As Week Three of my new retiree status begins, I can’t help but look back with fondness at the Saturday night celebration that just passed.
Friends, family and a few co-workers gathered in our snug little home to join Lori and me in marking my transition from working journalist to retired journalist. It was wonderful to see everyone — not just those I’ve known since college and the earliest days of parenthood, but also those I’ve come to know through decades of reporting, editing, recruiting, teaching, learning and mentoring.
For the occasion, Lori surprised me by hauling out a batch of old photos, newspapers and other memorabilia. And our two oldest children, Nathan and Simone, delighted everyone as quiz show hosts during a trivia exercise that recalled key events in my career spanning three states and the District of Columbia.
It’s a humbling experience when you hear folks offer testimonials to the contributions you made in the newsroom and the impact you had in influencing others’ careers. All I know is that I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with some of the most talented and decent human beings you could ever ask for and to remain surrounded by such loyal friends.
Our dear friends, Tom and Elsa Guiney, whom we’ve known since college and who’ve known us longer than anyone in Portland, are both retired. They were among those welcoming me to what they call “the bright side” — a phase of life where I will find freedom, flexibility and many new opportunities.
If I can get the little details right — like pouring coffee into a mug instead of a cereal bowl, like putting my sweatpants on correctly — I think this retirement thing just might work out.