Fifty years I’ve walked Sherwood Beach road
to the footbridge crossing Soldiers Creek
Never have I seen a bear or cougar—the four legged variety
Only black labs, goldens and similar domesticates
Walking my golden this morning, a jogger passed by
I heard him coming from behind
bells on his hydration backpack jingling
That’s right city slicker, you’re scaring the bears!
Greeted me with a hearty, “Morning!”
I remained distant, caught in disbelief,
mildly amused by his appearance,
as he ran on
approaching the bridge, in the woods,
which crosses the creek on a narrow path
offering no opportunity for escape
Wild animals lurking around ever corner
Closing on the bridge he began
clapping his hands enthusiastically
as though a grizzly bear might turn
and run from the sound of jingle bells and applause
What exactly is an early retirement? After twenty years serving in the military retirement is an option. Most who take it quickly pursue a civilian career. Many believe a retirement before age 62, the birthday at which reduced Social Security benefits are available is early. Retiring on only the age 62 Social Security benefit without a pension or substantial savings would likely be living below the poverty level. Others believe retiring before Medicare eligibility at age 65 is early. Anything prior to age 65 leaves most with an unaffordable bill for private health insurance; granted, there are folks who are disabled or fortunate enough to have their employer continue health insurance for their families but in general most pre-65 retirees are stuck with the bill.
Having moved beyond the intellectual confines of my career in finance, I now have time to ponder the great questions of our time. Like for instance, why do people overuse the word ‘so’ so darn much? Do they not realize in conversation it makes them sound like ignorant hillbillies from Kentucky or West Virginia- or perhaps Idaho? I mean seriously why must you be so sorry or so happy or so sad? Just be sad or sorry or for God’s sake be happy.