Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Just Small Talk

I’ve said it before , I’ll say it again: It is great being retired and living in a senior community. Here there is plenty of time to do or accomplish whatever you want to do. All is done at your leisure which make retiring that much better. Traveling, reading, television watching, eating out, casino hopping, etc. is all part of enjoying the senior years. Many do not or have not the monetary or physical where with all to do it. Then there is Imperial Plaza.

Imperial Plaza took it’s usual Wednesday trip to Jamestown, Va. The first permanent colony in America. It was sad to see a great trip, that was cheap, not being taken advantage of by the great majority of people living here. Brookdale Imperial Plaza does not make a profit from these excursions yet seldom is there a full bus. Then, as you walk around the area, there are people saying there isn’t anything to do.

At Jamestown we viewed replicas of the Indian village, the English settlement and the museum. There was a bow and arrow demonstration, musket loading/firing demonstration and the showing of the interiors of the church and Indian huts replica. What was also for good exploration were the two ships. The size of the ships were small, by today’s standards, for having carried so many people to the new world. However, thinking of the size of the people in that era, mean there was plenty of room.

After getting back, I had just enough time to get myself clean, change clothes and get to a Mighty Pen Project class at the Virginia War Memorial (it was a humid day). I enjoyed my time with them, can hardly wait for our next time together. I always learn something new because I consider my writing as atrocious. I’ll keep trying to improve hoping I’ll get there one day. I have the two blogs to keep me in practice plus two stories I am still working on but constantly tearing apart for redoing. Each time I get fresh information at the Mighty Pen Project, I have to rewrite but I consider it worth the effort.

As I have written before, I am a member of the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Incorporated who had a ceremony in Petersburg, Virginia. I could not be with them because I was out of town; they had a ceremony at a high school, I was out of town again. I hope to be in town for the next ceremony although I have been lucky enough to be available for the meetings.

It was a fine day for an outing. My wife and I went to the Wine & Hops Festival in Petersburg, Virginia on Saturday. It was okay, however, the lines for the wine and beer were long, there were a lot of vendors in a confined space, the place was very crowded in a small area. Lots of young people attended, being it was a confined area (Old Towne), standing around, made moving from vendor to vendor very complicated. But it was nice to get out, seeing things outside our usual areas of travel.

While in the area, we toured my old stomping grounds (I am originally from Petersburg), Hopewell and Colonial Heights, Virginia. We went to the new Puerto Rican Bakery/Cafe. It opened three months ago and we learned about it on television’s evening news. They are taking items of donation to the storm ravaged Puerto Rico. It’s the only Puerto Rican cafe I know in the area. There was one in Chesterfield but it closed a year ago.

I advise people, especially seniors, to get out and explore, revisit places of yore or new ones. Make time to go, enjoy before there is not enough time left to do it. I know my wife and I will go as much as we can because time is quickly catching up. Have fun and party as if there is not a tomorrow.

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I Am Retired

To be retired is greater than expected. To be able to do whatever, whenever and never have to worry about rising in the morning and going to a job. It is so nice to just lay in bed and think/relax. That is when I do my best thinking. I think about what time of morning (afternoon?) it is, what to fix for breakfast, what to wear today and dose off again, for however long it may be. Time belongs to me and not the job. Time is all there is now and I have worked a long time for this. I have been approached and chastised for not writing an article for the last two weeks. All I can say is I am retired. The article is not a job, it is pleasure, however, I ask “am required to submit an article each and every week?” I am retired and, this year, there is a lot of traveling that have been done and more to come.

While away, I do not carry my laptop, I-Pad and barely want to use my phone. There is a cruise coming up real soon and there will be very little communication for ten days plus, a wedding halfway across the country and much more. I am retired and deserve to go everywhere I can and enjoy myself without obligations to anyone (except my wife, of course) or anything. My wife and I just came from a week in Puerto Rico and I sent out, maybe, four pictures over Facebook. I really didn’t want to do that but to just stay in touch with anyone that was worried about why there wasn’t any communication. Again, we are retired. That is what retirement is all about, is it not?

Then there are people that wonder why I have a part-time job. First, the job is not hard work. Second, it is only four days a month. Third, it provides me with a tad bit of cash for my casino trips. Fourth, over the years, I have watched many people do one or two things and die. They continued to work and never had any real pleasure before or during retirement. They never retired or could not afford to retire. And those that did retire but just sat around and did nothing, passed away early and/or needed assistance to survive, never having enjoyed their retirement.

