My husband, Joe, announced a few months back. "I'm going to retire come January 2013. And I am so ready," he'd said.

My immediate reactions were,  "Holy smokes, I'm so not ready!  I'm just getting used to being married!" And, "Oh, no, I'm used to doing my own thing when he's at work. Yikes!  I'll never have any peace." 

What I didn't think about was how he was going to be able to stand being around ME, full time. After all, I'm no prize sometimes and have a tendency to be, how should I put it...Snar-Castic, if I must be totally honest.

I orginally wanted to dedicate this blog to Joe and talk about the wonderful farewell party his company gave him in honor of his many years of hard work and sacrifice, and I am going to do a bit of this.  However, more importantly, I've decided to convey instead that getting used to having Joe home full time, here in the 'present', has also become an enormous gift to cherish: The gift of a wonderful husband, around me all the time.

Joe's company held his farewell dinner at an absolutely fabulous restaurant called Costa's in Roselle Park this past Thursday night.  His co-workers and peers shared excellent points of view regarding his character and work ethic.  He was told how much he'd be missed.  A few of the speeches I heard made me well up or downright cry.  My husband was loved and will be missed, of that I have no doubt.  His co-workers also made me look at him with renewed respect and admiration, because these folks were well-spoken business people albeit emotional about his retirement.

Since I didn't work with Joe, I didn't give a speech at the dinner party, nor would I have considered it appropriate to do so. However, I can and will blare my horn about my husband's ethical attributes and his contributions to our partnership in marriage. I applaud his unfailing support when I'm sequestered within my writing mode, and his consideration/courtesies regarding sharing the chores and taking over the cooking (well, hell, he's a better cook than me anyway!).

Joe has proven to be a constant source of amazement, over and over.

When I expect nothing, Joe does the unexpected.  When I run out of ideas, he surprises me with his own.  When I fear taking our newly purchased motor home out for trips, Joe gives me emotional and logical support.  When I don't trust my judgement, he trusts it for me instead.  If I get stuck on a proper word choice or need a 'quick spelling tip', he's my thesaurus or my dictionary. 

The list of my husband's attributes is endless, and I don't want to bore anyone, so I will leave you with this:  Joe brings new meaning to the words, "Share and share alike."

I just wish he retired sooner...waking up to a kiss, just like you're the for real Sleeping Beauty, is the greatest sensation in the world!