Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What Did I Do Before I Retired?

My maternal great grandparents, Randall and Belle Hadfield sittting in their rocking chairs on their porch on Chestnut Street in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. My great grandmother has their granddaughter Sandra Hadfield (now Hart) in her lap. Sandy is my lst cousin, once removed and also my high school classmate (DHS Class of 1959). This picture was taken in the spring of 1942.  This is how they spent their retirement.

This is a question that I have asked myself many times. Friends of mine who have retired have asked the same question. “What did I do before I retired?”

I hardly have enough time in the day to get everything done I want to get done.

Take this week as an example. I am in the process of refinancing my loan in order to get a lower monthly mortgage payment. I would prefer not to have a mortgage but that is a subject for another blog posting. Actually, it is a very painful subject so I may not post it at all. But all this coordinating of the parties involved int he refinancing of my mortgage is taxing this 68 year old head like it hasn't been taxed in a few years.

Monday I worked at my part-time job at the hotel. In the afternoon, shortly before I was ready to go to work I popped a caramel in my mouth. Bad move. I pulled ANOTHER filling out! I can’t believe it! This is the second filling I’ve lost in within two weeks. Of course the missing teeth (actually the bridge came out) was in the front of my mouth. A nice touch when one works at the front desk of an upscale boutique hotel in downtown Lewes, DE. Thank goodness I already had a scheduled dental appointment for Tuesday morning. Luckily I was able to place the bridge back in my mouth but I couldn’t eat. Dinner that night was a cup of yogurt.  No more caramels.....ever. 

Tuesday morning I go to the dentist for my regularly scheduled appointment to get tarter scaled from my teeth. I inform him of my latest disaster. He checks the gaping hole in formerly dazzling smile and tells me that it’s time to get that whole bridge replaced. Uh huh. Now you know where I’m going with this. How much is this going to cost? You’re right, A LOT. What’s the old story? Two steps forward and one step back? Well, I’m taking TEN steps back with that one. So I bit the bullet and schedule to have a new bridge. That appointment is tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon I work at the hotel again. Hopefully no more teeth will fall out.

After the dental appointment I stop at my local bank. As I mentioned earlier I’m in the process of getting my mortgage refinanced. I received a pant load of papers from the mortgage company over the week. I tried to read through all the legalese but it made my hair hurt. All I want to know is that my rate will stay the same for the length of the mortgage. No where in all those pages and pages of papers that I received from the mortgage company does it say that. I give the papers to the mortgage officer at the bank. She assures me that my rate is “locked in.” That’s all I want to know.

Today, after I arrived home from getting a haircut, I get the appraisal by e-mail that the home appraiser did last Friday (like I said, every day there is something going on in the Tipton household.) First of all, the appraisal is ONLY $130,000 lower than I paid for this house. I expected a lower appraisal what with the stinky housing market, but $130,000? Oh well, I still have enough equity in the home to quality for a mortgage. But there was a problem with the appraisal. It lists my address as 30213 instead of 30231. Oh joy. I have the wrong house listed on my appraisal. Also, the appraiser listed the wrong lot size. She listed .49 acres. I actually have .98 acres, double the size that she listed!

So, e-mails were in order for the appraiser, the mortgage officer at my local bank, and the mortgage company. Fun, fun, Fun.

In the midst of all the “office work”, I’m trying to get the outside going. In addition to discouraging my ever present Determined Sparrows from building their nests in my bluebird houses, I’m cleaning out flower beds, transplanting flowers, and trimming bushes. The trimming of my shrubbery is turning out to be a bigger job than usual because of our unusual brutal winter that did so much damage to our trees and shrubs which aren’t used to that kind of weather.

I did take some time out for myself today to take my daily walk in the development behind where I live. I don’t walk in my development because I know too many of my neighbors and they all have to talk to me and I can never get a good pace going. They don’t know me well enough yet in the development behind me to stop me and have a chat. However, I am on a Wave and “Hi!” basis with several of the homeowners in that development. They’ve seen me enough over the past three years to feel safe when I’m strolling through their neighborhood.

It sure was nice today to feel the warm breeze caress my face, listen to the birds go about their business, and smell the many fragrances of spring time as I walked through their development. That is one treat that I try to give myself everyday during the nice weather and sometimes in the not so nice weather… Daily Walk. My walk is not only good for my physical health (improves the circulation and keeps the weight down) but it clears my mind. And these days I need to flush out my head at least once a day.

When I first considered retirement I was warned more than once that I would be bored because I would have “nothing to do.” Folks…..I am here to tell you that I’ve never been busier in my life. I’ll also tell you that I’ve never been happier. Now if I can just get this refinancing of my mortgage behind me and get these teeth fixed, I can relax. Who am I kidding? I don't even own a rocking chair.


G said...

There is never a dull moment around your place. Busy, busy, busy

nitewrit said...


There is a certain irony in this when you think how hard it was to find a job when we graduated high school. Now here we are supposedly "retired" and still holding onto a job.

We both started working in grade school, I guess it is in our DNA, cause here I am about to leave one job and begin another and not because its easier, but because it has more hours.

Well, my dad started working as a kid out of necessity and he worked full time until he was 75, held two part-time jobs till he was 85 and didn't fully retire until last year and only because the doctors made him. And he's 91.

I've already set my sights on working this job until I'm at least 75. Then I'll think about whether to retire.

This "appraisal" stuff. I think it is ridiculous. Must be a way to get another fee. I didn't have any real appraisal last time I refinanced. The bank did what they called a "drive-by appraisal" and all that was someone came by the house to make certain it was there. They didn't charge me a fee for it. And my mortgage was for a higher percentage of my house value than yours is. I mean, come on. Your mortgage is such a small percentage of your home value anyone familiar with your area would know your house would cover it. Only concern would be you hadn't let the place deteriorate to a junk heap, like the roof was gone and all the windows were smashed out or you burnt the thing down.


Ron said...


You are SO RIGHT. No, there is NEVER a dull moment around this place. You should know what I don't write about in my blog. I leave a lot out because of privacy concerns.

This morning I was at the beach and ran into Wayne ("The Cajun.") There's a whole story there which I should probably let him tell. Then there is my friend "Nitewrit." I went to school with him and our careers have paralleled. Yesterday he gave his notice at work. What a nightmare that was. Again, that is his story to tell.

Then this morning and my visit to my dentist and my $2,000 bill (in addition to almost $500 last week.)

Now I have to get ready and go to work this afternoon. There is never, never a dull moment around here. No rocking on the front porch for this one.


Ron said...


You're right, I DID NOT need an appraisal. That will set me back $530.00. And then she made several mistakes including getting my address wrong and cut the size of my lot in half. When I sent her an e-mail she got all defensive about it. Fun times.