I said all of that to say this, or at least hopefully having this fact understood. The blog was to be about retirement, it is not a job to be done. The blog is to be done between my exploits, not a thing that causes everything to be stopped in order to write and print this. The blog is a pleasure writing, not a chore that is kept to a hardwired structure. And, lastly, it clears my mind for the true writing that I am into, novels and printed articles.

Hopefully I did not ruffle anyone’s feathers by writing this but truth is truth. I am on my own schedule, no one else. My wife and I do many things together and then we have our own things that are done separately. That is retirement. To do things that you want to do, at your leisure and not a calendar or clock in sight is retirement at it’s best. Most days I have to look at the paper or something else to realize what day it is and then check my pocket calendar (I have a phone appointment calendar also) to find out what I have to do today and what is coming up tomorrow. To me, today is tomorrow because tomorrow is not promised and, therefore, do whatever today because you may not be here tomorrow.

So, I’ll try to get out a blog on retirement every other week and one on religion in between that but it is not a promise or guarantee from me. If I recall correctly, when I first started this, I said I would try (I repeat “try”) to do this every week. Try is the optimum word. If there are other things you would like for me to write about, contact me and let me know. There is a comment box, use it. Until the next time…”Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them.”IMG_0234

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It’s That Time Of Year Again

Aah, spring is right around the corner and the heat is on. Not too hot and not too cool but just right. I love this time of year. What is even better is the fact the fish are getting ready for me. They are just waiting for me to come for them and to bring them home. Aah, my time of year. Plus, I love retirement and all that it brings. The problem is I don’t have enough time. There are not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I want to do. Fish, bike, walk, travel, gamble, read, write and other things I just can’t say at the moment. Hell, looking at the list, that’s a lot. No wonder I don’t have time for anything. I didn’t even include sleep or The Might Pen Project (themightypenproject.org) (or go to the Virginia War Memorial web site). The MPP is keeping me very busy in itself but it is a good organization and more vets should try it. Not because it is free but simply try it and let the inter self flow.

Besides my fishing, I have quite a few trips planned. There is so much to do and not enough time to do it and work my part-time job also. First on the list is to Charlestown, W.V for two days at the casino. Next on the agenda is Puerto Rico for a few days. June is the ten day cruise, sponsored by Brookdale Imperial Plaza. July is my grandson’s wedding in Colorado. I’m not sure about August but September is the jazz fest in Hampton Coliseum (not The Hampton Jazz Festival). This should be three days of great music and fun and it’s only an hour away. I’ve already booked my tickets and hotel space (can’t be driving home drunk on I-64 ). This is as far as I’ve gotten, so far, and the year is covered except for August. At least, I don’t remember what will happen in August. I’m sure there’s something. Oh yeah…there is a family reunion in Penn. coming up. Forgot about that. Oh, well!!!

What I really want to do is go back to Europe next year. My wife have never been (like I’ve never been to Puerto Rico, where she is from) to Europe. I want to show her Germany, Holland, Austria and then England before returning home. I may stop by France but that would be a side trip while we are there. Most of the time will be in Germany and Austria. That is only a plan at the moment.

Retirement is great and I’ve worked all my life to enjoy my waning days. Just as well spend what I have because I can’t take it with me when it’s my time to move on out of here. When it’s that time, I can’t say wait, give me more time because I want to do this or that. And, years have been spent working to do this.

So, all of you out there, have the fun I am planning to have. Don’t let grass grow under your feet. Move!! Have fun!! Go places, do things!! Life is short and will not wait on you. And, if my blog is late getting out or it’s not out at all, you now have an idea why. Don’t hold it against me and, on second thought, join me. We can have fun together and just live it up.

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have neglected putting out my blogs for good reasons. It is not because I am lazy (some may argue that is the case but I’ll never waver) but have been busy with my MPP (Mighty Pen Project) classes and with the board of the MPP. I am also getting together (finally) the website for the MPP that will give much more information than I could give to you here. As you know, it is geared to all active duty military, ex-military and the families and/or friends of each service. To go further, in case you have not read my other blogs, it is for writing. These papers can be for memoirs, books or just plain getting things off your mind. The course is a once a week, ten week class taught by an instructor from a college, university, etc. In other words, this is a free college level course Who can argue with FREE?

