The First Day of the First Week


Technically, my first day of retirement was Friday, but that doesn’t count because I spent the day still feeling totally shell-shocked.  It seemed more like a long weekend than the beginning of a new life.

Today, however, is the first day of the first full week of retirement, and I know you’re all wondering how I spent it.  Even if you’re not, I’m going to tell you.

Imagine my surprise when my husband informed me early in the morning that he was taking half a day off as he hadn’t slept the night before.  Say what?  My first full day of freedom, and I have to share it?

Well, so be it.  Freedom just had to start a few hours later.

It was just as well.  Going online, I discovered that the nearest local library doesn’t open until 1:00 pm on Mondays, and top on my list for my new life was getting a library card.  No longer can I afford to buy paperback books every week.  I am fortunate that we have a number of public libraries within easy driving distance.

So, first task today – get a new library card.

I last had a card many years ago when my children were small, and the local library has changed a bit.  So many computer kiosks!  And they now have self-checkout just like the grocery store! No more watching the librarian scan my books and wondering if she’s judging me by the types of reading material I choose!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASecond task – stock up on wine to hold me over during the next couple of months.  Fortunately, my favorite wine shop is having a huge sale on the kind of wine I buy anyway – and the manufacturer is offering rebates.  For a small initial outlay (about $40), I’ll get $14 in rebates – and I have enough wine to last quite awhile if I use a slightly smaller glass.  I suppose some people would say I’m borderline alcoholic for having used a small portion of my last paycheck to stock up on wine – but hey, we all have priorities.

Third task – car wash.  I still have the monthly unlimited tag, so there was no outlay for that.  I did, however, skip the drying lane afterwards and saved myself the $2 tip.  (Woo-hoo, right?)

Throughout today’s travels, however, the one thing that kept bugging me was that I still felt like I was playing hooky from work and constantly expected someone to blow me into The Boss.  (“You know, she wasn’t really sick – I saw her coming out of the liquor store.”)  I had to keep reminding my self that I have a right to go wherever I want, whenever I want, and don’t have to answer to anyone anymore.  That’s pretty cool.

Tomorrow I intend to catch up on some of those household chores that are so hard to do while working full-time.  That’s my intention.  We’ll see how that goes.


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The Important Room

Enough for now of my pity party diary posts! Time for something lighter. While I search for the next household item to feature, please enjoy this oldie but goodie. And be sure to click through to the Cotton Balls post if you haven’t already read it. You’ll be glad you did.

Cordelia's Mom, Still

ImportantRoomEveryone seemed to enjoy my post about cotton balls, which was written in a moment of desperation when I had run out of ideas.

Again searching for ideas, I took another look around my house for likely items to write about.  While spending time in the most important room of the house (hereinafter, “The Important Room”), I noticed the toilet paper roll.

No, this will not be a debate on which way the roll should be hung – that’s been done to a crisp already.  Nor will I stoop low enough to write about the item’s normally intended use – I’m pretty sure every single one of my readers is familiar with that.  Except, of course, for any readers who don’t have indoor plumbing – they’re probably still using newspapers and catalogs, and, of course, it’s unlikely those particular readers would be technically savvy enough to have found this…

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A Door Closes


Today was supposed to be my last day of full-time work.  Instead, I am home writing this post.

By mid-afternoon yesterday, all my files had been reassigned to my replacement, and The Boss told me if I wanted to I could leave at the end of the day.  Today is a short day for many businesses, as Veteran’s Day is tomorrow – and the weatherman was predicting our first overnight snow with slippery conditions in the morning.  And let’s not forget that I really didn’t want to be there anyway, especially if I had nothing to do all day.  I would be paid for the day whether I was there or not.  It was an easy decision.

So, today is officially my first day of unemployment/retirement.

Am I happy to be looking out the window watching the first occasional snowflakes and knowing I don’t need to go anywhere if I don’t want to?  Absolutely.


Am I relieved to know I no longer have to deal with a single one of the problem files?  Need I even answer that?

But I still had a somewhat sleepless night.  Periodically, I would get a panicky feeling that I had forgotten to do something at work, that I had forgotten to call a client, that I had failed to relay some vital piece of information to the new hire.  I constantly had to remind myself that those issues were no longer my problem.

Such is life in the business world.  Yes, I’m happy to be away from that, even if only for a few months.

