City Refugees from Coronavirus

City Refugees
It is upon me now—the Virus.
I didn’t see it coming, didn’t
plan as well as I might have.
Others say they saw the signs,
but they really didn’t.

Might I leave the city?

Reporters and politicians, doctors
and scientists lecture me, from
pulpits deep inside my laptop,
we are all in this together’.

Are we?

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The Jogger

creek

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

Silly Jogger-man

Defining Early Retirement

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.

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The Word of the Day is So

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.

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Cooperative Ditch Digging

A few years back I was on a consulting engagement visiting a co-op in a very rural area of the Missouri Ozarks.  The town only had one motel and I’m being generous calling it a motel.  It was a fishing camp on a river and its marque board advertised water-beds in every room.  I didn’t check into it, but I believe they might have offered an hourly rate.

As it turned out, the motel was one of the few things the town had going for it.  The town was so small not only did it lack a stop-light, it had no restaurant either.  So what’s a traveling consultant from the city supposed to do?  Fortunately my planned stay was just one night.  After a day of consulting the client offered to take me to dinner.  I said, “Where are we going, there’s really nothing here?” Continue reading

The Elderly, Money and Doing the Right Thing

There exists a distrust of the financial system among certain ethnic and cultural groups in this country.  If your parents or grandparents immigrated from Eastern Europe or Asia this is something you may want to pay attention to.  Some people hide money rather than entrust it to a bank.  In the fast paced financial world of today, this behavior is largely confined to the elderly.  I recognize there are substantial amounts of cash locked out of the legitimate banking system due to the illegal nature of the activity producing it.  But this story is about the elderly and their hard earned savings Continue reading