ne of the best things about retirement is having time on my side again. Sure, I’m busy. I’ve got a lot going on. But now I can schedule things a bit more… humanly.
Recently I had a pair of breakfast dates in the book. One was with a friend Steve, where we’d meet at Perkins and then go over to get a helpless railroader’s trains running again. The other was with my friend Chris, where we’d meet at Maple Street Cafe and then go to his house for a short little ops session on his CSX-Taft layout.
Both of them had a meet-up time, of course. And for both of them, I showed up an hour early.
Yes, an hour early.
The reason for this was that in both cases I was reading good books. Rather than sit at home and read before it was time to go (and possibly be late because of traffic) I got there with plenty of time so I could order coffee, settle in and enjoy an hour of pure morning with some joe and a good book. How decedent. How European.
My wife and I used to love a little diner named “Juniors”. We’d go on working Saturdays and end up standing in line. And nothing brings the angry stairs from the people in line like sitting over breakfast with books. But once retirement happened, we’d wander over on a Tuesday or Thursday, walk right in, plunk down in our favorite booth and while away the morning.
That’s the life everyone says they want. They don’t seem to strive for it, given the debt they put themselves in, the long hours they work, the kids they have to taxi about and the fact that they couldn’t read a book if you gave them a library to choose from. They are too tired, too rushed, and too over-scheduled for coffee steaming around a good novel.
I’m not. And that’s why I do it. Often.