Retirement Tabloid
by Peter Petroski

This is for those of us who have joined AARP, considered retirement or are already there, getting a senior citizen discount or generally fall into the 55+ age group.

Retirement is great or is it? Our priorities change, what we talk about when we are amongst our peers is different, our journey is an adventure, some good and some not so good. This venue is to share some of both.


When we gather…

It seems our topics of conversation are changing. Now its prescriptions, medical supplements, grandkids and our memory loss, along with medical conditions, procedures and surgeries, and how to do email, post on Facebook or using your new smartphone.  The weeks ahead will make you laugh, some will cry, and many will be shaking their heads in agreement.


Accident #1

Let’s start with a good laugh! I know you probably have one too, but I will share first.  One morning I scheduled to visit an inmate at SCI Camp Hill and then I was to meet my step father for lunch. I left Columbia and headed across York County towards Rt 83 heading north towards Camp Hill.  That morning I had breakfast with a friend and  limited myself to one cup of coffee knowing I was heading for prison. I got on Rt 83 and moved into the left lane and started north, only to see brake lights on ahead. After 90 minutes in very slow-moving traffic, I was still in the passing lane, bumper to bumper and had moved about 1/2 mile.

I really had to go badly…. tractor trailer to my right, cement barrier to my left, no where to get off the road. I remembered a urine bottle was stashed under my seat for such an occasion. Long story short, I had an accident.  Well according to my smartphone app, all traffic was being directed off 83 at the next exit, the road was closed to all northbound traffic. After over 2 hours I was able to get off 83 and now I had to head back home, change clothes, take a shower. I did call my step dad and share why I was missing our lunch appointment.  My prisoner was not aware I was coming so that was scheduled for another day.


Accident #2

One beautiful sunny day I was off with a car load of Pastors to drive to NYC to meet with a new church that just joined our fellowship. Before we left York Pa, we stopped for coffee at Dunkin Donuts. I should have known better! On our way past Allentown heading for the George Washington bridge, there was an accident on Rt 78 and suddenly it was bumper to bumper as far as we could see in front and behind on this four-lane highway. I had to go bad and we were miles from the next exit, bridge or anywhere I could stop long enough to go with any privacy. So, when it came to go in my pants or get out, I opened the car door, of course everyone inside the car was aware…I stood by the door and…. I could not go, to many watching. Somehow, I managed to make it miles later to the next exit and dash into a service station bathroom. Maybe you can relate to this, at our age when you hold it in so long, you cannot go. Back on Rt 78, into Harlem and as soon as we get to the church I make a dash for the bathroom, no introductions, handshakes or hugs, to the bathroom! No more coffee this day and an uneventful trip home.


Accident #3 

This story was shared by a Christian brother right after I shared mine about Rt 83 on my way to prison. He also fits the age category I mentioned earlier.

Steve works part-time at a youth detention center with teen age boys in a court ordered lock down. For the boys who have evolved in their program and can work outside, they need transported to and from their jobs. Steve was heading out of the facility to pick up some boys when the urge arrived. With an enlarged prostate, Steve knew he had a very short window to get to a bathroom. He went to a staff bathroom only to find it locked and as he tried many different keys on his assigned ring, none worked. He headed for the bathroom used by the boys, also locked. Steve knew he had that key but by this time, his butt cheeks were constricted, he hands were shaking…. he went in his pants standing there in the hallway. Long story short, he now had to go home and change, then do his pick-ups. Its funny now but not at the time.



So, if you cannot relate to how our bodies have changed, see what you must look forward to as you continue to age.  Our prostate glands change, our kidneys work differently, and our bodies are shaping up different.  What is it like for you to buy blue jeans? It’s rare I can find a pair anywhere that fit my body today.  For some reason the zippers are not the same length as regular pants. I guess those Sr diapers are not so funny now!


 Retired from 45+ years in insurance, serve as Associate Pastor working with men, some of which are in recovery or prison.

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