Wednesday, March 11, 2009

one less chair

Another day. Another mark on my "get out of town" checklist.

Tuesday morning was my last stint as chair of our local Salvation Army Advisory Board. I turned the gavel over to a former chair, who was more than willing to take on the obligation. He is retired.

I enjoyed my two years as chair of the board. The board members are very active in the organization's work. As chair, I merely needed to do a bit of engineering.

And they have been a productive two years. In addition to the core responsibilities of the Salvation Army, our local organization was honored to receive one of Joan Kroc's grants to build a Kroc Community Center. I am sorry I will not get to see it open in September -- it will be a place where underprivileged children will have the opportunity to see their dreams come alive.

I was prepared to forgo any farewell comments this morning. But I could not pass up the opportunity to thank the board members for their commitment. The Salvation Army does not do anything. The people who offer their services are what the Salvation Army is all about. And their story deserves to be told.

I will miss working with them. The Salvation Army has a presence in Puerto Vallarta, but that is too far away from Melaque. However, I am certain I will find enough needs to meet in my little fishing village by the Pacific.

21 calendar days until I retire.
36 calendar days until I start the drive south to Mexico.


Miguelito said...

You were a chair?! Modern, traditional, leather? Did you have arms? Of course. Did you recline?

Dining room chair, lawn chair, living room chair? Ah, a beach chair, of course!

Alas, you labeled yourself a piece of furniture so naturally that the errant nonsense of it did not even occur to you.

One of the beauties of living in Mexico is that you can put political-correctness balony behind you. Down here there is no embarrassment involved in saying a man is a man, a woman is a woman, a black person is black, a white person is white. That type of thing.

It is relaxing to call a spade a spade and not have some feminist harpy try to get you fired over it.

You were the Chairman, of course!

Alas, the above is true only if you hang out with Mexicans. But that´s how you´ll learn Spanish, a double plus.

glorv1 said...

You should have one of those gadgets on your blog that say countdown time till...That way we will all know when it is time. Hugs to Jiggs.

Tom and Debi said...

Steve, Having followed your pre-retirement move story for so long it's really hard to believe it is coming up so quickly. I know I am not as excited as you are, but I am excited for you none-the-less!

Larry Lambert, Mazatlan said...


People here help others in ways unseen. Even in the small towns.

It might be forgiving a small debt run up at a super. Sometimes folks have to make a choice between school and food.

It might be somebody carrying a meal over to an elderly woman who has trouble walking and no family in the area.

In our neighborhood I've seen better off locals throw a party with ten times the necessary food, then insist that their less fortunate neighbors carry the leftovers home.

It's here, but you have to look in different places, because Mexicans are very considerate of others' pride. Especially when it involves the very young and the very old.

If you want to help out when you get here, there will be opportunities. Just not many like up north.


p.s. You don't see too many nationals involving themselves in NGOs filled with NOBers. There are good reasons, but I probably shouldn't go into it.

1st Mate said...

Steve - Are you aware that there will be FIVE of us bloggers in the Guaymas/San Carlos area at the same time in April? Babs will be in San Carlos, I'll be back home, Brenda is in Guaymas...and here you come! And you should meet Ale (Tinta de Mi Voz) who lives in Guaymas, also. She blogs in Spanish, but has excellent English and really fun to get acquainted with. Let's have a meet-up, at least for dinner. We can take care of the arrangements. If you'll email me ( I'll send you my phone # so you can call me.

Steve said...

Miguelito -- You do not know the ultimate irony of your comment. When I drafted the post, I used "chairman" throughout the piece, and went back to edit it. And then kicked myself. As penance, this morning at breakfast I mentioned "comic book," and one of my colleagues corrected me with "graphic novel." I said, "No, it is a comic book. Norman Mailer wrote graphic novels."

Gloria -- I tried to install one, but I thought better of it. It reminds me too much of the old adage: "Your days are numbered." And I do not need that type of reminder.

Debi -- I still have not quite wrapped my mind around the fact that the Mexico move is upon me. I suppose that is why I toy with the idea of doing contract work after I retire.

Larry -- Thanks for the tips. Nice to know.

1st Mate -- I was aware that Babs was going to be in town. I hope the timing will work out. It would also be nice to meet Ale. I will try to bring greetings from Cynthia and mike, as well.

Anonymous said...


although not usually an envious person, i have to admit that i am turning a little green. sometimes i wish it were time for me to move down as well, but alas, the timing just isn't right yet.

i think it's great that you'll get to meet all those bloggers in guaymas/san carlos. it would be great if someday all the bloggers could meet in one central location. who knows, maybe next year i'll get to come down.

just 2 1/2 weeks till our little get together. sure am looking forward to it.

till then,

Anonymous said...

Wow! Twenty one days!!! You can practically taste it! I've been reading your blog, for what, a year? I'm amazed that you are already standing on the edge of the diving board, looking at the pool below, about to take the plunge. No doubt a few butterflies are flitting about your stomach. But the adventure calls, and there you are up on the diving board. No walking back down the ladder now.

I am SERIOUSLY envious. Every day I am tempted to quit my job and move south. But the numbers don't quite yet work, especially if I live much over 85, which given my family history is likely.

So instead of planning a sort of Harold and Maude ending, I keep working.

Please keep blogging when you move south. And I'll enjoy the vicarious retirement.

Fond regards,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Probably one of America's cities most unlike Mexico

Steve said...

Teresa -- Even though God may frown on envy, I understand the feeling. I often wish I could have met Andee. You had the privilege I will never have.

Kim -- I was just thinking of the pile of work I have to get through before I leave -- at home and at work. Then I realized. I am going. The work is not. But the blog goes with me. More adventures await.