The game plan, as I mentioned before, is to take a few months off while the household renovations are completed, and while I find a way to resolve the latent anxiety.  Then I intend to file for Social Security and supplement that with a part-time job of some kind – but definitely not the same type of job I just left!

It’s scary.

And it’s going to be a rough ride.  I’ll be living on what little savings I have, which means cutting back on the few pleasures I have.  No new books, no wine purchases, no new videogames.


I have hundreds of videogames already downloaded, so that’s not an issue.  I can get a library card and take out books whenever I need them – for free, so that’s not an issue.

But wine?  That’s going to be a tough sacrifice.  On the other hand, without the stress of The Job From Hell, I can forego that glass of wine at night.  It will make my occasional sips that much more pleasurable.

Meanwhile, Puppy Cody and I are enjoying our time together, just sitting around and watching the outside world go by.

I can definitely get used to this.



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The Piano


Moving from one home to another can be highly stressful, even at the best of times.  Will everything fit in the new house?  What do you take with you?  What do you leave behind?

When I was a little girl, my mother paid for piano lessons.  I don’t know why she decided to buy that spinet piano – I guess she always wanted one and had somehow come into a small windfall.  The piano looked great in our small suburban living room – well, at least until the new puppy ate the side of it.  Needless to say, my mother was not happy.

But that’s a story for another day.

Mom paid for piano lessons, somehow managing to save cash from her grocery money to do so.  I would walk several blocks to the piano teacher’s house, where I learned to play on a beautiful baby grand.

And I really got into music.  As I grew from a child into a teenager and then a young woman, the piano became my emotional outlet.  Whenever I was upset – and whenever I was ecstatic – I would bang on that piano until the emotional up or down was totally released.  Sometimes for hours.  I loved that piano.

When Mom became elderly and Dad had passed, she went to her attorney and drafted a  Will.  She bequeathed the piano to me.  She said she wanted me to have it because I loved it so.

But then she sold the family home and could not take the piano with her to her small basement apartment.  She considered that piano to be rightfully mine, so somehow I found room for it in my own home.  I even hired a piano tuner to make sure it was in optimal condition (well, despite the chewed up side, which never had been fixed).

As my own children grew, I arranged for piano lessons for those who were interested.  They enjoyed playing, but none got into as much as I had.

Over the years, the piano became an unused fixture in the living room.  I no longer had time to play it, and the children had other interests.  Mostly, the piano was someplace to put family photos and other memorabilia.  Once in awhile, someone would open the lid and play a few bars, but the poor thing became ignored.  I knew the piano was sad, but I couldn’t give it up.  My Mom had died and it was one of the few things I had left from her.

Is that Not CM ?!

Eventually, we sold our first home and moved to a new one.  The living room at the new house was much different than the old one, and we had room for either the desk/credenza that I had purchased for my blogging hobby, OR for the piano, but not both.

The piano had to go.

I offered the piano to each of my daughters, but no one had room for it.  I considered donating it to a charity of some kind, but another family member had recently had trouble finding a taker for her own spinet piano – and I had neither the time nor energy to start calling churches, schools, etc. to see if anyone would take it.

I didn’t want to just put it out on the berm on garbage day.  Somehow that seemed disrespectful to my mother’s memory.

So, in desperation, I posted on Facebook, and a miracle happened.  A friend replied that she would gladly accept the piano, and her young son would love it every bit as much as I had as a child.  My friend arranged to have professional movers pick the piano up at my new house, where it was stored temporarily in the garage because there was no room in the house itself.

The movers arrived, and I watched as they prepared to load the piano.  I knew it was getting a better home.  I knew it would be loved by another child.  I knew it would longer sit unused for the mere purpose of holding photographs and memorabilia.

But knowing doesn’t always matter.  As the piano was rolled up onto the truck, I glanced up at the sunny sky and white fluffy clouds and thought of my mother and how she had sacrificed to bring me so much joy in my young life.  Unexpectedly, I began bawling.  My husband had to supervise the rest of the move.

My friend understood what that piano had meant to me.  She sent photos of the piano in a place of honor in its new home – and she sent a video showing her son’s excitement when the piano arrived.  I don’t think my friend will ever know how much that video meant to me.

The piano will be loved.  Mom would have been pleased.



I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at


Images by Cordelia’s Mom



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