Last February (2017) in the midst of one of the most emotional teaching years I have ever experienced, the district put out a retirement incentive designed to rid the district of the crotchety, dinosaur teachers like me. February is universally a shitty month for teachers. The school year is crawling by and seems as though it is an endless abyss of need that cannot possibly be sated. That February was no different. As I was emotionally bereft due to the loss of a good friend and physically weakened thanks to a bout of pneumonia, I thought, "Why not?" Because when your life is upended, that is the exact time to make decisions regarding the rest of it.
I was emotionally unprepared for the realities of giving up everything I have ever known since I was three. Of course, I have been reminded that I am usually emotionally unprepared for most things that happen to me. However, I have never been in the private sector; I have always been in school either as a student or a teacher. I am finding I am ill-equipped for life outside of teaching, but I didn't know that then.
Long story short (too late), I am now retired. Thanks to some fun we already had planned, Poor Bastard and I have traveled and had some adventures, mostly dealing with wineries, distilleries, restaurants, and breweries. All of which I have posted to social media, which makes me unpopular with my friends and family, most of whom are teachers. I must admit my liver has taken a pounding over the summer as I mired in the muck that was my regret. However, now it is taking a pounding just because. Shut up, Liver. You are fine.
Yesterday, a friend told me that she was tired of seeing my posts of dining and drinking during school hours and would appreciate seeing more of the mundane tasks of my new life. I didn't see any reason not to acquiesce, so here is a glimpse into the private day-to-day goings on of my post-teaching experience.
Hoppy, fragrant IPAs, such as Hula Hoppie by Palisade Brewing Company, go well with boring domesticity. Dusting is the worst chore, more so than child rearing even. IPAs also go well with ruing the day I ever decided to send that retirement letter, dooming me to a life of penitence for leaving my previous life of internal disquietude. It's a win-win choice of beverage for domiciliary burdens.
We have been friends for more years than we haven't. Perhaps because of that or simply because we both have jobs/family that seem to encourage escape, we often bond over an ounce or so of liquid magic. Through these experiences, we have discovered the joys that can come with a well-crafted cocktail, quality beer, and excellent wine. It's about quality for us, and we want to share that with you.