In all the excitement about my trip, it is easy to forget that Tim is retiring too. His last day of work will be March 18th. I was trying to arrange the trip after his retirement day, but he was hesitant about leaving. We are both about to turn 65, and this is retirement. We have planning to do.
I tried to debate it. We've got a romantic Valentine's Day scheduled with our insurance agent. Everything would be set up before we left, but he had this niggling fear that if we headed out in this time period, we would miss some important deadline, messing up our golden years forever.
He's a planner, that one. I finally gave up and planned my trip. I saw him delaying into summer and we have some engraved-in-granite plans then.
However, let not the fact be lost: Tim is retiring.
He called this morning, walking back from a meeting in the personnel office. The company is closing its doors. So many employees headed out, all at once for new jobs, that the company set some very attractive terms for those who were willing to stay on until the end. So attractive that Tim agreed to stay on.
Now Tim is not an excitable character. He's calm and even, and every response you get from him is going to be considered and careful, but this morning he had numbers, for the first time. In his quiet way, he laid it all out.
I said, a few times, "That's really great!"
His response was typical Tim. "Yes, it is."
He was back at his plant, and so we said our goodbyes. I hung up feeling very happy for him.
In pretty short order, the phone rang again. I saw that it was Tim. When I answered, he said, "I forgot to tell you..." and he threw out another nice number. I mean, really, these terms are unheard of for any company that I know of, but he has been working for a German company for 16 years now.
"That's really great, Tim," I said, and he said, "Yes, it is!" I was not imagining the exclamation mark there. Tim was getting enthusiastic.
It made me smile to hear him. Retirement is a great gig. I've been enjoying it myself. Once again, we hung up.
Probably 10 minutes later, the phone was ringing again, and again, it was Tim. I answered the phone. "We're celebrating tonight!!!" Definite exclamation marks. More than one, as a matter of fact.
All these numbers, but for the first time, I see Tim getting very excited about one number in particular: He's got 37 days of work to go.
Late edit: There was a fourth call. It's a slow day. He's leaving early. Assume exclamation marks and lots of 'em.