Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Loose ends from a cluttered mind

Nothin' special to comment about...

For years now, I have dined out on a monthly basis with a group that originally came from a church-organized setting. Our church has an annual thing in the fall, whereby you can sign up for various activities. One of these was a dinner group, and so my late spouse and I signed up for that. And our particular group just sorta fell apart quickly, and it seemed that no one except us was making much of an effort to gather for the dinners. Somewhere in that first year, we had another church-organized gathering (it was set up for small groups and was hosted by one couple at their house). Talk turned to the dinner groups. I think at least 3 of the couples were in the same group, and Greg and I complained that we were not having much luck with our dinner group, and we begged to go with the other group. And that is how this all started.

The group was 5 couples strong at the beginning. Two of the couples have husbands who turned 80 last November, and the third couple is about 65 - 67 years in age. These three couples are all retired, of course. The fourth couple split several years ago - he very callously moved out of their home just at the start of Thanksgiving weekend that year. As part of his relocation, he changed addresses for his utilities - and she was, without warning, left with no electricity - for Thanksgiving! She was livid, as you can fully understand. What a shithead, a self-indulgent, egotistical piece of crap he was/is. Only thinking of himself. His ex-wife is a wonderful woman, and I'll call her B. She stayed with our group. He was NOT asked to continue.

And of course, last year Greg died. So now we are 8 in number. I contacted this group when I unexpectedly found Greg dead. They were and still are very supportive, just like family. And when you don't have family near you, you cherish those who love you unconditionally. Trust me -- there are times that you do not anticipate how much you will need and want family around you.

All of this background, to bring me to our last dinner. B decided to organize an early one, since one of the couples was heading out of state to see the newest grandchild. So she phoned around and we all decided that the first Saturday in June would work for all of us. She picked one of our favorite restaurants, Rudi Lechner's. Rudi is Austrian and the menu reflects that region. Sometimes there is entertainment, and we were fortunate enough to have that, on this night. Just a two-person group. The guy sings, sometimes plays that l-o-o-n-g Alpine horn, and the woman plays a keyboard. They do traditional songs from that region, and this time they threw in a few from The Sound of Music. Most of the diners were singing along to Edelweiss, myself included.

But sneaky B -- and the others! They had really organized this as a pre-retirement dinner for me!! So sweet and thoughtful of them. I was wondering why they were producing greeting cards and passing them to me. I was really touched. I have eschewed the retirement lunch that is offered here at the Port, since I do not have any family living here. So the fact that the dinner group did this, was very special to me.

On other notes... have been trying to limit my friend to about an hour of Skype-ing a night. Otherwise I fall woefully behind on packing up to get OUT of this house and on to new locations. He's been pretty good about those limitations so far.

As I said, I have chosen to NOT have the traditional Port retirement lunch. But I think maybe my dept will do something, anyway -- probably at least a cake, and I know that a card is being circulated. We will be having a Happy Hour at some nearby bar at the end of the workday on the 25th, too. And no one will be HAPPIER than me! But I do realize that I will miss the camaraderie, the day-to-day exchange with my co-workers. So some sadness, too, I expect. One of the newly-hired guys seems to be eyeballing my soon-to-be-vacated cubicle. Sometimes I feel like the dying mammal out in the desert, seeing the vultures circling above.

Anyway, nothing special going on. Hope to have something amusing to tell you the next time around.


The Retired One said...

I know what feelings you are is a bittersweet (but mostly sweet) process to retire.
Like you, a lot of my social circle were my friends that I worked with. Sometimes misery loves company is a good bond. Now when we get together they are busy and rushed to get back to work, which I completely understand...and they feel a little awkward sharing the office gossip or confidential stuff we all used to be hip deep your relationship does change from what it was with them.
But to trade it for complete retirement freedom??? Absolutely worth it!
Congratulations again...I am so happy for you!

Anonymous said...

That surprise dinner sounds like it was tons of fun and live music too! :)