In February 2008, I quit my job as a technical editor. I’ll probably have to return to work in December, but I’ve loved having time to travel and do what I’ve been putting off for years.
During a trip to the UK, my husband and I visited Susan Ames in Oxford. We were lucky to find her at home! In March, Susan flew her plane to Strasbourg, France, for a meeting of the German Astronomical Society. In April, she flew to Belfast for the UK national astronomy meeting, and in May, to Blois in the Loire Valley for a conference on particle astrophysics. June found Susan in Le Havre, and July on a mountain in the ancient town of Erice, Sicily, for a meeting on cosmic rays.
Back home, we celebrated multiple birthdays with Jeanne Lance, including a hot (106°F) celebration at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Liz Freedman Russell and husband Stu spent a cooler weekend with us sharing stories and pictures of England, Wales, and Spain.
During my temporary «retirement», I hoped to realign my thinking about work and asked for advice.
Terry Newirth Hirshorn, who had successful hip surgery in May, is thinking of retiring at 66. “That’s when Social Security fully matures and the Haverford Chemistry department will be ready for some new blood. I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll do during retirement, but my convalescence has convinced me I can fill a day pretty quickly with not much, though I plan to be active.”
Ruth Rodisch Knudson is retiring the end of August and will return to teach at California State University, Long Beach, one semester a year for 5 years. “I’m scheduled for a full load this fall. Then, I’ll have 8 months off. Doesn’t that sound great!”
Caroline Foster Caubet isn’t ready to retire. “The world around us is moving so fast that you can lose touch quite easily. Staying connected is important not just for ourselves, but because communication with our grandchildren might otherwise become difficult.”
“In about 10 years, Emmanuel and I plan on sharing our time between Asia for volunteer work in education and medicine, Europe for the family that stayed behind, and the US to enjoy the Maine house we bought in East Machias. The town was founded in the 1760s by settlers from Scarborough, ME, among which were Fosters, and was the site of the first naval battle of the American Revolution, on June 12, 1775. Can anyone recommend good American history books? I still have most of Mr. Dudden’s reading list, but I’m sure research continued on the subject.”
“Tristan, our first grandchild, was born March 14th in Paris. A great deal of emotion and tenderness surged, recollections as well and a definite feeling that time has gone by. Being a Gran’mummy is an outlook to the future.”
“My daughter Marion is going to McGill for her junior year abroad in law. Any tips? Constance is going to art school in Paris after a summer at the SMFA.”
“Anyone coming our way(s)? Cannes is lovely in the winter.”
Margaret Edwards took a 2-week horseback vacation to Argentina this past April. “It was my first visit to South America. Retirement to me means the opportunity to take a vacation any time and not just during the University of Vermont’s designated vacation weeks. A fact I learned that I wouldn’t otherwise have known was this: the many, many tufts of pampas grass shine like silver fountains in the slant of late day sunlight. Anyone interested in an unusual vacation, let me know. The estancia caters to all levels of rider, from beginner to advanced. The horses were astounding and the people were friendly–or perhaps it was the other way around.”
Barbara Kanegsberg hopes to work into her late 80s, then maybe coast a bit. “I look forward to traveling more and to pursuing creative and volunteer endeavors. However, I firmly believe that contributing to society and being compensated monetarily for those contributions will continue to be critical elements in maintaining my optimism and well-being. This conviction is based on observations of family members and colleagues. Those who work, who stay active, appear to be happy. Those who completely retire seem to fade. My «Uncle Doc» (Jacob Berman) was an old-time GP. He worked into his 80s. He always talked about retiring and going fishing; but he was enthusiastic and forward thinking about his practice. It kept him young.”
“In retrospect, it was good that I set up BFK Solutions, my consulting company, over 14 years ago. I still put in long hours; but my enthusiasm for «all-nighters» has waned.”
Hillary Hosmer’s husband, a middle-school teacher for 37 years, wanted badly to retire. “There was no financial advantage to staying on, since he had reached his maximum pension. At the same time, although I loved my career in computer security research, I was finding it hard to stay on the cutting edge and take care of our aging parents at the same time. So I retired with Bob.”
“Now we still work as hard as ever, without pay, supporting my 89-year-old mother and two of Bob’s handicapped siblings. We get to travel, but must return home for emergency situations. Reunions, family gatherings, and invitations to speak turn out to be wonderful excuses to enjoy ourselves. The BMC reunion was a blast!”
“Since my husband’s death on August 10, 2007,” writes Ann Livingston Holland, “I have gone back to work half time at a health clinic just 3 miles from my home. My daughter teases me that I have been «semi-retired» for years. I loved parts of my work as an independent contractor, after returning from Oklahoma where I was a federal employee in the Indian Health Service. From 1992 through 2006 I traveled all over Maine and parts of Pennsylvania, working for short periods in emergency rooms and family practice offices. For 5 years I also worked several days a month in a hospital-based Wound Clinic & Hyperbaric Medicine Center here in Bangor, Maine. The flexibility of working for myself, when and where I wanted, balanced the anxieties and hassles of finding my own insurance, keeping my own books, and paying «double taxes». (Those of you self-employed know what I mean!)”
“Financial realities will no doubt dictate the timing of my eventual “full” retirement. We lived on our savings during the 7 months I stayed home to take care of Carroll. Wealth has never been on my list of goals, but even the modest retirement funds I have set aside begin to seem paltry in the face of today’s spiraling costs. My daughter and I made the difficult decision this year to place our French house with a realtor specializing in property rentals, looking for a long-term tenant. The infrequent “paying guests,” combined with the plunging value of the dollar and mortgage payment in euros, had us sinking below the waves on that venture. I spent a magical 2 weeks in the house this spring preparing for tenants, and I look forward to the time–perhaps 6 or 7 years from now–when we’ll be able to resume occupancy.”
“Meanwhile, I am busy with my women’s writing group that meets two Friday evenings a month and makes a weekend retreat summer and winter. I have also begun working with a group at church that plans an art show in the fall to raise money for a rural birthing home in southwest Haiti (our partner diocese in the Episcopal church).”
“Visiting is high on my list of preferred leisure activities: in person over coffee, on the phone, or even by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If any classmates plan a visit to the Bangor area, please call me (207-945-6831).”
’67 Class Editor
Taffy Brecht Everts
803 Rebecca Drive
Boulder Creek, CA 95006