Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To Retire, or Not to Retire
That is the Question

In three weeks I will have given thirty years of service to the United States Postal Service. I started when we were mailmen, not letter carriers. Over the years, I’ve seen the uniform change slightly—stripes on the shirts, shorts allowed, a more modern eagle for our emblem, and recently a new hat that looks like Gilligan would be proud to wear. I’ve seen supervisors and managers come and go. The mail volume has dropped, and times are tough for our business, like many of you face, too.

Over the years I’ve complained about the good ol’ USPS. Who hasn’t? And the jokes…

What does it mean when the flag at the Post Office flies at half mast? They’re hiring.

You hear about the new Forever stamp? Rightly named because it takes forever to get there.

Now that the long-awaited day approaches, I wonder if I should let younger hands and feet take over, so I can retire to where old mailmen slink off and fade into obscurity. Uncle Sam may even sweeten the pot as I hear rumors of incentives to get rid of the old timers.

The decision will probably be a simple one: Can I afford to go? I have to admit I’m a bit surprised at my reaction, however. I thought I’d be thrilled at the prospect, but I’m less than overwhelmed. It has to do with the realization that time has slipped away. How did thirty years pass by so quickly? And where has my hair gone?

I don’t really have a point to my story, except that time passes quickly. Enjoy life. Laugh heartily, and dance. I wish I had danced more.

Maybe I’ll start a retirement fun (no, I didn’t mean fund, although you’re welcome to donate). I’ve enjoyed my life so far, why should retirement be different? If I go—if I can afford to go—I thank God for the years of steady income and mutual friends, and for the possibility of doing what I want to do most—writing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Reluctant Blogger

I’ve resisted blogging for a long time. Why? For one, I don’t like the word. It sounds so blah—like a cross between a log and a bog, which gives you what? (A rhetorical question, but you may answer it if you wish.) A second reason? I don’t want to be bogged down with one more thing to do. Pardon the play on words.

So, why have I chosen to break the silence and put my words out in the cyber world for anyone to see? Because I’m told it’s the future of publishing. The future for those who want their books read. The future for those who want to make a difference. And, although an introvert at heart, I want those things.

Pardon this meager beginning, but if all goes well I hope to give you some things to think about. For fellow writers, I plan to share my experiences with the craft. I hope my humor shows through from time to time. And I hope you benefit from your visit(s) here.

Growing up in the fifties and sixties, my favorite comedian was Red Skelton. If memory serves, he ended his programs by saying, “Good night, and God bless.” It’s a tag line that I always loved hearing. I’ll abbreviate his line and end my first blog by simply saying,

God Bless,