Life in the retirement lane

Editor's note: Columnist Linda Monohan writes about retirement and how she and her husband Norbert Monohan retired from the Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Department Station 9 after more than 20 years of service. This column is followed by one written by Record-Courier columnist Lisa Welch, whose parents happen to be Linda and Norbert Monohan. Welch gives a first-hand account of some of the funnier aspects of growing up with firefighting parents.

by Linda Monohan

During these beautiful summer mornings you can see many residents of Fish Springs out walking, jogging and riding their bicycles. Baby birds scatter and little bunnies hop along through the sagebrush. The cottontails have very large, puffy white tails that really do look like big balls of cotton while the jackrabbits have very long twitching ears, "the better to hear you with my dear."

Neighbors are outside sitting on their decks, drinking their coffee and watching the morning slowly awaken. My husband and I love to walk around the neighborhood on these glorious days. We also like to join in on the coffee parties and socialize with friends. At least with those who are retired or have the leisure of working out of their homes.

A couple of nearby neighbors have joined the status of retirement, and retirement with a pension, that is. Tom McCormick retired after 22 years working for the County Road Department and Kathie Hudson retired from Douglas County School District after teaching language arts (a.k.a. English) to thousands of our kids during the past 17 years. Do they miss going to work? I don't think so. Now they can join the leisurely life of laid-back, doing just what you want to do and when you want to do it.

Tom has only been retired for two weeks and he's already discovered a family of very interesting birds that are living out in the nearby hills. The "long-billed curlew" is an odd-looking character with a very long, curved-down bill that's about half his length of 23 inches. He has a loud and very lovely musical call and McCormick has had the privilege to both see and hear this bird that lives out in the foothills of the Pine Nut Mountains.

Kathie and her husband Bill can now watch the family of wild horses as they follow their regular route around the north end of Fish Springs each morning. Bill is also retired ever since he sold his "Valley Office Supply" business this year.

And then there's the Arnetts. Talk about having a coffee party, Bill and Sylvia have one every morning - and the whole neighborhood is invited. Sylvia has so very many colorful and fragrant flowers that attract the song birds. Birds are always singing at the Arnettses' place and we think it's not too shabby being retired in our neighborhood.

As a matter of fact, my husband and I both retired last Tuesday, July 11. Not from paid jobs, but as volunteer firefighters for the Fish Springs VFD. Norbert has volunteered the past 23 years and was the chief for 14 years and the assistant chief for five years while I was a firefighter/EMT for 20 years. We have great memories of all those years and now we're ready to join the laid-back life of retirement. "Put on the coffee pot, honey."

"Meet your neighbors": Calling all Fish Springs and East Valley residents: Just a reminder that there's a special open house at the Fish Springs firehouse on Saturday, July 22, from 2 to 5 p.m. Come see your fire station and meet the volunteer firefighters who are your neighbors. We are presently recruiting volunteer EMTs and firefighters as the number of fire and medical calls in the Fish Springs and East Valley area has been increasing. If you know someone who might be interested, please tell him (or her) to check us out. The barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs are on us.

n Linda Monohan can be reached at 782-5802.


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