For his retirement last year, I gave my husband a Nifty Nabber, one of those long poles you see inmates using to pick up trash along the highway. On our daily walks, we always see trash in the neighborhood and are confounded by people who don’t clean up their yards and surrounding streets. (It takes everyone, folks, to keep a neighborhood looking nice!) The trash has become one of our pet peeves, so I considered the Nabber a good choice.

My gift was, of course, a joke; I never expected George to actually use it. But he has, driving around the neighborhood and getting out of the car to nab rubbish and put it in a bucket for later disposal. My husband, the Neighborhood Nabber.

I retired recently so now he expects me to accompany him on these excursions. My job: drive the car while he gets out to do the nabbing.

“Of course,” he says, “your job won’t have as much prestige as mine.”

Okay, then. Retirement isn’t turning out to be quite as grand as I expected.

But perhaps this story reveals an important truth: There is meaningful work to do in retirement that might just be right outside your own front door.

Signed: Karen Curran, ANN   (Assistant Neighborhood Nabber)

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