As of June 1, my husband joined me in retirement. It is no longer necessary to wait for the weekend to have fun, because every day seems like Saturday. Doing things on the spur of the moment no longer upsets our schedule because, and here it comes, we have no schedule.
There are restaurants to be discovered. So we try a breakfast out here, a lunch out there, or a dinner somewhere else. That is how we discovered BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Frederick, Dunlap’s in Gettysburg and Plum Crazy in Westminster.
We’ve been to an Orioles game on a Thursday and took the Guinness brewery tour near BWI Airport on a Wednesday. We’ve been to the grandkids’ football games on Saturday, gone to the movies at 11 a.m. during the week, and bowled just for fun on Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon. We’ve planned a three-day getaway to Deep Creek Lake with our daughter and son-in-law and are looking forward to it.
Our love of books is not new, but we are now reading at a record pace. We get movies from the library and we often buy used movies at Wonder Book and Video in Frederick. I’ve lost count of how many movies we’ve seen since June 1.
One of the most enlightening things we did recently was attend our first Emmitsburg town meeting.
Since we rely on wood to heat our home, my husband was naturally interested in a draft resolution that was going to be discussed at the meeting regarding the taking of downed trees on town property near the watershed area.
The Board of Commissioners, led by President Clifford Sweeney, welcomed my husband’s comments. The town manager, Cathy Willets, seemed knowledgeable and competent, and her input and that of Mayor Don Briggs and the other commissioners was invaluable. It might surprise you how interested your elected officials are in getting input from the community and how thoughtfully and patiently they listen to ideas or complaints from community residents.
It is important that we understand the reality of the issues that affect our community. Therefore, transparency and truth between public servants and the community is vital. We were glad that our first taste of local government was a positive experience. Local politics is important. This is where it starts. Get good people here and it spreads
I admit that my main interest is national politics. Unfortunately, our federal government, under the incompetent leadership of President Donald Trump, has given up all pretense of being either transparent or honest. Public servants should perform their jobs based on America’s long-held principles and they should certainly cast their votes based on the relevant facts of each issue, not based on their pocketbooks or personal biases.
Right now, Trump and Senate Republicans are spending way too much time finding ways to make our lives worse. The national debt and federal deficit have increased significantly
under Donald Trump, and now he and Senate Republicans are talking about what to cut to bring it in line. To correct what they caused, they have been eyeing programs that we benefit from or paid into, programs that helped make our retirement, and may make yours as well, not only possible but more comfortable.
Bring back the days when Republicans and Democrats worked together. To accomplish that, we are going to have to cast our votes with the sole intention of removing the chaotic ineptitude that grips the White House and the Senate and replacing it with capability, experience, honesty and professionalism.
In many ways, my husband’s retirement has brought us closer. The love feels stronger, the laughter more frequent. My husband and I are making magical days here and I do realize how very lucky we are. Even on days when I wake up with an aching joint or back pain, I tell myself, “Kid, it ain’t over till it’s over!” I work out the kinks and welcome the new day.
We’ve got to keep those programs that make retirement possible and affordable. I would give anything to be able to spread this warm, fuzzy feeling around, but the best I can do is be thankful for it, wish with all my heart the very same for you, and vote intelligently.
Patricia Weller writes from Emmitsburg. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.