Monday, June 13, 2011

When I Retire

It was almost ten years ago that I sat on the porch of my (dumpy) college house and talked to every normal student who walked by. My dog was a puppy on my lap. Beer in hand and fluffy golden retriever puppy in my lap, I loved chatting with the neighbors and inviting them to join my housemates on the porch.

I do feel like this helped improve the size and quality of our sorority, but maybe it's all in my head.

At the time, I had recently returned from a visit from my aunt and uncle's condominium on Long Island and saw how their kitchen faced their cul-de-sac. Retired, my aunt would interrupt my dad who was reading the Times to tell him that "Tony was receiving a floral delivery" and she wondered who it was from. While my dad seemed annoyed by this interruption, me being the nosy person that I am, realized how nice it is to have a view of everything from the front of your house.

And while I returned for my senior year of college, I announced to my friends that while I was scared of getting old and being bored, I discovered that if I just bought a condo where everyone knows everyone and the kitchen faces the front, I would be very happy. And so retiring became something to look forward to.

Ten years later, I am on my balcony. Here in Madison, Wisconsin. I have a nice city view. My "puppy" will be ten on Saturday. I color my gray hair once a month. The dog snoozes while I sit on my Adirondack chair and read a novel, quietly. Occasionally, we look up to see a person and their dog walking by. Other than that, I am entrenched in the book and a glass of wine and she dozes and looks up and barks here and now, at some dog below. I don't really care about watching all the people I know receiving "floral deliveries" but I do like the peacefulness on a summer night. And although I am not religious, I feel blessed to have my furry companion. Every day is a blessing.

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