Elizabeth said, "I haven't seen a posting yet about your retirement." Since I've been referring to it for so long, I wasn't going to go into it. But, since she mentioned it, here it is.
We start working, usually not knowing if we'll be there 6 months or as in my case, 25 years. Over the course of those years, life happens. The longer you're there, those you work with become a second family. You experience major life events together...marriage, children, divorce, death, graduations, grandchildren...everything life has to offer. Anyway, here's just a few highlights of the last 25 years.
I started with the City in 1985 as a Police Records Clerk. Don't see many gray hairs to speak of, probably wearing contacts in those days.
Here are pictures of the kids about that time. I took a job with an evening shift to be able to spend more time with them, and it worked out well. (I'm not sure if Elizabeth's sticking out her tongue, or sucking on a lollypop...either way, she won't like this one being on here!)
These are in that time frame of Summer, 1985. Look how young they were!
Work was good, and I enjoyed the people I was with. Every year at Halloween, we had a witch's brew luncheon, and several dressed up. I'm Count Dracula, second from the left. Not sure of the year on this one, but I had transferred to City Hall in the Human Resources department by then. Probably around 1990-92.
By the time I transferred back to the PD in 1998, the kids had pretty well grown up. That's how it is, you go to work, blink your eyes a couple of times, and your kids grow up. They graduate from high school, and in Robert's case, go in the military...all while you're working.
In 1999, Reggie died, and I was so glad I had my work family. They were there whenever I needed a shoulder to lean on, and there were more than a few times I did. I didn't have my camera out to record for posterity the time I had 5 or 6 of the guys in my bathroom working on a remodeling job for me, but I wish I had. Reggie had already started tearing apart the bathroom, and I did as much as I could towards finishing it, but when I burst out in tears one day at work in frustration over not being able to find someone to hire to do what I couldn't, my guys stepped in. A few hours on a Saturday morning, and life was smooth again.
Our division worked community events, and although I only was required to participate in a couple of them each year, they were fun. I've always said it takes a special person to work as a "civil servant", and each in our division were indeed special. Here I am with my two Ken's, Debra's got the big smile on her face, Gwen's in the dunk tank, and Keith's encouraging the crowd to try and dunk her.
I've quilted off and on over the years, and made several baby quilts for various co-workers. I also made this wall hanging using patches of the various divisions and activities. It was raffled off at one of our award banquets, and now hangs in the Records division. So I guess a part of me is still there!
I was fortunate also to be part of "the girls". You know how it is...lunch with the girls, bridal showers, co-workers who know as much or more about you than even your closest family members. I couldn't have asked for a better group.
Probably needless to say for those who know me, but as much as I wanted to retire, it was hard to leave these people. I think I was shedding tears every time I turned around the whole month prior to my leaving.
To all of these fine people I say, "thanks for the memories".
Edited to add: After this was posted, the kids took me to dinner to celebrate my retirement. Little did I know, I walked into a roomful of friends and family for a surprise celebration. I couldn't have asked for a better end to my career.