How can this be free? That is where the Virginia War Memorial come in. With their help and guidance, we have come a long way. Now we have our own board and is attempting to function (some day) on our own. I have the task of setting up the website and keeping it running. A daunting task, to say the least. I hope to premiate myself by accomplishing this in a very expeditious manner. Wish me luck and the fortitude to carry on.

As far as Brookdale’s Imperial Plaza is concerned, it is slowly but surely moving right along… making people angrier and angrier along the way. The director (I should say “ex”) is no more. She was fired (she say she left on her own) but the rumor mill is really humming. I strongly believe the rumor mill (I have my sources). I will not say what those rumors are because, if wrong, I could be charged with slander. There is enough going on that I don’t want to be in the middle and end up on the wrong end of the spectrum. I have not seen nor met the lady that’s holding down the fort until a new director is named but I hear she is nice. I don’t remember her name but I do know she is from another facility that is in the Brookdale family. And, I want to add, people are not happy with the changes at the Magnolia Room or any of the dinning rooms, to be exact. Like I said before. People are always against change, whether good or bad. It doesn’t matter.

I am also a member of the grounds committee and, just think, I am suppose to be retired. I am doing more now than when I wasn’t retired. I guess being busy does not give you time to think about your age. I think about it every now and then and cringe. Personally, I think the two guys that do all the grounds work does not need anymore supervision or oversight than they already have. They do a fantastic job. I’m one that believe in the saying “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.” I am told that I am expected to attend the different building gatherings in order to get their input about what they want done on the grounds. NOT!!! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it plus I don’t have the desire or time to commit to such an endeavor.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep the blog going. I have so much coming up. A trip to Puerto Rico, a cruise, a trip to Colorado and, of course, the casinos. Add to that the MPP and I should finish my classes by the end of March. I forgot the Neighborhood Watch program, I am committed to that also. In order to be a good neighbor, commit your services to the neighborhood. If we all did a little, crime would be at an all time low.

Until next time…be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. BYE!!!

Not Much To Be Said

Where should I start? I don’t know because not much have happened this week. My wife spent a week, with one of her daughters and two grand-daughters, in Puerto Rico. I stayed home although we talked each day. I enjoyed a nice easy, relaxing week although I missed her dearly. She bugs the hell out of me all the time but when she’s gone I really miss her.

Last Sunday, Easter, was a long and full day. It really started on Saturday when my Pastor, the other Minister at the church and I went to the Bishop’s church for a service that lasted longer than I anticipated. Although it was long, I really didn’t know that time was flying by and the food was excellent. I don’t know what it is about church food but it is always good. Maybe it’s because it’s in the house of God or the cooks are saints. I don’t know except that it’s good food that fills a deep hole in my stomach. Then on Sunday, after my church, we all went to another church. Good food again as well as the service. I finally got home during the late afternoon.

What do you think of the police shooting in South Carolina? What about the police assaulting a suspect in California Friday? This has been going on for more years than I can count. I’m a Black man that grew up knowing to be careful around the police. It was instilled in me when I was very young and I have, over the years, heard many, many tales about what happens if you are stopped by the police for any reason. I became a policeman and I have heard the derogatory comments made by my so-called brothers in uniform. I’ve seen the unnecessary rough treatment meted out by my so-called brothers in blue. I was written up once because I used caution and kindness instead of man-handling a suspect. It was said I was a danger to whomever was my partner. The way I saw it the suspect was compliant and was not creating any problems.

I agree that some people deserve rough treatment but not the overall majority. On the other hand, kids and older people today are rather arrogant and show no respect to the police officer or anyone else that have authority. I’m talking about when they are sober and it gets worst when they are intoxicated in any way. Look at that woman that left her car in the middle of the busy highway and started walking down the middle of the busy road. Sure she was drunk but, after she sobers, I bet she will get a lawyer and try to sue for some outlandish reason. There are lawyers that would sue their own mother if they could make a dollar or two. Don’t get me wrong, there are many more good lawyers than bad ones but the bad always float to the top and be seen by everyone, just like the bad cops. Keep watching the news. It’s not over yet and won’t be for a very long while.