Bonus Years and Work

Annapolis man turns his setbacks into a comeback

Last week, Mary Sue and I were ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s red donation kettle located at City Dock by Zachery’s jewelry store in downtown Annapolis. That’s when I first met Steve Rice. Like many others that brisk Monday morning, Rice dropped a contribution into the kettle. As I said, “Thanks a lot, sir…and…

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You can’t separate a boy from his toys, no matter his age

I’ve known Bill Lesko for more than two decades. But not really, I discovered. Last week, I found out why: Lesko and his partner, Martha Fox, a retired elementary school math teacher, are always on the go. Lesko is always interesting – beginning with his six-years of volunteer work to restore and crew the SS…

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The need for transition assistance happens at all ages

(The 50-seat Light House Bistro is more than a restaurant. It is also what some people call a “social enterprise” — a business enterprise that has social goals embedded in its business objectives. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Several months ago, I discovered the Light House Bistro at 202 West Street, along with several…

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A mission to repair the world does not end with retirement

Places like Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, North Carolina are names familiar to most of us – especially after their recent bashing by hurricane Florence. But if you travel about 300 miles to the west of these well-known coastal communities – to the foothills of the Blue Ridge – you will find Lenoir, a North Carolina…

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Bonus years travel comes in many sizes, shapes and destinations

Remember the late 1980s film, “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” – the comedy in which Steve Martin and John Candy struggled with each other’s foibles, challenging weather and nearly every mode of transportation to make it home for Thanksgiving? I thought of this several times during the past two weeks as Mary Sue and I joined…

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Renaissance woman finds new calling in her bonus years

The American author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, told us that “Vitality exists not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.” For a living example of “Fitzgerald’s Law,” journey down to Annapolis Maritime Antiques on Severn Ave. in Eastport.  There, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:00, you…

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Retirement, for some, is an opportunity to keep on serving

(Dick Libby, of Annapolis, officiated at the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan at Washington National Cathedral in 2010, 50 years after he had been ordained there as an Episcopal priest. [Capital Gazette]) Poet Robert Browning talked to us about “…the last of life for which the first was made.” For some, the link between the first…

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Only a genealogist thinks a step backward is progress

The Maryland State Archives, located on Rowe Blvd. just west of College Creek, is the central repository for what the law calls “state government records of permanent value….” including birth and death, marriage and divorce records, last wills and testaments and records of the history of Maryland – from the earliest times of Lord Baltimore…

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Retirement can be an experience with many chapters

(Photo Credit: In 2017, Craig Sewell, longtime chef and owner of A Cook’s Cafe in Annapolis, announced his retirement after 15 years. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Annapolitan Craig Sewell is, to my way of thinking, a poster boy for the way many of us will spend our bonus years: in serial retirements that…

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Good literature tells truest truths about death and dying

Last December, just before Christmas, I read a retirement story in the Capital about Michael Parker, a US Naval Academy English professor, due to step aside after 38 years on the Yard. A notice that someone is about to retire always catches my attention. However, buried in the Parker story was an added attraction: It…

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Senior leadership, know-how can be a big asset for non-profits

(Image: Peter Cooper, left, and Dale Moeller, members of the 2015 class of the Watershed Stewards Academy, completed this rain garden to handle runoff from the parking lot of their church, Woods Memorial Presbyterian in Severna Park. [Pat Furguson / Baltimore Sun Media Group]) It was 7:30 on a Thursday morning a few weeks ago…

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Annapolitans turn a lifelong calling into a later-life mission

(Image: Annapolis residents Jim and Karen Wilder, pictured in 2014, aim to launch a new enterprise that reflects not only their culinary calling but also their commitment to creating opportunities for people with disabilities, translating a lifelong calling into a bonus years mission. [Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette file]) Last week, while attending the annual…

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Life is a series of transitions and retirement is just another

(Photo: “I can’t see myself retiring. I love the work I do. I’ve worked my whole life and throughout my life I’ve always invested in my education so I can do more,” Jonathon Church said. [Courtesy photo from the Capital Gazette]) “I’m a retired police officer,” he said as the men around the table introduced…

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Civic innovations target needs of growing senior population

Though it’s a national sport to complain about our culture, much of what we “know” is fed to us by national media that are fixated on what is nasty, brutish, scandalous or weird – all of which is amplified in the 24×7 national “news” cycle. But if we stand back and look at things, especially…

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You are never too old to dream or resolve to improve your life

As we celebrate New Year’s Eve, we should remember that “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book” and our calling to “Write a good one.” Those are the words of modern American philosopher Brad Paisley — also a Grammy-award-winning country music singer-songwriter, the vocation of some of our most insightful contemporary philosophers.…

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Making Later-Life Work

American culture continues to glamorize the retirement, “Golden Years” as a time for endless leisure and amusement. I have a different view of later-life for our nation’s Baby Boomers.  That’s why I’ve written Reboot!, to make the case for returning to work, in some capacity, after you “retire” – whether your retirement age is 50 or…

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Old soldiers never die; they just go back to work

Unabridged from my Bonus Years column in the Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital, Annapolis, Maryland. Ron Edwards may not have nine lives, but he sure challenges the observation ofGeneral Douglas MacArthur who said before the US Congress in 1951 that “Old soldiersnever die; they just fade away.” Instead of fading away after spending more than 20 years…

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In business and life, you learn the ropes by untying the knots

Unabridged from my Bonus Years column in the Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital, Annapolis, Maryland Let’s talk about relevance and entrepreneurship. First, relevance.  When you reach your bonus years, you are at the top of your game – with lots of wisdom and many skills.  But there’s often a problem.  In the words of Laurence J. Peter,…

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Retiring from a job does not mean you retire your calling

Unabridged from my Bonus Years column in the Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital, Annapolis, Maryland “A servant’s heart.”  That’s a term I’ve heard many times over the years, referring to people whose joy in life comes from serving others.  Those with servant hearts are everywhere, but because they are driven by a desire to serve rather than…

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Creating age-friendly workplaces to retain later-life workers

Unabridged from my Bonus Years column in the Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital, Annapolis, Maryland Many of our stories focus on later-life Annapolitans who are continuing work into their bonus years – whether it’s paid, volunteer, Samaritan or enrichment kinds of work.  We do this for two reasons.  First, research shows that continued social engagement is the…

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‘Work is a blessing:’ The gift of satisfying work in later life

Unabridged from my Bonus Years column in the Lifestyle section of The Sunday Capital, Annapolis, Maryland Physician Alexis Carrel, recipient of the 1912 Nobel Prize in Medicine for pioneering work on vascular suturing, organ transplants and the aging of cells, famously said, “The aging man should neither stop working nor retire. Leisure is even more dangerous for the…

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