1988 - ATSF Railroad annual Industrial Engineering department meeting.
Today marks three weeks of retirement and I've already learned that these time worn retirement cliches are absolutely true:
You miss the people but not the job:
I do miss the day-to-day interaction with a variety of people and mostly miss those folks that were my work friends. I miss the camaraderie, the laughter, the post-5:00 chats and the weekly lunches.
However; emails, text messages, craft days, book clubs and occasional lunches are helping me keep in touch with some of them.
The other day I tried unsuccessfully to remember details of some of the last tasks I performed before retiring, apparently the work brain dump was effective because I had to work really hard to remember any specifics!
How did I ever have time to work?
The days and evenings are full and busy even though I haven't really accomplished any of the projects that are on my spreadsheet list! There is always something to do for fun or something that needs to be done and before I know it the day is over. We're settling into a comfortable routine and enjoying this good life!
The retirement celebration started the evening before my last day when Bobby and I were treated to dinner with three of my bosses. Great food, shared laughs, career reflection and kind words!
On my last day I was blown away and humbled by the wonderful sendoff provided by my co-workers
There were bagels and juice, a fun goodbye video that I will treasure forever, lots of hugs and tears, and so many kind words. And gifts, oh my, so many generous and thoughtful gifts, including a John Deere wagon full of pool and grandparent themed items!
Bobby had to work at his volunteer job that morning but Josh and Sara came to the party. It was fun to introduce them to everyone and I think they enjoyed seeing a different side of their mom.
A beautiful arrangement of spring flowers from Caitlin who also put together two very creative collections of items in mason jars; a retirement survival kit and a grandma survival kit! She also gifted me with the entire collection of 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie' books which had special meaning; at work we had a running joke about how providing data for people was similar to those books, if you provided data to someone they always came back another time wanting more and more!
Those books will now go on a bookcase to be read to Jackson some day and I will smile to remember Caitlin and those fun times at work!
A still shot from the video showing a scene from the Halloween themed Jib Jab video that Mary Jo had put together a couple of years ago using pictures of all the folks in Car Accounting.
Other video highlights included a bespectacled Susan Smith contrasting my pre-retirement days in a sped up voice where every sentence ended in 'and meetings' to her normal voice describing my post-retirement days with a grand baby and bird watching, wrapping up with the statement 'put on your fun glasses - kick back and enjoy life, I'm sure that baby will have you trained in no time!' It made me laugh and cry at the same time.
Another great video highlight was the whole department doing the wave and an imitation of a train in front of the BNSF sign out front of the building as the traffic whizzed down the road!
There were also individual and group video goodbyes.
A beautiful arrangement of forever roses from Susan Smith and a crystal train set from Chaunzey!
I think this is the perfect spot for both of them!
Lunch after the retirement party with fellow retiree and book club member Sherlyn.
I took a picture of the cocktail menu in order to be able to recreate the Ruby Slipper cocktail I had to celebrate!
Afterwards at home I sat on the front porch and read through all of the cards and notes and watched the video again and shed more than a few tears. Everyone at work is so busy and has so much on their plate to do that I hated for anyone to go to any trouble for a party, but they did, and I am so grateful that they did because it is a morning I will never forget.
Later when Bobby got home from work he aired up the the wheels on the Just Food two wheeler and I tagged along with him to return it, enjoying the opportunity to meet all of his volunteer work team. After that we took a drive out to Lone Star Lake and enjoyed the beautiful weather for a bit!
That evening we met the kids for a celebration dinner at Mi Ranchito. A funny moment from that dinner was looking across the table to see Bobby and Susan both looking under the table comparing their swollen ankles! Apparently Bobby is having sympathy pregnancy symptoms!
Retirement Day 1: poured my morning bowl of cereal and got a prize! I can't remember the last time there was a prize in my cereal. I'm considering that an omen of good things to come!
Later in the first week a big box arrived from the folks at Greenbrier which is the company whose software we implemented and who we worked with extensively over the past four years. These beautiful wine glasses and a beautiful wool blanket from their local Portland Pendleton Wool Mills. Again I am touched by the thoughtfulness and generosity of people. They were such a fun team to work with and I will miss all of them!
And now the parties and celebrations are over and the retired life has begun!
Enjoying the flowering bushes that are blooming!
Started a quilting class with Chrissy and a couple of her friends! It meets once a month. Much like my school homework back in the early 2000s, I am procrastinating my quilting class homework!
Randomness: hot dog with a hot dog bun!
Extreme randomness: Happy to report that in addition to the Traeger wood pellet grill we now once again own a good old Weber charcoal grill where I can have my all beef hot dogs cooked to black blistered perfection!!!!
A benefit of retirement is that I have lots of time on my hands so Sara asked me to bake up some frosted sugar cookie stars to hand out to her fellow teachers for Teacher Appreciation week! Here they are drying in the guest bedroom with some help from the ceiling fan!
Mothers Day was very rainy, we enjoyed a potluck breakfast with the kids. Bobby and I made cinnamon rolls, Susan and Josh made an overnight blueberry french toast, and Sara and Evan made breakfast burritos and a fruit salad. Everything was delicious and we had a nice long visit after filling up our tummies!
Later I took my Mom out for a dinner hamburger at Freddy's, her very favorite place to eat. We sat in the car visiting and enjoying our burgers when a rainbow appeared!
All in all a very good day!
Bobby and Josh helping out at the Post Office for the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
Week two, we headed to the Lake for a visit with Teresa and Charlie. The first day Bobby and Charlie were able to get in some crappie fishing but the second day was too rainy. Teresa and I spent a fun day shopping!
Early morning reading at Teresa and Charlie's with Mia!
WOW, that was a long and random post! Welcome to my post-retirement blog ramblings!!