Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A day to bask in

This morning was my official retirement reception at TCU. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into this. I told my boss, June Koelker, dean of the library, that I did NOT want a reception. She finally told me she would be criticized if she let me retire, after 28 years with the press and 22 as director, without a reception. So I said okay, how about a morning coffee, which somehow seemed less pretentious to me than an afternoon tea. (Susan asked this morning where the mimosas were!) Susan and Melinda picked me up at home and delivered me to the Kelly Center. And you know what? It was a wonderful affair. There were people there I didn't expect, a lot of TCU people but a lot from outside the university. I was flattered beyond belief. June, who had insisted on this event, was home with the flu--probably swine flu, since we have an outbreak of it on campus, and the provost was kind enough to come but couldn't stay long because the board was in town, so Jim Lee got to be emcee. Well, now, that's another thing--I could have done without a formal program. But Jim called randomly on people to speak extemporaneously, people like Fred Erisman who told Jim he was definitely not going to speak. But they all said lovely and kind things about me--okay, Jeannie told the story about the time I watered her fake phicus tree--and I am in danger of getting the big head. Many brought cards, which I have put in the memory book the kids started for me, and Susan brought the most lovely emboidered guest book which everyone signed, so I have momentos of the day. I got lots of hugs and good wishes and had to explain over and over again that this really was the last time I was retiring, and that I had resisted because I was afraid of waking up in the morning wondering what i'd do with my day--which has not happened so far at all, far from it. Jordan came, although she had to leav early, and endured people who said the last time they saw her she was--and they would make a gesture low to the ground. Someone said, "I never knew she would turn out so pretty," and I said, "Neither did I the first time I saw her." She makes a lovely impression and is so gracious to people--my friend Mary Lu, now distant in Dallas, once said, "Jordan makes you feel like you're the person she's been waiting all day to see." I was sorry none of my other kids were there, but I understand the distance problem. I did display a copy of the cookbook (shameless promotion) and had some of my cookook business cards on hand. I am grateful to June for insisting, and to Susan and Melinda for making it happen, and to Susan for the kind words she said about me and the press.
Afterwards, Jeannie and I ran an errand--she needed to stop at a stationery store and since I actually need new informals, it was a good opportunity. Then we ate an early lunch of sushi. This evening, Betty and I went to Cafe Aspen and I had a hamburger, sans bun. Still, I'm way over on points already for the week. I'm beginning to despair of this diet business.
I am finished with the cookbook, at least for now, and can turn my mind to other projects--next is a 3500-word chapter on the beginnings of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (another pro bono job) but today I actually picked up a paying editorial job from Texas Tech Press. So no, I won't be waking up wondering what to do. Tomorrow, a dental appointment (cleaning only, thank goodness) and lunch with Fred, then Jacob in the evening. No, retirement isn't boring at all. I keep trying to find time to read the book I'm in the middle of!

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