Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: Day three of retirement

Layout 1 (Page 1)Both my loyal readers know that May 17 was a big day for me. So here I am on day three of retirement; actually it’s day five, but how many of you out there are counting?

Evidently God decided that I needed to spend the first four days of my retirement at home… locals will recall that it rained from Friday to Tuesday. I spent those days at home doing nothing, and it was amazing how that endeavor lasted from the time I got up until shortly after I climbed into bed… busy, busy, busy, you know.

Anyway, I finally made it to Lake Tschida and was allowed to ask myself, “So Dan, what do ya think about retirement so far?” My honest answer was “I think I can get used to this.” And then I fired up the lawn mower for two hours, took all the toys out of winter storage, and decided to test out an outboard motor that was recently gifted to me.

The motor is a 1986 15-horsepower Johnson, just right for this little fishing boat that has sat up behind our garage for years. I put the boat and motor in the water and tugged and tugged on ripcord and in doing so somehow managed to rip a muscle in my shoulder.

Since I was now in the middle of the bay I ignored the pain and kept tugging. The motor finally fired and completed the test run, and went onto other tasks. While taking on some fairy work I tried to lift my arm above my head and the pain bit me hard. I decided not to try that again and made it through the day, and wouldn’t you know the pain took off again just as I laid my head on my pillow.

I couldn’t move without my shoulder biting me somehow, so I decided to be as still as I could and that worked really well until I moved and the pain bit me so hard it woke me up… and that’s how I spent my first night at the lake… moaning.

Finally morning came and I got up and couldn’t raise my arm to blow my nose and brushing my teeth was not easy either… and all I could think was maybe this retirement thing isn’t as easy as I thought. So day four came and outside of having breakfast in Elgin I managed to do nothing of note for the rest of the day.

Day five, the wind blew up the bay all night and it was a cold one, going outside wasn’t very appealing so I went back to bed, read a book, and got up and wondered if I should be doing something.  So I wandered around and cleaned the cabin a bit, looked out the window a lot, and in short order day five passed and left me wondering if I should have accomplished something.

But since this is the first time I’ve retired I’m not sure whether or not doing nothing is good or bad… guess I’ll just have to keep doing that and let you know what happens…

On day seven the entire tribe arrived and for the next three days the pace around here was rather frenzied as the grandkids took over. The golf cart was always packed with kids or parents on the move. Every toy from a jet ski to a volleyball net was drug out. The kids found stuff that we hadn’t seen in decades and, of course, when they were done playing the yard resembled the remnants of a tornado leaving one to wonder if the place had been ransacked by wild pygmies. As day 10 arrived they all packed up and left, leaving me with clean up duties. The quiet was a bit disconcerting, but the smiles that passed through here sure were worth all the fairy work they left behind.

So here I am back to doing nothing and it doesn’t look like I’ll be done for quite a while yet…

Hope you find some time to do the same…