Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cliff's last day at work

This afternoon when Cliff clocks in at work, it will be his last day:  He took one of his vacation days for tomorrow, and one for next Tuesday.  This allows him to collect holiday pay for July 4.  
His co-workers had a little barbecue and party in his honor last night.  

How about that cake?  

We only decided a few months ago that he should retire, and now the big day is here.  I have said it before and I'll say it again:  If anybody deserves to retire, it's Cliff.  He was fourteen when he got his first job throwing newspapers out of a station wagon.  When I met him in 1965, he was working at a metal plating shop in Kansas City.  In 1968 he started working part-time for the Country Butcher Shop, and that soon became his full-time job.  He loved being a butcher, although that occupation is the chief cause of the arthritis that now plagues him.  
Work at the butcher shop began dwindling; fewer people were raising their own meat, and Cliff saw the writing on the wall.  I think he went from there to R.B. Rice for three years, until they closed it down.  Then he drove all the way to Marshall, Missouri, to work at a hog butchering facility.  It's the only job he's ever had that he absolutely hated, and he quit just one week shy of a year there.  Then he worked at concrete construction for a couple of guys who were the sons of the owner of the butcher shop where he used to work.  The concrete construction job was hard work, and dangerous, but Cliff loved being outside where he could enjoy the seasons.  
Eventually the brothers disbanded their company, but one of them stayed in the business and Cliff worked for him for awhile, until the time came when there wasn't enough to keep him working steadily.    
I don't remember the exact order in which all these jobs came into Cliff's life, but I do recall each and every one.  He found some sort of pleasure in every job he's ever had except for the one at Marshall.
At some point, jobs dried up everywhere and Cliff drew unemployment.  During this time, I was milking cows and raising baby calves with their milk.  Cliff started helping a local dairy farmer who paid him for his work with Holstein and Brown Swiss bull calves, which I raised.  When the calves were six months old or so, we'd take them to the sale barn.  This really helped out as a supplement to Cliff's unemployment checks.  Cliff, meantime, who had always wanted to be a farmer, got to do some real farming for once in his life.  
A neighbor next door worked at Continental Disc in Liberty; He tried to get Cliff a job there, but the place required a high school diploma:  Cliff had quit school in his junior year.

So in 1993, he went to GED school in the evenings; one Saturday afternoon while he was in the middle of making a pen for my brood sow (yes, I had hogs), his diploma arrived in the mail.  
Our neighbor who worked at Continental Disc had a friend, Velma, who was instrumental in getting Cliff hired.  We owe her a lifelong debt of gratitude for helping someone she didn't even know at the time.  So Cliff was working at his dream job, getting frequent raises, enjoying the first health insurance coverage we'd had in years, and actually getting paid vacations.  We were living high on the hog.
Cliff has always called that place his "retirement villa" because the work is not physically demanding; he figured he could hold down a job there until he died.  
And then this year I convinced him that he needs to experience retirement.  
So here we go, on a new adventure.  Wish us luck!


  1. Congrats to Cliff!!! and good luck on the new adventure. I am sure you both will love it.

  2. Love the picture of the cake. Bet it was yummy too. Congratulations to Cliff. And GOOD LUCK on your new adventure into retirement. You probably will have some interesting stories to tell as you settle in to a different routine and adapt to the changes.

  3. Vicki8:52 AM

    Congratulations to Cliff, he has quite a resume. I see a lot more Gold Wing trips in your future. Vicki

  4. lindie9:42 AM

    Love the cake. On to new adventures!

  5. Good deal. And good luck, Cliff! I hope you enjoy relaxing for a change. Only 12 more years to go and I'll be there myself. **sigh**

  6. Congratulations on Cliff's retirement! It's a little scary, I imagine, but the time you will be able to spend together is well worth the lowered budget, etc. It looks like Cliff has worked long and hard for his well-deserved retirement. Good luck to you both and God Bless!

  7. Congrats to Cliff! After all those years of working he does deserve a reward and that is what retirement is all about. It not like retired people never do any work but there's a whole lot of difference in going to work and doing what you love. It is a day to celebrate for sure!

  8. That's wonderful that he gets to retire; he'll find lots to do and maybe some new hobbies! The cake is wonderful. Was it yummy?

  9. Congratulations to Cliff! I hope you and Cliff will have a wonderful time being retired together. I'm sure he will stay quite busy with his tractors, and work around home. I'm happy for both of you.

  10. Anonymous1:26 PM

    Congratulations to Cliff !! What a beautiful cake !! I bet it was good too ! Wishing you both the very best in your new adventure of life ! I love retirement.Makes me wonder when I ever had time to work. Lol.By the way Mosie ...this is Jctopaz55 from our old Christian chat room from many years back. That is where I met you. I still miss that room too.I do not have a blog, so I had to just write this this way. Anyway my thoughts and prayers are with you as you journey on with your new adventure !!

    Love ,
    Jo Ann

  11. Happy Retirement to you both. Cute cake!

  12. congrats to Cliff! we all hope to make it there one day :-)

  13. Congrats to Cliff. May you both enjoy his retirement. You got that knee fixed just in time. You planned well. Helen

  14. I'm really impressed by Cliff getting his GED in 1993! I hope he enjoys retirement and that cake sure looked good!

  15. Happy retirement Cliff!! Love the cake!

  16. Fantastic! Enjoy your retirement, Cliff. My Dad retired this past November and he seems to be in good spirits these days. Slow down, savor quiet time together and have fun!

  17. Anonymous10:24 PM

    I hope you and Cliff enjoy your extra time together.
    Life is short, Relax and Enjoy what you love.
    Take care..

  18. Congrats to Cliff on his retirement and I wish you both the Best of Luck! in your new adventure! Wow! Enjoy it, you've earned it. :)

  19. Congrats on retirement! Both of you!


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