“Funnest” Weekend For This Retiree

You talk about a Lemonade Retirement! The extended weekend we just completed will go down as the “funnest” I will have in 2017 for sure. This is the kind of weekend you can only have if you are retired and not working.

On Friday for lunch, Suzanna and I met with our Baltimore-St.Lucia friends. Since ’94 we have been traveling each year to St. Lucia with two of our very best friends, the Stoners. Eleven years ago while in St. Lucia we met two other couples who are also from Baltimore. All four of the guys graduated from the University of Maryland around the same time (a long time ago). We had never gotten together as four couples in Baltimore in all that time, so we decided to finally meet for lunch and see what we all look like “with clothes on.” This was an overdue idea and a lot of fun.

For the rest of Friday, and about half of Saturday I was able to prepare for my rotisserie draft, which took place on Sunday. If you don’t know what that is, I won’t bore you. But I believe it is great fun and I’ve been doing it for over thirty years. It revolves around and coincides with the Major League baseball season, so it lasts for six months. Being able to study and prepare for 25-30 hours will hopefully increase my level of play and enjoyment for the next six months! How fortunate to have the time.

Obviously I enjoy sports, and this weekend we had the Final Four beginning with the two Semi-Final games on Saturday evening. After squeezing in church at five pm and a bit to eat, Suzanna and I settled in for two great games. All four teams truly did themselves proud, exhibited their amazing talent, and played great basketball.

Then on Sunday twelve teams assembled at a nearby country club in the Baltimore area for our annual Crabcakes Rotisserie League Baseball Draft. It’s an all day affair and most of us consider it the best, most fun day of the entire year. Two guys traveled in from Florida, one from New York city, one from Roanoke, Va and one from Columbus, OH. Three of the guys are local on-air sports talk show hosts. So it’s a big deal to all of us involved. Yes, it does involve an investment of close to $1,500 per team, and there is a financial distribution, of course, at the end.

Then came Monday. While I could never top Sunday, Suzanna and I nonetheless did something pretty special. We got an early morning start and drove to Lancaster, PA for six hours of baby sitting with our 5- 1/2 year old grandson Luke. It was great fun. Luke and I invented a ball game we play in the living room. We are both very competitive! He beat me two out of three in the morning. Then for good measure, we played one short game just before we left to come home. Another close loss for me resulted.

As we got ready to go out to lunch I noticed one of Luke’s school papers tacked to a cork board. It read:

  • I LOVE MOMMIE AND DADDY.
  • I LOVE BASKETBALL.
  • I LOVE SOCCER.

We got in the car; and I told him I saw his paper. I said, “you love Marms (Suzanna) too, don’t you?” His reply: “Yes, and I love you, too.” Wow. What a way to spend a morning and an afternoon!

Oriole Mark Trumbo Hits homer in 11th inning to beat Toronto on Opening Day, 2017.

That would certainly have been enough for the weekend, but there was much more happening later on Monday.  At 3 pm, the Orioles opened the 2017 baseball season against a rival team, the Toronto Blue Jays. In a very exciting, well played game, the O’s won 3-2 in eleven innings on a walk off home run. In addition, in the top of eleventh inning Manny Machado made an incredible play to get an important out! I caught half the game on the radio on the drive home, and then watched the second half on television.

Finally at 9:20 pm the Final Game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament tipped off. I thought the game was disappointing, and I’m not sure the referees had their best night. North Carolina beat Gonzaga, otherwise it would have been a perfect weekend, albeit a very, very long one.

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Since I continue to struggle with whether or not to work, and if so, what and how much, this weekend was instructive for me . It was memorable, meaningful, and just plain fun. How different it would have been if I were working.