Living Retired – ‘GARAGE GUY’
In my heart of hearts – make that my garage of crap! – I knew the day was coming…
“Gary when will you finally clean out the garage? You swore when Covid-19 began you would get it cleaned up. Don’t you remember?”
Hmmm. “Jan, to be honest all I remember is the swearing part.”
Before I could holler from the garage, “Jan, what do you want me to do with our collection of chipped coffee mugs and the combination butt blaster thigh master?” – I was at our bathroom vanity looking for Voltaren Extra Strength. Just saying…
Getting started is not easy. There are old cans of weed spray, old cans of insect spray, old cans of paint – it is like a Dow Chemical distribution centre! Plus, there are old bicycles, old lawn chairs, an old Coleman camp stove, and a collection of old wooden clothespins – never used! My back is already sore, and I haven’t begun.
It is like Jed Clampett – with Granny kicking and screaming on top the pickup truck – dumped their stuff at our place on their way to Beverly Hills. “Jan, you may want to put some … Read the rest here
Living Retired: ‘SPOUSAL SPEAK’
Jan told me about a magazine article she read that indicated three-quarters of communication between retired couples is based on listening.
Then she stared at me, “HELLO? DID YOU EVEN HEAR WHAT I SAID???”
During retirement bad habits creep in. Before you can say, “How many times do I have to tell you to please put the dirty forks in the dishwasher with the tines pointing up?” – you find yourselves arguing whether the jars in the fridge should be placed with the labels pointing out!
Here is how Jan and I communicate…
From the top of the stairs Jan will call down, “Gary, did you pick up the dry cleaning?”
“Dear, I am down in my office. Sorry I can’t hear you.”
“Gary, I asked if you picked up the dry cleaning?”
“Jan, just a second while I come to the bottom of the stairs.”
By the time I reach the bottom of the stairs Jan is back in her office. So, I holler up to her: “DEAR, DID YOU SAY SOMETHING?”
“DEAR! DID YOU SAY SOMETHING???”
No response. Frustrated, I go back to my computer and save what I was working on. I walk … Read the rest here
Living Retired: ‘THE EXPIRATION EXPOSE’
When I close my eyes, I can still see the look on my wife’s face at lunch yesterday. Jan scrunched her nose and pursed her lips. She had that ‘mother of a baby look’ that says, “Are your diapers dirty?” I am not at the Depends stage, so I knew it was not me.
“Gary, there is something terribly wrong with this melba toast. It is totally bland. It has no taste. None whatsoever!” With that she dropped the brittle cracker to her plate. It didn’t surprise me – it smashed into smithereens and disintegrated to dust.
I laughed out loud, “Hey Jan another one bites the dust!”
Alexa, “Okay playing ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen.”
This was not music to Jan’s ears.
“Jan, melba toast isn’t supposed to have any taste. If it had flavour it would be called bread!”
She wasn’t convinced. “Gary lets check the expiration date on the box. This melba toast is stale.”
“Jan, I’m just saying if taste is what you want from melba toast, eat the box! Or better yet if you want something with some crunch I can serve up a platter of the leftover … Read the rest here
Living Retired – ‘THE NAME GAME’
Hi (insert your name here). My wife (insert her name here) says I have a problem. I (Gary) think she is overreacting.
What I am talking about is the difficulty I have trying to remember peoples names. Here is what I mean…
Pre-Covid-19 – back before we had 14 months of homemade sourdough bread under our belts – Jan and I were attending a cocktail party. I was chatting with one of the guests I met. Standing at the island, I was convinced I was making a decent impression — oblivious to shrimp sauce dribbling down my chin onto the open-collar shirt Jan put out for me to wear. I scarfed down sooo many shrimp that my shoes were buried in tight wads of scrunched-up paper napkins. That’s when another lady joined our conversation. I knew who she was, but for the life of me I couldn’t come up with her name!
“Hi Gary. How are you? I have not seen you since who knows when?”
“Oh hi! Yes it has been since who knows when, hasn’t it? How are you? Tell me how have you been keeping?”
“I am fine, Gary. I have … Read the rest here
Living Retired: ‘SLIP, SLIDIN’, AWAY’
In many households men are responsible for maintaining the family vehicles. This is the way it is at our place – mind you I don’t know the difference between a muffler and a muffin. And because we have two cars this means twice as many lug nuts for this lug nut to keep tight.
Soon, Jan’s car – which we leased – needs to be returned to the dealership. We tried to purchase the car, but the salesperson could not tell us the price – it has something to do with a contractual obligation to never, never, EVER tell customers the price of the car! This is what I mean…
Me: “So how much do you want for this new vehicle, sir?”
Car salesperson: “It is a real beauty isn’t it? We can’t keep these babies in stock. They fly out of the showroom.”
Me: “Okay, how much for me to buy one of these babies you can’t keep in stock that keep flying out of the showroom?”
Car salesperson seated at his small metal desk: “These cars are winning awards for mileage and safety. Everyone wants one.”
Me: “Okay, if I wanted to buy … Read the rest here
Living Retired: ‘IN SPRING GARDENERS WET THEIR PLANTS’
Simply stated, Saturdays situation was serious…
I was still in bed – I hadn’t even had a chance to get up and trip over the decorator pillows we threw on the floor when we went to bed! Jan peeked out through the bedroom California shutters and said those five words: “Let’s go get our flowers!” With that, a sunny Spring Saturday had gone to hell in a heap of hostas!
‘Let’s go get our flowers’ is a Spring ritual. The custom is that EVERYONE descends on their favourite garden centre on the same day!
“Dear, this is as close as I can get to the nursery. I’ll park here on the side of the road. We will have to hike the rest of the way.”
“Gary we are parked on a country road with a gravel shoulder. We are three Counties away from the garden centre!”
We join the crusade of gardeners marching en masse to the nursery. I am wearing my L.L. Bean hiking boots. Women are wearing the always-practical footwear of choice: flip flops!
“Gary, we are parked on a country road with a gravel shoulder. We are three Counties … Read the rest here