My husband Art is not a talker. We joke that, of 25,000 words allowed each day from people in our household, I get about 23,000 and he gets 2,000. So he doesn't talk much.
Art has worked for the electric company for the last 40 years. He had a hand surgery in January that will remove the arthritis pain he experienced in his thumb, but it will also reduce his grip strength by 30 percent or so. For his work - foreman of a crew - he'd need more strength than that. So, for the sake of the pain reduction, he decided to retire.
I worried about how he'd handle it. I thought I might have to be a cheerleader or an activities director. I hoped he wouldn't get mopey or depressed.
Art's been home now for about five weeks. He's wearing a cast on his hand while the surgical area heals. There's a lot he can't do. But there's a lot he can. Yesterday he spent the afternoon leveling part of the side of our steep driveway to create a terrace for two potato boxes. He used a shovel, a pickaxe, and the brute strength of a one-handed man - plus a cast hammer.
Last night I was looking for his checkbook. He's kept it in his lunchbox for all the years I've known him. But when I opened the lunchbox, it was clean and empty. I asked him what happened. Here's what he said in his Facebook entry for yesterday:
Yesterday I cleaned out my lunchbox, which was acting as a man purse for my work. It had many items that I would store in case I needed them for emergency - like old cookies and lollipops and unused keys. It was kind of nostalgic and something that I'm not going to use again since I'm retired.
Apparently Art is doing just fine with his retirement. That's a relief!