That’s wife

My wife has retired. Lots of changes there, as you’d expect, including how I work, both in and out of the shop.

As part of our move to Pennsylvania, Sally decided that since she was leaving her teaching job in West Virginia anyway the time was right to retire. She’d normally be off in the summer, so we’ve been able to ease into it. However, I’ve already noticed a few things.

• I have no idea what day it is. – Used to be that if I was alone, my brain said it was a weekday; if Sally was home, it was a weekend. Doesn’t change how I work, but my internal calendar is jumbled up whenever she’s home on weekdays. Is this trash day? I have no idea.

• She won’t leave me alone. – I’ve been on the computer for about two hours this morning. She’s been in here seven eight times. Don’t get me wrong, I love to help or answer any question she has, but I’m trying to work.

• My chore list has quadrupled. – There are many things on my “honey-do” list, and not only have they multiplied, but it’s harder to put them off till I’m not working. These chores have changed from “I’ll do that later,” to “This must be done now.” Similarly…

• Nothing can wait. – Do we want to go out to dinner tomorrow? What should we get grandson Jed for his birthday? (In December!) These lamps don’t look right; should we buy new ones? Hey, these are all important questions, but they don’t need to be addressed now.

• “Is your table saw always that loud?” – That, and many similar questions, are already being asked.

Yes, everything’s going to be different from now on, but you know what? I never liked being alone all day while I worked, not least because I do dangerous stuff when the stuff I do isn’t on the computer, so having somebody around while I’m using machines is a comfort. So is having someone surprise me with a sandwich when I’ve forgotten to eat (something I do a lot when working). Likewise, yesterday during a particularly long work session Sally appeared with a full water bottle fresh from the refrigerator – she knows I drink water all day and noticed I hadn’t gotten a refill in a few hours, so she brought me one.

These kinds of things make everything else worthwhile. I think my workdays are going to be a lot more enjoyable with this new arrangement.

Even if I don’t know what day it actually is.



  • Mike M says:

    I agree with the comment of re: the safety factor of having someone around when working alone with all those machines. But having experienced a retiring wife myself….oh boy are you in trouble!

    If experience is any indicator, Sally has retired from supervising many to supervising ONE….you. Remember, we should/must retire FROM something TO something. Now you know what your wife has retired TO!!!!

    PS. It’s Wednesday!

  • TLM80209 says:

    I’m in the same boat, so I can relate. Thanks for bringing this to the attention of the uninitiated. This is what they have to look forward to.

  • Charles Lent says:

    This is one of the reasons why I have my shop in an outbuilding now. The previous basement shop in my former home was way too convenient for her to pop in and out. I’ve also solved the “sawdust in the house” problem with the outbuilding shop. I’m well dusted off, even my shoes, before I reach the door of the house 150′ away..

    Women work in the present. In their minds, nothing can wait until later, and they, by nature, have to share all their thoughts with their partner. Maybe you can try to talk to her about it. Maybe you can get her to hold her interruptions and questions until meal time, but I doubt that it’s going to work. It helped a little for me, but didn’t stop it. Distance, and being in another building made the biggest improvement

    In addition to being in a separate building now, I have two rules, soon to be a sign at the shop door, that “if a power tool is running, no one is allowed to enter the shop” and “everyone is required to knock before entering”. There is a window in the door, so most of the shop can be seen when looking in through it, and I can see who is at the door too.

    Good luck,

  • bill truitt says:

    Not only that — you will be surprised to find out how stubborn she is…

  • Mark Jenkins says:

    A quote from David Letterman

    “Before you retire so you can spend more time with your family, check with your family.”

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