Clif Has Retired

Clif at Doc Hollandaise. Picture taken by Megan Spencer.

Yesterday was Clif’s last day at work. His wonderful co-workers, who had fêted him royally last week, treated him one last time. They took him out for brunch at Doc Hollandaise, which makes homemade donuts to order. (Was I jealous? You bet I was! Now that Clif has retired,  we will soon be going to Doc Hollandaise for donuts.)

Retirement is one of those milestone events that makes a person think. For over forty years, Clif has worked at one job or another, all of which have revolved around social services. He worked for the state as an honest-to-God social worker. He worked as a computer programmer for various nonprofits. Finally, he worked as a database administrator for Homeless Initiatives at Maine State Housing. He’s been laid off twice, once right before Christmas when the children were young.

None of these jobs were what you would call high-paying jobs. Clif, like so many people who work for the state or for nonprofits, wanted to work at a job that qualified as right livelihood, as the Buddhists might say. Clif wanted to do good work, to make a difference, to help people. And he did. (Those who like to inveigh against state and federal workers should take the time to look at countries that don’t provide social services.)

Yesterday was also a wild tempest of a day, with a rain that was, well, lashing. A friend told me that she measured over five inches of rain. Readers, that is a lot of rain to fall in one day. In Portland, streets were flooded. Farther north, my cousin Carol posted pictures of flooded streets in Skowhegan, which is snug against the Kennebec River. People lost their power—thank goodness we didn’t—and branches large and small came down.

One large branch, in fact, came down at the little house in the big woods.  When you live in the woods, such things happen from time to time. We were just grateful the branch came down on our fence rather than on our roof.

The fallen branch
The fallen branch

So on his first day of retirement, Clif is going to play chainsaw man. He’ll take care of the wood and inspect the fence to see where it needs mending.

Clif inspects the damage
Clif inspects the damage


Sherlock conducts his own inspeciton
Sherlock conducts his own inspection

And after that? There are projects galore around the house to keep Clif busy. He also plans to work part time as a computer consultant for nonprofits, where he will continue with the good work that he has done for all of his adult life.

But most important, there will be trips to Doc Hollandaise for donuts.


25 thoughts on “Clif Has Retired”

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! We’re heading to an arts event tonight in Waterville. Looking forward to doing more of this.

      1. Stay tuned! We are lucky in that we live in a lovely rural town that is nevertheless within easy driving distance of three colleges—Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin. Many interesting events there, and most of them are free.

    1. Thanks, Shannon. We, too, were glad only the fence was hit. Dad has pieced it together, and we’ll see if we can patch it even better.

    1. Thanks, Kate! Yes, after stacking six cords of wood, those donuts will be earned.

    1. Thanks, Judy! The little house in the big woods, along with our various projects, keep us busy. But we will make time for donuts, at least occasionally 😉

  1. Congrats to Clif on making it to the promised land. .. Well, sort of…. Not sure about the chain saw part.
    So, just where is this Doc Hollandaise?

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. Doc Hollandaise is past the Civic Center. Do you want to join us there for brunch some morning?

    1. Thanks, Jason. As it turns out, Clif didn’t need to use the chainsaw at all. The wood was so punky and rotten that he just threw it over the fence to let it decompose in the big woods, along with all the other blow-downs.

  2. Congrats and best wishes for a peaceful and fulfilling time of retirement!

    With 6-8 inches of rain forecast for this weekend, on top of the 6-7 we’ve already had, I expect my chainsaw will get a lot of work next week as well.

    1. Thanks, Bill! As for the work around the yard…we refer to it as Nature’s Gym. I know you work out there regularly 😉

  3. Congratulations!!! I hope you will enjoy your retirement as much as I do ;0) Before you know it, you will be so busy and wonder how it was possible you had time to go to work ;0) Have a great weekend! xo Johanan

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