Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Official Day of Retirement, and a Gift

Today was the day I have been waiting for since last October--retirement! Yesterday at work I finished up all the ends and pieces I could, tried to be sure everyone was informed of the status of various projects and even developed a plan for how my job duties would be handled since my position has not yet been filled. I had been cleaning out my desk and office for weeks, bringing home my personal things, sorting files and organizing my computer so that the next person might be able to make some sense of it.

I said a lot of good-byes too. I have worked there for almost 20 years and there are many people who have been there the entire time with me; others I hired at some point during those years or worked with closely in some capacity or other. There are a lot of threads woven in a 20-year career.

Some people gave me gifts of remembrance--a silver card case engraved "Granny Sue," an engraved pen that hides a 2 gb flash drive, a bottle of Chardonnay, a basket filled with gardening goodies, a book, and even a tape measure with the most creative story written on the back of it. (I will post a photo of that, and the story, tomorrow.) My fellow managers teamed up to provide a gift certificate to a local garden center, and I used it to buy 4 blueberry plants, 3 raspberry plants and some herb plants. What a nice gift! I'll post photos of those plants tomorrow too.

The most amazing gift came from my office assistant Sandy. Sandy is one of those people who prefer to stay behind the scenes, keeping everything organized and everyone running smoothly. If you need something, she's the one to ask. She is also a stained glass artist, and offered to make me something as a retirement gift. She asked if I had anything in mind that I liked.

Now I love stained glass, and I love quilts, so I said I liked the double wedding ring pattern. It speaks to me because of the timelessness of circles and the interweaving of the pattern that is so like storytelling, and living too. She asked what colors I liked and since I thought I would put the glass in my kitchen, I said red, yellow and green, my kitchen colors.


THIS is what she made.

I have not yet had a chance to hang it up, but I wanted to show you all because I am still amazed. It's the most beautiful piece of stained glass I am ever likely to own--just incredibly pretty. The other staff in our department chipped in to get it framed in oak. Can you believe this?

So even though I have retired, the people I worked with will be with me for a long time--each time I hand out a business card, use the flash drive or pen, sip some Chardonnay, make blueberry pie, use the tape measure or think about the characters in that book, or work in my garden.

I can't wait to get the window hung; I just might have to get new curtains too, so it is never covered up.

And every time I look out my kitchen window to a multicolored world, courtesy of Sandy.


A Vintage Green said...

A loving and heartfelt retirement send off from your colleagues. You will remember the warmth of today forever. Welcome to the next chapter.
- Joy

Rowan said...

Congratulations on your retirement - may it be long and happy. The piece of stained glass is a wonderful gift, it's really beautiful and a lovely memento of your working life and your colleagues.

John said...

Best wishes for your retirement, Sue, and what a beautiful farewell gift. I've been nearly 20 years in my present job so I can imagine what a wrench it must be to leave. Wouldn't mind trying it sometime though.

Angela said...

Congratulations on your retirement Granny Sue! What incredible people you worked with! I love the stained glass window! She did a wonderful job in making it! It looks wonderful in your window!

hart said...

Many congratulations on your retirement! That is an exquisite stained glass panel, speaks to her affection for you. --Jane


Granny Sue -- What great thoughtful gifts. The stained glass window is spectacular. Great that you are hanging it in your kitchen window to remind you of Sandy and co-workers. Now the real fun in life begins -- barbara

Carolyn H said...

Congratulations on your retirement! Now time belongs to you, to do with what you will. Best,
Carolyn H.

Tipper said...

Congrats on the retirment-love the window. I'm betting all those folks will be sorely missing you and all you did.

Janet, said...

What great gifts from your co workers! I love the stain glass window, she is very talented. I've got the pieces cut out for a wedding ring quilt that my mother in law left behind when she passed away. I was going to try to do a block a week, well, I got one block finished. I need to get it out and work on it when I get the chance.

Witch of Stitches said...

That stained glass is just gorgeous - what a lovely gift! And the other gifts are wonderful too. How nice of your co-workers to put such thought into the gifts they chose. Happy retirements, enjoy!!!

Karen Chace said...

A stunning gift for a beautiful woman whose soul is multicolored!

I am so happy for you my friend. You deserved all of the lovely accolades, gifts and more. The lives you have touched through your years of service are beyond measure.

I look forward to hearing about your new adventures and the other lives you will continue to touch with your storytelling and writing.

Best wishes as you enter this new world.

With admiration and joy,

Granny Sue said...

Karen, I was stunned. She is truly gifted--and a great co-worker too. I miss her already.

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