Monday, February 05, 2018

Begin again

Things are winding down at work. I’ve spent the last three years working at Bevill State Community College as a job coach. The work has had its high points and some low ones, too. I will miss the work but, I’ll also miss my office window.

The first office I had at the college was a closet. I’m not kidding — it was an 8-foot by 12-foot space next to the men’s room. When we moved the office desk and a filing cabinet in, I felt a little “sardine’ish.” Is that a word? When someone flushed the toilet, I could hear water rushing through the pipes.

After about six months, the campus dean came to me and asked if I’d like a bigger office. The new digs were three times the size of my closet, and it had a window overlooking the courtyard. I could have hugged his neck.

Jilda gave me a plant that sat in front of the window. It was as happy there as I was.

I'll miss that office window – especially in the spring when the rain dances on the cobblestone in the courtyard. I often stood by the bookshelf to enjoy the view. When I leaned close, I could hear the faint roar of the rain. It sounded like distant applause.

About the time in early spring when the ornamental cherry trees bloom, the drama club begins practice in the courtyard. They build sets and stages. Often the actors paired up before rehearsal started and ran lines. You could see them improve each day. Watching the kids from a distance was a welcome distraction when my eyes felt bloody from looking at the screen of my laptop.

There was only one downside to my office. The summer sun parched the cobblestone. During August, just walking across the courtyard to get my mail felt as if I were walking through a pizza oven. The heat made its way to the window and into my office. The air conditioner made a noble effort to keep my space cool, but Mother Nature got the best of it. Rather than complain, I bought a fan. It moved air around and made it almost comfortable on those hot days.

This past week, I boxed up my books and shredded all the private information that I’d gathered over the last three years. I emptied the desk drawers and made a zillion trips to the dumpster.

When I walked out for the last time, I removed my name tag from the door and paused for one more look around. After saying goodbye, I flipped off the light and clicked the door shut behind me. Heading toward my truck I thought, “This chapter of my life is coming to a close.”

I have an offer for another part-time job with flexibility beginning in March. I’ll take the next few weeks, to adjust my metaphorical sails and get ready for the next chapter. Until then, maybe I’ll go fly fishing because it’s a chapter that needs some work.


  1. I was an odd ball, I always loved the transmission from there to another there, but I remembered the GOOD from the place I had been. It sounds the same with you, except related more profound.
    One day I MUST try fly fishing!!

  2. Your life is like reading a good book. Not much wasted time to see what comes next.
    I wish you all the best in your new job.
    Hugs, Julia

  3. Our lives do read like chapters in a book. It sounds like the next chapter of your life is full of possibilities. Enjoy the down time but don't spend too much time in the past. Write a new chapter and move forward one day at a time.

  4. Your post reminds me of the days when I also had a tiny room with no window at work. I got a bigger room with one big window after a while, but it was hard for me to recover from the insult of being placed in that cubicle in the frst place.

    I think at a certain age, retirement is the best of possibilities. Fly fishing, sounds like a nice, stressless activity.

  5. I can feel your emotions about leaving. I know you will miss that place. I read several of your post that took us on a view out that window. But let it go. There is more out there waiting on you to discover. Now go do some yoga classes and go fishin.

  6. It is hard to move on but usually it simply means a door opening to new experiences. Enjoy fishing.

  7. Very nice outlook on the whole thing Rick, I know the feeling of leaving a long time job for the last time, and I think you are smart to take time to think over the next chapter, while of course working on your fly fishing chapter, that one is an important one to keep up with also.

  8. A great way to view tomorrow and another chapter ends but a new one awaits...just like me.


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