The Retired Life

I am often asked how I’m enjoying my retired life. The short answer is, “Very much.” My family tells me I’m flunking retirement as I continue to overstuff the calendar and bemoan that there aren’t more hours allotted to me each week. So many things grab my attention. So limited time to pursue them all. My retired life includes some decades-old habits. One of them is journaling almost every day. It helps me remember how I have invested the time I have and process what’s going on around me.

A while back I had what was a fairly typical day in my new back-in-Ohio-where-I-grew-up day. I wrote about it and am sharing it here as the longer answer to how I like my retirement life.

A Typical Retirement Day

It began with coffee with Lisa, one of the first people I got to know when I moved into Homestead Village. She loves books and recently started a new position with a library close to where we live. I am over the moon excited to be friends with someone who works in a library! We have coffee together often, usually in the Homestead Village library so Brandi can join us and keep watch at the glass door overlooking the main hallway where people come and go. He’s on full alert for Sandy, the office manager. If they see each other he knows she’ll be back in a flash with treats for him.

The Great Furniture Swap

Though the next item is not a typical daily occurrence, it has been a regular activity as I’ve bought, sold, and swapped out furniture in the new apartment. The first loveseat was good, but I really wanted one that reclined. The space available can only accommodate a loveseat. Finding one with reclining seats, but no middle armrest took from December to July. When daughter Karen found one on an online market place we jumped on it.

After coffee with Lisa, I headed out to the next town east of here – Pataskala. I love saying that name. There I found exactly what I wanted, A leather double-reclining loveseat in excellent condition. The family selling it had about a week to empty the house as they were moving the house was due to close soon. I assured her I wanted it, but needed to sell the other one first to make room for it.

A Plan Comes Together

Back on the online marketplace, Karen found a couple who wanted the other loveseat, if we could deliver it. Well, that involved my brother’s truck. Being approximately thirty years old, it required some coaxing to start. That required moving it a few feet from where it was parked, front end in, under a set of shelves in the garage. Thanks to my father who insisted I learn how to drive a stick shift, I sat in the driver’s seat while Karen and Uncle Bruce, as everyone except me calls him, pushed it out a few feet.

Bruce is quite the wine-making master. While the truck battery charged we adjourned to his family room to sample his latest wine-making efforts. Very good. With a charged truck at the ready, we maneuvered the old couch out of my apartment into the truck. A cross-town adventure relocated it to a couple who live about two blocks from where I lived years ago. The next day we went to Pataskala to claim the new-to-me leather loveseat.

It Takes a Team

The back comes off the loveseat; but not easily. It took quite the effort from the man selling the loveseat and Karen on the floor trying to loosen the bolts to release the seats while the woman of the house shined her phone flashlight on their efforts. Uncle Bruce, granddaughter Erin, and I stood around supervising.

By mid-evening the loveseat was relocated, reassembled, and reclining beautifully in my apartment. My role was doling out cash for gas and dinner as compensation for the effort. I love the new seat. It works well for naps, reading, computer working, and TV watching.

Making New Friends

The great loveseat transfer took more than one day. However, on the day I first visited the leather one, I returned home in time to meet a couple of women from our church at the apartment of the Syrian refugee family our congregation is assisting in their efforts to resettle in Columbus. They had arrived the night before.

Until they boarded a flight in Ammon, Jordan to head to Ohio, they were living in a refugee camp in Jordan. They’d been there a full decade, virtually the entire lives of their children. I wrote more about that in Pilgrims, Refugees and Immigrants. What I noted in my journal was this, “We met at the family’s new apartment. Their little girl is adorable. Their son is polite and friendly. The parents are delightful. Bless them as they adapt, and perhaps someday return home.”

Two weeks later the church has formed a tutoring team to get the parents up to speed enough in English that they can start ESL classes. They are motivated, but are starting from scratch – learning English language ABCs and reading from left to right. When people ask, “Why don’t they speak English?” I want to ask them (but don’t – what would be the point?) – “How many foreign languages do you speak?” I love this country, but sometimes we are so arrogant and clueless.

But Wait, There’s More

We showed the adults how to use the stove and oven and how to adjust the apartment temperature. I went through a picture book with their daughter. Their son was outside kicking a soccer ball around with a boy about his age. [Update: The son is now on a community soccer team.]

Next up I spent time with my daughter to distract her dogs if they started barking while she was occupied running her first solo appointment with a new online job. The job involves helping people select the photos they want from their session with the professional photographer.

Maybe that wasn’t the most typical day, but there have been many like it. I love being retired in Ohio.

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Mary Brewster’s Love Life and Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures: available wherever books are sold.; Mary Brewster Brewster’s Love Life
Autographed copies are available on my website.


  1. Marian DeToro Shelton

    Hi Kathy! So glad you are enjoying retirement in Ohio. Good for you using online private sales sites. I recently was introduced to them by a friend and have purchased a couple needed baby items for our home. Keeping my grandson after school five days a week. I loved reading about your encounters with the refugee family.
    Be well! Marian

  2. When did you move away from Texas, Kathy? I know I missed a couple of your newsletters, so maybe you mentioned it in one of those. Funny. We’ll be moving away next Spring. To Menahga, MN.

  3. Great article! My husband and I just moved back to Ohio after living in Oklahoma City for 19 years.
    Our calendars are full which means we love being retired, also.
    We live at a retirement community in Delaware, so we aren’t far from you.
    Retirement in Ohio is the best!

  4. Hello Sharon – I moved up here about a year ago to age closer to family after what family I had in Houston moved to other places. Here I have a brother, daughter, and granddaughter. So far so good. There’s a large and welcoming writing community here. One of my apartment neighbors and now coffee drinking buddy, just started a job in a nearby library. I love knowing someone who works in a library! I hope you will enjoy your move to Minnesota as much as I’ve enjoyed my decision to come back to Ohio.

  5. I think we never truly retire – just shift from schedules that dictate when we’ll be where to ones that allow us the freedom to go or not, depending on the mood and energy level of the day. Love being back in Ohio again.

  6. Hello Marian – I’ll bet you’re loving every single minute of watching that adorable grandson of yours. He’s a sweetie. It’s a gift to treasure to spend time with grand babies when they’re little. Of all the titles and labels I’ve had, the one sweetest to my ears were “Grandma.”

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