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Living the retired life

By Clif Knight

I can say with a straight face that I never looked back after choosing the better part of my life working for a newspaper. I wrote about, took photos of and collected information on a majority of the newsworthy events that occurred locally for more than a half century. It was exciting work and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The role I play as a contributing writer still leaves some readers with the question if I still work for the newspaper? My answer beyond my column is only if I’m needed.

The rest of the time, I’ve been retired since 2016. I’ve been free to do some of the things I’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time.

One of the pleasures is not having to be at a given place at a specific time (Doctor’s appointments excepted, of course!) There’s no rush to get to work. Geanell and I can sleep in until 10 a.m. if that’s how we want to spend part of our day. We can go sightseeing, shopping or watch TV any time of the day.

Planning a vacation on our time and staying gone for more than a few days is a luxury we enjoy. Geanell and I have had an opportunity to spend several spring and fall days in the company of her first cousins at Fort Morgan Beach since retirement. This not only brings close kin together for fun and fellowship but also provides opportunities for shopping, recreation and sightseeing.

The mountains also appeal to us as an ideal place to visit. At least twice a year, we spend time in Gatlinburg, Tenn. vacationing with our daughter Pam and Jeff Gray and family.

The Blue Ridge Mountains offer wonderful scenery, shopping, and entertainment shows.

The replica of The Titanic is one of the attractions we’ve seen and enjoyed. It gives guided tours, and each tourist is assigned the name of a passenger or crewmember that went down or was rescued when it sank.

Retirement also creates a great opportunity for readers to explore faraway places and historic events through books. I read books bought mostly at discount bookstores or thrift shops. I’m now reading a book entitled “Putin’s Playbook” by Rebekah Koffler, who lived in Russia before emigrating to the U.S.