By Tom Blake
I retired January 30, after owning and operating Tutor and Spunky’s Deli in Dana Point for 26 years—a job that kept me very busy.
People ask, “Now that you’ve sold the deli, won’t you get bored? What will you do with all of your free time?”
If the first two months of retirement are an indication, boredom is the least of my concerns. I’ve been busier than a cranberry at Thanksgiving.
When a business in California is sold, there are a myriad of things that must be done. Usually, the seller agrees to train the buyer for a period of time. In my case, I spent 120 hours working with the new owners. And then there were tax returns to be filed and boxes of records packed and stored, many for up to seven years.
People often tell you that, in retirement, you’ll wonder where the time goes. I fall into that group. No boredom yet.
My answer to the “What will you do with your time?” question is pretty simple: write, paddleboard and travel.
As far as writing, I plan to continue covering “Life and Love After 50” in both this newspaper and my weekly newsletter. I’ve done that for 21 years and find that love and relationships seem to get even more intriguing and challenging as people age.
Regarding paddleboarding, one of the most important things for retired people is exercise. In anticipation of retirement, last October I decided to give paddleboarding a try. What a gift of beauty we have in south Orange County with our beaches and Dana Point Harbor. Three times a week, at least, I launch from Baby Beach and usually paddle around Harbor Island and back past the yachts and sailboats. Sea lions and birds enrich the experience. And, except for the board and the paddle, the sport is free.
This week I was thinking I had become a pretty good paddler; I hadn’t fallen into the chilly waters in a couple of months, although it seemed others were faster than I. Then, an old-timer paddled by and said, “You’re dragging your leash in the water; it’s slowing you down.”
Yup, he was right. Adding to the drag was a large clump of seaweed. I placed the leash on top of my board and wow, I noticed a difference right away. In retirement, there is a lot to learn.
As far as travel, when I met my life partner Greta 17 years ago, one of the characteristics we had in common was a love of travel. True, when I owned the deli, we were able to get away on several trips. But, when you own a business back home, you aren’t totally free when you travel because you think about whether the business has enough money, or whether a refrigerator breaks down, or any number of possible problems.
Now, I won’t have to worry about deli issues. Our plan is to travel as much as we can as long as we are able to. Our first trip begins next week. We are off to Austria and Central Europe for seven weeks, which includes a two-week river cruise. If I hear of any romance-after-50 stories on our travels, I will share them with you.
At the least, I will be posting details of the trip on my Travel After 50 blog. So, I will be mixing two of my retirement activities—writing and travel—while we’re gone.
As for SUP, I doubt if that will be possible on the Danube or Rhine rivers. I guess we will be doing a lot of walking instead.
Here is a link to the website: www.travelafter55.com. On the home page, click on the travel blog tab. I hope you will follow us and email your comments.
There will be a singles over 50 meet and greet at Tutor and Spunky’s Deli, Dana Point, on Thursday, April 30, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Carl the DJ will be spinning the tunes. No admission charge.
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