Friday, June 25, 2010

Somewhat Tired In My Retirement

I retired this past March 1. The very next day, my wife Mardell bought me a lawnmower, weed eater and a pressure washer. It had not yet become apparent to me that in reality I had not retired at all. But these purchases (on my card) should have made very clear just what was taking place.

Since Mardell is still working, I have learned several things. In addition to yard work, I now do the vacuuming, laundry, dishes and most anything else that comes up to do around the house. Mardell still does the grocery shopping. She does not like for me to go to the store because she says, “You always buy extra things that we do not need.” Recently I accompanied her to buy groceries and just as I feared, she spotted the Boston cream pie that had mysteriously ended up in our shopping cart. But I digress.

There is one thing I still am trying to learn about this new order. That thing is the proper procedure for using the dishwasher. I had always helped Mardell unload the washer. But what I had to learn once this retirement schedule went into effect was to clear the table, get the dirty dishes ready and load them into the washer.

Now I have a thing about dishes and the dishwasher. I feel like I need to completely scrub every dirty dish with soap and hot water. All the foodstuff needs to be removed. The dishes need to be sparkling prior to my loading them into the washer.

Mardell tells me that it is not necessary to scrub the dishes prior to loading, that I should just load them in and let the washer do the work. I cannot bear to do that so I continue to shine them up before loading them up.

My daughter was visiting the other day and she saw me cleaning the dishes in the sink. She said, “Dad, you don’t have to wash the dishes twice. If you are going to get them squeaky clean, just dry them and put them on the shelves.” I told her that I just remove the stuff, and then the dishwasher removes the germs.

As a side note, I should reference the fact that my daughter loads her dishwasher with all the stuff clinging on the dishes. Then she lets their West Highland White Terrier rear up on the open door and lick all the stuff off of the dishes. Now, my question is: Would you prefer to eat at my daughter’s house or at our house?

Ed, my brother-in-law, learned that I was having a little problem dealing with all of this. He said, “The proper name should be ‘dish sanitizer’ as the dishwasher sanitizes, but fails to wash. You must wash the crud off first, then place them in the dish sanitizer.” For years, Ed was a health and safety inspector for Albertson’s. I call the foodstuff “stuff” but Ed calls it “crud.” Since he is a professional, I know he knows what he is talking about.

Nowadays, there is more time for writing. I love to write essays and poetry. I just finished writing a booklet on the New Testament book of Galatians in rhyming poetic form based on the New International Version. And I really enjoy writing guest columns for the Beaumont Enterprise. Guess I’ll keep on doing this as long as opinion page editor Thomas Taschinger puts up with me.

Another thing about retirement is I can sleep in every morning. That is something I haven’t done since starting 17 years of school in 1941 and working for an additional 52 years.

That is unless Mardell decides it’s time for me to mow, weed eat, and/or pressure wash something.

Winston Hamby


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