I was in Westcliff Plaza yesterday for my weekly visit to Ace Hardware. I’m on a very minor home-improvement kick. On a whim, I decided to stop at Pandor Bakery for a little snack. I sat at a outside table and was immediately drawn to a conversation at the table next to mine. A lovely grey-haired lady was very animated in a discussion with a white-haired gentleman. Subjects were everything from politics to world travel. The fact that they didn’t always see eye to eye made it all the more interesting.

I tried to outstay them as my eavesdropping skills were in full swing. I didn’t want to miss anything. I walked over and confessed my curiosity. Karin (a name that has gotten a bad rap lately) and Bob (my ex-husband’s name but I won’t hold that against him) asked me to join them. I did linger for a few minutes, and mentioned briefly that I was retired. Karin said that she isn’t really retired because, with all her experiences her travels, she never had one career long enough from which to be retired.

I needed to be home by 4pm so I gave her my card. This morning I received an email from her which revealed many common interests. The comment she made about retirement has stuck with me.

Retirement to me means no longer getting paid for what I do. However, I have not had too many quiet days since – even if it is just knitting scarves for a craft fair or fundraiser. So what have I done since 2006?

I have lived in Costa Mesa since 1960 and have gotten to know the community well. I participated in The Citizen Police and Fire Academies, joined the Historical Society and Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries. I served as President of the Costa Mesa Library Foundation which finally brought a new state-of-the-art library to Costa Mesa in 2019. I was a volunteer and assistant to the curator of the Coastline College Art Gallery. Through Coastline, I attended a one-month Study Abroad program in Florence in 2010. I was on the City’s Cultural Arts Committee and created e a membership brochure for them.

I am coasting this year. I currently serve on the City’s Historical Preservation Committee. I belong to PEO which is a women’s organization that provides grants and scholarships for women entering college. I am on the program committee.

I’m sure I lost most of my readers three paragraphs ago,. but the words kept coming and I couldn’t stop myself.

The Other Thing – I think I made a new friend yesterday. Her name is Karin.