Founder’s Forum: Holidays, Cats & Retirement

JB Lester

By J.B. Lester

There is snow on the pumpkin this morning. Thanksgiving is next week and the feral cat family on our front porch prepares for the winter ahead. Their coats are getting thicker, and the five kittens are now nearly the size of the momma cat. My retirement is becoming a reality as I am working out of my home and miss going to the office every day. I still feel like I am on vacation. But there will be no end to my time off. It is the new norm, and I will just have to get used to it. I have still been working for The Healthy Planet magazine as an advisor, online editor, writer and salesperson. But some of those responsibilities will come to an end at year’s end. There is a new captain of the Healthy Planet ship, and I will soon be put ashore to explore the retirement island. I hope to still share some of my 40+ years of publishing advice, if asked it will be given. 

As I have perhaps said before, retirees need purpose. I am still looking at what that means for me. Sherlock Holmes tried to retire to a small home in Sussex to keep bees, but he was called out by the King to solve a serious mystery for the Crown. I don’t plan on keeping bees, but I could learn to bake bread and make cheese. I plan on keeping up on my writing and will close out the Jackson James Mystery series. I then will take my aging imagination back into the realm of children’s literature. There is an adventure or two in me that needs to come out and be shared in prose. I also will try my hand at some painting. No not the house, on canvas with pastels or oils. There is a masterpiece inside my soul and the challenge will be getting it out through paintbrush or palette knife. I also will continue to take care of my grandson a couple of days a week. 

Grampy daycare is open for business. Cooper and I like to watch the old westerns like Gunsmoke, Bonanza and Rifleman when we aren’t reading a book or throwing a bouncy ball around the living room. In fact, I am writing this column while he is taking him morning nap. Soon it will be back to toy cars and fire engines and spinning plastic hoops on the coffee table. At 16 months, he is walking now and that keeps me on my toes. This part of my retirement is very rewarding, but I also need something more. Just what that is, I am not sure yet. Now that the cold weather is here, I won’t be playing golf. So, I need to turn to indoor endeavors. Time to dust off the paint brushes, the bread and cheese recipes and a plan to declutter the basement where my home office is currently being shared with a gecko named Yoshi. 

I need to make my plan for the new year. I hope it will be filled with adventure and purpose. Right now I am preparing for the holidays. I have 4 grandchildren who will need special attention from their grampy. I do love this time of year. It’s a glorious time for children, lovers and grandparents. A time of sparkle, warmth and love to be shared with everyone. Happy holidays from the old guy at Innisfail Cottage in Webster Groves.