Saturday, September 22, 2007

Shutdown Mode

I just sat down on our back patio deck with a cup of coffee to enjoy a morning smoke, and to take account of the work that lies before me.

I appear to be in shutdown mode, in most every aspect of my life.

It’s time to take down most everything in the back yard, prepare it for winter storage and put it away. Odd, because the breeze is warm, and the pool is crystal clear and blue.

Only the few scattered leaves at the bottom indicate we are now officially into fall.

Major League Baseball is also preparing for shut down mode. The final 10 or so games are to be played this week, with the post-season starting the first week of October.

My Detroit Tigers are all but mathematically eliminated from post-season play this year. We sit four-and-a-half games back of the Yankees for the AL Wildcard spot. That’s a lot of ground to make up in a week. But odder things have happened.

Darlene and I will be heading to Detroit to Comerica Park Sunday to watch the last regular season home game of the Tigers against Kansas City. In essence we will be helping the Tigers shutdown for the year as well.

But you never know.

At work, I spoke at both a memorial service for a wonderful colleague who passed away recently, and I spoke at a retirement party for three of the best co-workers you could ask to work with. I guess you could say that we helped shut down their careers.

And in my own job, we are preparing for the shut down of our department. We our literally going through our drawers, cabinets, and computer files, determining if each should be retained for the legal seven year limit, be shredded, or is of personal value.

But nothing in life stays idle.

And very few things stay shut down.

We have already started planning how we are going refinish our deck next spring. We have already plotted how we will re-arrange our gardens. And of course, the pool will re-open.

The Tigers will make some off-season trades, and start spring training back in Lakeland, Florida in February. That’s not too far away.

And I and those I work with in my department are excited about the new directions we will be going after our department ceases to exist in November. And we know that the outcome of the lifetime of our department was a tremendous success, with numerous assets we can carry forward in our new roles.

Those three colleagues who retired have already begun their golden retirement years. I cannot tell you how amazingly healthy and happy each of them appeared to be at their party. You could almost say they were re-born.

And Trudy, who passed so suddenly away a few weeks ago, will continue always in our memories. I am quite positive that she has moved on to something quite wonderful and new as well.

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