Peas or Carrots.

Thirty years ago I worked with a lady who was in her early 60s, and after a long and full career she was nearing retirement.  As Clara tended to her duties around the office, now and again she would mutter to herself.  She always muttered the same thing, “Peas or carrots, peas or carrots.”  At first I paid no attention to this quirk but eventually I got curious and one day I asked her, “Clara, what on earth are you talking about?  What is this about peas or carrots?”  Clara answered, “You know I am getting close to retirement.  When I do retire, the only thing I want to do is go to work for Luby’s Cafeteria, and I am going to be the lady in the serving line who smiles and says, “Would you like peas or carrots?”

Back then, I was in my mid-20s and just starting my career.  To me, retirement was a far distant and hazy idea which sounded dull and drab– it was for old geezers who talked about boring things like pensions, Social Security and weeding gardens.  Well, guess what… here I am, thirty years later, and retirement is suddenly a real and terribly exciting prospect.  After a rich and varied career and more than my fair share of adventuring, I have a quickening interest in retirement and I am looking foward to appreciating things close at hand:  backyard trees, plants, swapping stories with my cohorts and generally taking it easy.   

Oh, I am not retiring yet…   I have a few more years left.  And much depends on the economy and all that.  But Clara’s muttering comes back to me:  peas or carrots?  Either one sounds good…

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