Thu. May 26th, 2022


by Ana Grarian

One of the pleasures I had looked forward to in retirement, was the ability to work until I was tired and dirty and not have to worry about saving enough of myself to make it through my job afterwards. The pleasure of digging, planting, building, sitting down to rest when I needed to, and falling into bed with no alarm set.
Unfortunately life had other plans. For certain parts of the day I must be neat and squeaky clean, rested enough to stand for seven hours straight, and to present a perky and informed countenance to our customers. On the days I work nights, that means enough time to scrub the dirt out from under my fingernails, and a nap.
The days I work the morning shift, I walk home, drop into a chair, thankful to put my feet up. An hour or so later I steel myself to drag my creaky back into the kitchen to do dishes and fix dinner.
I really miss the younger me who could work all day in the barn and elicit enough adrenalin to go to work and sling boxes all night. Now even the mini-tiller leaves the back sore, and my calves scream from spading up an enlarged flower bed. Of course the achey back is a remnant of those hard working years.


Fortunately, the days are getting longer and there are enough daylight hours to enjoy digging in the dirt after dinner. Maybe just wandering the garden and pulling some weeds, or meandering the neighborhood with the dog to snatch a few wildflowers, or cuttings to add to the mix. Living amongst gardening neighbors has it’s perks.

Though I complain about it every morning, the cats’s desire to be up with the birds, is a good thing too. The morning feeding and dog walk is done with enough time to enjoy coffee on the porch before the traffic starts, and still leaves enough time to write before heading off to work. Speaking of which…’s time to get dressed and head downtown.

By AFarmer

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Ken Carman
10 years ago

Ana, what a great picture of you!

I’m kidding, of course.

No need to talk about the back. I gained 100 pounds over 6 years (approx.) because of my back, which makes it worse. When the condition you have makes the docs tell you to stop anything that hurts or you’ll wind up on the table in a possible terminal operation… and everything that keeps the weight down hurts… what the hell do you do?

10 years ago

The package delivery industry leaves so many people suffering through old age with incredible back pain. I know several who limped through the last few years, afraid to have an operation which might leave them worse off, and unable to work until retirement. Now they have changed minimum retirement age from 55 to 65.
One of the things people don’t realize about the good wages and health benefits at many union jobs, is that those benefits are paid for with a pound of flesh. They are not like jobs as politicians or professors where you can keep going into your 90’s. And that’s not taking into account the exposure to accidents and other hazards.

Ken Carman
Reply to  Joyce
10 years ago

You know, I never thought about it, but I spent a number of years shifting freight around in the form of phonograph records and related record stuff, Sure that didn’t help. But the main thing is this odd genetic stenosis problem I have. Odd in 2 ways: it affects all the nerves by clamping down on them at a juncture point, and if it’s genetic… why does no one else in the family seem to have it? This year I found out I also have what looks like a spear coming up from my pelvic region that’s stabbing my spine. Get that hunting caveman out of my back, please..

The genetic thing makes me muse sometimes if I was part of that big baby selling scandal going on in Nyack during the 50s and 60s. Very much doubt it, but the genetic thing has me stumped. I’m told it’s specifically genetic and had to be passed on. Maybe part of grandpa’s bent over thing, part not even he knew he had? That was before all the fancy imaging we have now. And of course I know nada about Mom’s side so… maybe.

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