The Secret ” Freedoms ” of Single Retirement

Dear Reader:

True confession time! After I retired and subsequently became an ” empty nester ” I made a dramatic ” Scarlet O’ Hara” declaration, in which I vowed…that I never wanted to hear the question ” What’s for supper ?” again in my lifetime or attend another “meeting.” I was cooked and “meet-ed” out!

And though I have been retired for quite a few years now-these two “vows” have been kept in check!

My memories of teaching while being a single parent can be summed up in one word-TIRED. In those days I stay tired-bone-marrow tired.

The easiest part of my day was teaching-then it really got wacky-like a pinball machine-working out rides ( drop-off’s and pick-up’s) for every sports practice and game-in addition to play practices, school or church functions …multiplied by three. Remember there were no mobile phones-so a last-minute change-in-plans call wrought total disaster.

And then just when you thought everyone was ” covered” … the inevitable question from the back of the car whined out” What’s for supper … I’m starving!”

Of course I was thinking to myself-Well guess what?I am starving too-I had lunch duty so didn’t get to eat and a teacher’s meeting after

school, so I couldn’t get to the store , as planned, and I have laundry to do and papers to grade. Once again the Golden Arches called!

These days I rarely hear the dreaded supper question and I always agree to do a presentation- as long as there are no meetings attached-just show up and do it.

Life is good. When the cupboard is empty I can make do with a bowl of cereal for supper and the whining ghost voices of yester-year have now

fallen on my adult children’s ears. Life is fair… if we just live long enough!

In this article from the Boston Globe by Priscilla Kipp on this same subject she adds some humor to her situation-she and her husband are newly ” empty-nesters” and her husband just retired while the wife is semi-retired-working from home.

…” The house is empty after family left and then my husband asks the dreaded question-” What’s for supper?” When I am stumped, he says ” How about hot dogs?” Some things never change. But being old now-and not naive-this much I know. I must be careful what I wish for.

The time may come when my cooking days are over. If l’m lucky, I will have a choice about what is served me on a tray. So I find the last two hot dogs, smell them to be safe, discover I have run out of mustard, and smile as I raise my glass: Bon appetit! “

So until tomorrow… if we really are what we eat… I am in a world of trouble-like the squirrel!

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to The Secret ” Freedoms ” of Single Retirement

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Too funny about the squirrel..
    Lately we have gone to eating a good breakfast and an early dinner…but often times Fred feels compelled to ask “what’s for lunch?” …to which I respond with nothing or a banana …so he just gets quite creative…it works…👍

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