The first time I retired was in May 2012. We were living in Los Angeles, and I had completed 41 years as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. I had been diagnosed with an extremely rare illness that was life-threatening, and I knew that to fight it, I needed more time than I had in my 70-hour per week job. We had lived from New York to California and liked Oklahoma best, so we relocated later that year.
An experimental treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston spared my life, and I soon realized that I wasn’t ready to be retired. I became the part time CEO of the Executive Service Corps of Central Oklahoma (ESCCO) and thoroughly enjoyed the mission of helping to strengthen other nonprofits, and the methodology of utilizing energetic retirees as consultants and coaches.
This year I turned 70, and my wife Judy and I realized that we were not having as many adventures in retirement as we could be. So we leased a house on Boston Harbor for September and October, and on August 16th we headed out in Judy’s trusty Lincoln SUV. Just us, 7 large plastic totes, 4 suitcases, an inflatable kayak, and our two bicycles.
As I write this we are at my sister’s home in New Jersey, having just packed the car to head home on Saturday. We are in between Waitress (with Al Roker and Jordin Sparks) and the Rockettes Christmas Show. Our odyssey has included visiting cousins in Ottawa, cruising from Montreal to Boston, so many sights in New York, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts, and seeing most everything worth seeing in Boston. We’ve enjoyed eating in many clam shacks, at the Parker House in Boston, at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, and on the wharf in Newport RI. We’ve tracked Judy’s Mayflower ancestry, celebrated a cousin’s pregnancy announcement in Ottawa, and enjoyed some very special family time.
Our cottage in Boston was completely unique and a snug harbor for us during two nor’easters, on vivid display along the harbor 20 feet from our back deck. We lost three weeks there, because at 103 it became apparent that my Dad was at the end of his life. We were privileged to gather with my sisters and their husbands and spend his last two weeks at his bedside. We had a farewell service among his caregivers in Michigan and two weeks later had a memorial service at his church on Cape Cod, where he and Mom lived from 1980 to 2016. At the memorial service, among their Cape Cod friends and fellow volunteers, relatives from all over the US and Canada gathered to say farewell. I am so grateful to have had the chance to see him on his way to heaven.
I share these thoughts with you to encourage you to claim some adventures. Some will be fun, some will be sad, some will be scary, but claim them all!