The Swinging Seniors

The Swinging Seniors
       It has been over a month since my husband, Wayne  retired after forty-seven years of employment.  And after forty-six years of marriage it is a totally new adjustment and transition for both of us. The long-awaited, and anticipated process of preparing ourselves  for this huge step has been like adding a sequel or ‘Part two’ book to our lives, together.         From high school to payroll clerk, to banking, to college, graduated, then to full-time and part-time ministry, back into banking and finally to a company known as Air Liquide (headquartered in France) it has been a productive, but interesting ride for him and he is now able to enjoy his full-time retirement.      
         As for myself. What am I retired from? Or did I really retire from anything? Good question.  Well, you see, I was one of those  ‘stay at home’ moms, and proud of it.  But, I was once in other jobs as well. I started off in the credit bureau in Kansas City, Mo., then went to a retail credit office in Los Angeles for May Co. when we moved out there in 1966 after getting married. It was right during the peak draft time of the Vietnam War.  We were not war protesters dodging the war, just a couple of young nineteen year old kids wanting to get married, go to college, find jobs, and get on with life.  We both worked at full-time jobs in L.A., Ca. while going to school during the time when the Vietnam war raged on in the late sixties and early seventies. But, we made it through all four years of school, graduated from a seminary/theological college, then had our first child in 1970.  When I quit my bank job I was seven months pregnant and never again went back to a full-time job to work outside the home. Except for a few part-time or temporary jobs while raising our two girls, I remained a committed full-time mom. I did a lot of volunteer work at our girls’ schools, our church, and other organizations.
         Through the years I took up writing, (my passion), as much as time allowed, never having to leave home to join the rat race with the other nine to fivers, but instead enjoyed the advantages of being at home to watch my kids grow up.        
    Do I ever regret not going back to a full-time job? Yes, a little, but not a lot. I would have loved the second income coming in to help pay bills and allow for extras. But, my greatest achievement is, and would always be raising two great kids that have in turn given us four great grandkids. My girls will always be my best friends no matter what we often disagree on. One does not retire from being a committed wife, mother, or grandmother. And as long as I have my mental faculties and eyesight (though not what it once was) I do not plan on retiring from being a writer.  It is with God’s help, and his faithfulness, mercy, and grace that helped me through it all when things got difficult. My relationship with my family became stronger, more concrete in ways that could only have been achieved by having more time to devote to all.
      So, about that retirement. Are we swinging and hanging with the social set, or traveling around the country in an RV, or flying above the skies to places out yonder? Not exactly. Not yet, at least. But, we are enjoying the freedom to do our own ‘thing’ whatever it is at the time we choose to do it.
     The pictures above were taken when we got away for one of those days, took a long drive across the Colorado Rockies, viewing the changing colors, and Aspen trees, to the quaint, little known town of Walden. It was heavenly, without interruptions,  unwanted phone calls, computers, or grandchildren to baby sit. And, there will be plenty more days  like it.  Whether we want to swing to music on a dance floor, swing on old-fashioned swings in a kids’ park, walk our dog along the river banks or lakes in Colorado, go up to our four-acre mountain property retreat, eat dinner out, or relax at home playing competitive games of scrabble or chess, or just watch a movie, it is our time together, that counts.        
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