But first, let me give you some retirement pointers, these for the men. (I’ve never met a woman who is fully retired, including Housemate (HM), who claims to be working as hard or harder now than before she started receiving Social Security.)
I’ve broken down my retirement tips into convenient categories for you to clip and save. You might not remember where you saved them, but we’ll get to that.
The first category: SIMPLICITY.
After retiring, immediately make your life as simple as possible. Throw away alarm clocks, and by all means buy your socks in only one color. I have about 15 pair of dark brown socks in a variety of styles, but since nobody can spot the style of the socks on your feet, it simply doesn’t matter. But it sure matters if you are trying to sort by color. It’s amazing just how many socks can get either temporarily or permanently lost.
And carefully check your inventory before you purchase anything smaller than an automobile. Chances are you already have what you were going to buy.
Also, don’t give out your e-mail address to anyone except relatives and close friends. This is a must! I recently was gone for four days and had 267 e-mails when I came home. Truly.
If you have a cell phone, get rid of it right now. You’ll not only save on the monthly fee, but will soon realize you got by without the intrusive device for at least five decades in your former life.
Find a longtime possession that you can’t identify? Immediately chuck it out. The chances you will ever remember what it is are one-in-a-zillion. Just say to yourself, “Fewer items, fewer headaches and simpler life.”
Now, on to DEALING WITH YOUR HOUSEMATE after retirement. On this point, I speak with nearly 48 years of experience.
To start with, I grew up in an era when nobody locked their vehicles or even took the keys out of ’em. I realize those days are long gone, but I still might forget and then have to take the responsibility for a car theft. Therefore, do as I do and assign the responsibility of locking to your HM. When we exit, she locks the doors.
Don’t ever take your HM into a store that sells new men’s shirts. She’ll think the new colors are beautiful and insist you pick out a couple. Heck, you’ve got more shirts in the back of your closet than you will ever wear again. Put your foot down — hard.
Make sure you keep a current list of birthday and Christmas gifts you’ve given to your HM. Giving the same gift two years in a row is not acceptable — and highly embarrassing.
If your HM is a great cook, just leave it at that. Certainly don’t try to learn the culinary art yourself. You’ll never be as good — never! Guaranteed.
GENERAL TIPS (at no extra charge):
Make a “to do” list every morning. This may require a note pad left in every room, but that’s OK.
And here’s a related tip: Give it your hardest concentration when going from room to room. If you haven’t already, you’ll soon learn why.
When going to the store, always take a list of items with you. Don’t try to remember, because nine times out of 10 you won’t.
Purchase clothes in your favorite colors. Face it — you have less time remaining than someone who is 20. For a half-century, I was told I looked great in blue, so I wore blue. I finally decided all my life I had hated blue (as in “boring”). Then, a few years ago when we added new carpeting to the family room, HM decided on a dark blue. I’d like to think that wasn’t on purpose, but I’m still not 100 percent sure.
Stay away from people our age who wear tattoos. They probably got theirs decades ago when in prison. Nobody else got tattooed back then.
Now, back to saving things. Get yourself a box, put it in a closet, and anything you want to save (large or small), drop in the box. Thus, everything you are hunting for will be there, so no fretting about where you put it. When the box is full, get a larger box. When the closet is full, use another closet, maybe the one with your unworn shirts hanging in the back.
Finally, keep up your good cursive penmanship. The last couple of generations have not been taught much penmanship in school, and you might be one of the last whose writing is still legible.
And with computers and texting, you might be one of the last who even uses a pen or pencil.
Tweety, who harassed that puddy-cat Sylvester, turned 62 this week.
Thought you’d want to know.
For your education
I’m told that this month of August is very unusual (besides the weather).
August 2010 has five Sundays, five Mondays, and five Tuesdays. That won’t happen again for 823 years.
Another number oddity
Patterson resident Helen Maring, mother of longtime rural resident Ed Maring, will observe her 100th birthday Sept. 9.
But get this: A year ago, Helen turned 99 on 9-9-09. Interestingly, her late husband John’s birthday was on Aug. 8 — 8-8. Bet they had fun with those numbers.
When Helen reaches her centennial, Patterson will suddenly have four who have reached that age mark. Elizabeth Lemcke will turn 100 this Saturday, Aug. 28. She’s in a rest home in Turlock. The other two are Bertha Criswell, who is 101, and Evelyn Lusk. It’s very doubtful that we’ve ever had four living centenarians.
One was missed
Jacob Holtzman, a retired veterinarian and longtime rural Crows Landing resident, died a couple of weeks ago at age 95. He had been inadvertently omitted from my list of 90-plusers who live between Crows Landing and Vernalis.
However, he is survived by his wife, Eleanor, who is 90. She ups the list to an amazing 48.
For the sports fan
In case you missed it, Patterson High’s football schedule has a very new look.
Sure, the Western Athletic Conference still has Central Catholic and Livingston, but new members include Ceres, Central Valley (of Ceres) and Los Banos. No longer in the WAC are Hilmar, Orestimba and Gustine, who for decades were prime Tiger rivals.
This fall’s election races for the Patterson City Council and the Del Puerto Health Care District are, in the minds of many locals, very much intertwined.
First, we have three incumbents seeking re-election: Sam Cuellar to the council and Ed Maring and Harold Hill to the health care board. And then there’s Becky Campo, who is stepping down as the city’s mayor but seeks a seat on the health care board.
And Councilwoman Annette Smith is campaigning to step into the mayor’s chair, while John Ramos, a local businessman and former council member, seeks a seat on the district board.
This past year, Ramos has had major issues with both the city and the health care district about a rezoning initiated by the district, which hopes to move its clinic into expanded quarters in the Keystone Business Park. He presently leases building space to the district for its clinic.
To further add to the excitement is the candidacy of Dr. Paul Berry to the health care board. He served as the clinic’s medical director from 2003-06, filed litigation against the district after his departure and recently pocketed a six-figure settlement.
There’s no love lost between Patterson’s city government and the health care district, and the above candidates will very likely put on a spirited campaign later in the fall. There are other faces in the races, but they will have to go some to attract the attention the above names will garner.
• Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.