I was hoping that life would slow down just a little now that I'm retired, I was wrong. I may have every weekend off but there is always a wedding, reunion, grad party, retirement party, birthday gathering or family obligation waiting on the horizon. I have to ask myself, “Self when and where were these events in years past?” I do like my new job and the 4 10 hour days makes my life so much easier! You’re probably wondering why he is still working, you were a SGM after all. Let me just say I may get 50% of my base pay for the rest of my life, the problem is I only get 1/3 of the pay I use to, and then they take taxes out of what’s left. Let’s be honest the bills haven’t changed, my life style is still the same and there is a wedding on the horizon. According to my wife the other reason I’m here is I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to help soldiers. (I hate to admit it she is right)
It's 92 miles one way to Camp Ripley compared to 40 miles to the cabin. Needless to say I live at the cabin during the week and travel home to the cities for long weekends. This is the biggest drawback. Being separated from my family again isn’t easy. Fortunately for me Susan (unfortunately for her) recently had surgery and has been living at the cabin with me. Life is great right now not saying that it wasn’t great before!
I’ve been busy with small projects at the cabin. Finally installed the ceiling fans upstairs; built a temporary wall where the double garage door is to save on the heating bill: minor landscaping; moved the fish cleaning house; installed metal inside the fish cleaning house along with sink and counter (water and electricity to follow). Did I mention that Susan thought moving the fish cleaning shed by myself was one of the stupidest things I’ve done to date? NOTE to self – “Self I wonder what she knows and what she compared it too? Actually I had Susan running the winch switch on the 4 wheeler and standing by with her cell phone in case it went from bad to worse! We also mounted an antenna outside went from 1 channel to 5 and still nothing on. Cleaned out some more underbrush dropped more trees and together we burn just about every night.
Last night Bella (Susan’s Lab-r-doodle) acted up and I noticed the wild turkeys out in the trees. A little later I noticed them hauling ass out of the area and noticed a wolf out of the corner of my eye. The wolf was almost transparent and blended in with its surroundings. Night life has everything from the loons on the lake; Grouse starting their outboards; to the coyotes yipping in the distant it is awesome!
A couple of weeks ago before Susan and the dogs came up I was outside burning when off in the darkness I heard the coyotes yipping. They sounded like they were hunting and then I heard a scream that made my short gray hair stand up and gave me goose bumps. I'll be honest after that I watched the fire from the comfort of our cabin! The next day the guys at work said it was probably a bunny rabbit dying (Who would have thought).
I find myself smiling a lot more, not sure if it’s the ankle socks, delivery man shorts, or the never iron short sleeve dress shirts that I wear everyday to work. Or it could be that Susan’s at the cabin waiting for me. Then again it might just be that the kids are doing fine and are making their way in the world and are contributing to society. More than likely its D: all the above and the fact that I’m a civilian after over thirty years of wearing a uniform.
I also have come to terms with missing so much of my family’s activities throughout the years. Susan has told me on more than one occasion that I did the best I could given the cards that I was dealt. One example that comes to mind was recently while attending Josh’s Prom. I was sitting in the audience watching the grand march. I whispered to Susan they should have done this for all the kids. She whispered back they did you were never hear for the whole prom. (Her tone was a combination you’re a dumb ass mixed with a little life sucks). You see I only caught bits and pieces of each Childs prom. I could feel really bad or accept the fact that I had a job to do and I did it well given the circumstances.
In closing all I can tell you is to enjoy every moment with your kids as if it’s your last. You’re going to reach a time when they don't need you as much, don't worry they come back. Be prepared and buy a smaller house –just kidding. Seriously my older kids didn't need me so much because they knew more than their old man. Now they call me once in a while and ask me what I think. Life has a funny way of working out. If you look down at your left hand at your wedding ring you will see the symbol of what I'm talking about. Life goes on but sooner or later it makes the full circle.
That’s all for now!
Hope everyone is well!