainly given me ideas about activities for my own retirement, and that is a time that has suddenly arrived. As of mid-February, I’m retiring from the Chronicle. It’s due to my mother needing immediate 24-hour-a-day care. While turning this corner is a sudden thing, it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming… someday.

Being near the “magical age,” I have done some limited thinking about what else I could do in retirement along with the home care duties. There’s that start to a book that’s been laying over there on the shelf for three or four months now. I could focus on my plot and characters and figure out the things I still don’t know. Surely it will just write itself after I figure that stuff out. I need a chalkboard and a big diagram.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in a class at church for girls ages 6-12, and is that ever fun and are those little girls ever precious.

For now, I am thankful for several 1,000-piece puzzles I can spread out all over the dining room table, one after another, and consider whether this piece is blue sky or blue water; well, you get the idea, and how long will this hold my attention, I ask myself.

There are thoughts about how I can involve more people in Mom’s daily life — she’s such a social butterfly and misses all those folks who used to call and/or come by. I’m thinking about instigating “Lunch with Lenora” one day a week — I’m a pretty good cook when I put my mind to it, so they might come.

And later, after my book is on the New York Times Best Seller List, I’ll take Mom on the book tour . . . and she’ll enjoy meeting everyone.

Seriously, thank you Cumberland County for helping me understand that “retirement” doesn’t mean you have ceased to exist, but are entering what could possibly be your most productive, valuable and meaningful years, and thank you to the Chronicle for giving me this opportunity.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014