Going Home – 2018

Raw Vegetables

I’m going home now that my applications to the U.S. federal retirement program are approved.

My first payment from Social Security is scheduled around Jan. 24, 2018. We both have health coverage through Medicare, a Medicare supplement policy, and a prescription drug plan effective Jan. 1. We’ll need the money and hope we don’t need the health insurance.

It’s not clear what “going home” means today, but for sure, I’ll be leaving employment at the home, farm and auto supply store in the first half of 2018 — likely late winter or spring.

I don’t write in public about family, but plan to nurture those relationships.

Compensated work is on the 2018 agenda, specifically farm work for the sixth season at Community Supported Agriculture projects and at the orchard. I’d work for wages after my retail experience but need to transition out of driving a lift truck and lifting 50-pound bags of feed in long shifts. If I took a new job for wages, the commute would have to be less, the pay more, and personal fulfillment high. I hope to get better as a gardener, transitioning to a more productive vegetable patch and more fruit trees.

Uncompensated work is on the agenda as well. Scores of household projects wait for time and resources. I expect to have the time and some of the resources in 2018. We built new in 1993 and that reduced our home maintenance expenses in the early years. Things now need attention and preparation for the next phase of our lives in Big Grove. I expect to reduce the number of things we possess, converting current warehouse space to better livability.

I’ll continue to be active in our local community, but less outside Big Grove and surrounding townships. The home owners association, sewer district and membership on the political party central committee will serve as primary volunteer activities. I’ll also seek volunteer opportunities in nearby Solon. For a broader perspective I belong to the Arms Control Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Climate Reality Project.

Importantly, writing is on the 2018 agenda. I’ve been planning an expanded autobiography and that will be the first major project. With it I hope to develop a process to research, write and re-write a 20,000-word piece for distribution, if not publication. If my health holds and the wolves of an increasingly coarse society are held in abeyance, there will be additional projects. My first six decades have been in preparation for this. I believe positive outcomes will result.

I’m going to home to the life we built for ourselves. We’re not from here, yet after 24 years we have deep roots in this imperfect soil. I’m ready to settle in and grow.

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One Response to Going Home – 2018

  1. Steve Hanken says:

    I joined the ranks of the 1950’s set a couple of years ago. I’m busier now than I have ever been doing things I never had time for! Now live in Monticello across from the football field if you are ever in the area stop in! 823 S. Main, we always have a glass of wine or a draw of beer and enjoy company! Sharon and I have been grant writing, our latest garnered $12,000 for the historical society for a roof, last year it was another $5,000 for the Wyoming Historical Society for yet another roof project and the year before that was $3,000 for rolling garage doors for another building at the historical society. in between we have written grants for paint, lighting and trees and haven’t been turned down for anything which suggests we do a pretty good job of dotting our “i’s” and crossing our “T’s” . We have a new project in the wind, we have 25-30 German’s coming for a visit to Jones County, something I worked on in my last trip to Germany and succeeded in making it happen! So on August 30 – Sept 2 next year we are going to be busy! The following weekend will be my 50th high school class reunion so another week end filled to capacity! Get ready, the same thing is headed your way I can tell! Don’t let everybody know you are looking for “opportunities” They will beat down your door! Good luck and consider yourself lucky that you made it this far and are still breathing and walking around! (Many aren’t) Steve

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