Applying the final touches

Son Dan has re­turned home for more than a week and our new bathroom still took days to finish. I am going to come up with a rule for the next project: he can’t go home until it is completely finished.

Painting is the worst part for me, and that was about all that was left except for installing the baseboard trim and applying the final paint.

Thursday night was the last night I didn’t work in the room for one reason or another.

I really don’t like painting windows either, which also needed to be done—as well as some rather large and deep cabinets from floor to ceiling. It needed two coats of white paint before the old color was covered.

I wore a white long-sleeved shirt to paint but made the mistake of wearing a black cap, which is pretty much white now.

We couldn’t find doors that fit the cabinet without making them ourselves, so Dan will make them in Ore­gon and ship them here for me to attach.

I don’t remember falling down even once during the project, although I might have stumbled around quite a few times.

Dan said I was in the way only about a fourth of the time.

I spent a few hours in Newton the other day and was surprised by the number of people I ran into whom I knew.

I guess when you have been around as long as I have, that’s how it works.

The more I think about it, the more I want to slow down and kick back — until the phone rings, figuratively, and it is a new book project on the line.

I really like what I do for the company these days and look forward to coming to work on the one hand. On the other, I think I am nearing the time when I need to turn things over to the next generation—which has been happening for about a year and a half now.

So in a nutshell, I am really retiring but not at a fast pace.

Soon I will be heading for Des Moines for my last Midwest Free Community Papers conference as a board member as my term is ending. I am not re-upping for another term this time.

This may be my ninth year on the board and I can honestly say that the friends I have made in our industry are some of the neatest people I know. It has been a worthwhile experience for me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I took over putting together the organization’s monthly newsletter a couple of years ago and will probably continue doing it if they want me to do it—which they have already indicated they do.

I think I’ll check out another audio book for the trip north and hope I don’t get so absorbed in it that I almost run out of gas again.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is


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