Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Things May Be Changing

I have been rocking along and waiting for retirement so that we can get on the road, but that might have changed today. News received today at work may cause our wait to be for four more years instead of just two.

Jo and I both work for the state of Oklahoma in a law enforcement agency. She is an IT professional and a branch manager in our agency’s department. As such, she is the one called upon to be “the boss” when the IT division director has to be out of town or is on vacation.

With the state of Oklahoma wanting to consolidate all the IT departments in the state, there is a lot of flux at the moment. At first, Jo was uncertain as to whether she would even still have a job after this process of consolidating began to happen.

As a part of that consolidation plan, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) has set up five “departments” within the state IT agency, one of which is over all the law enforcement agencies’ and, I think, the state court system’s IT departments. Jo’s boss, our agency’s IT division director has applied for and apparently been offered the position over that “department.”

When they recently had a discussion of the future of the consolidation, she had mentioned that she would like to take early retirement in two years if the consolidation looked to be a problem for her. Her boss asked her if she would stay for four years IF he got the position of the head of the law enforcement systems under this new plan, and Jo said that she would.

Her boss will be retiring in about 4 years and I think he really wanted someone that he could depend on, and Jo is definitely dependable. I can’t count the number of times we have driven in to work at all hours to address issues involving the computer systems and servers. With the sale of our home last May and the move to a mobile home park with our Mobile Suites, we are now only 3 miles away instead of over 20 miles away, so that has made it a lot easier to be “dependable.”

It now looks like we may very well be staying put for four more years. That will let Jo get to full retirement instead of early retirement. I could retire at any time as I am just enough of an old fogey that I could, albeit with a reduced amount of benefits simply because I haven’t put in quite enough years for full retirement benefits.

In order for me to get full retirement, I would have to work until I was 72 years old. Since I am now 65, that would have been 7 more years, but if Jo goes ahead and retires after 4 more years, it will add to my retirement benefits, but I would still be 3 year short of having full retirement benefits.

Hey, I could live with that. After all, I would only be 69-years-old when we start, and I fully plan on living to the age of 103 and dying in a fight over a prime campsite.

Fall and Winter colors in Colorado, October 2011



  1. I always find it interesting that many employers will find a way to entice a valued employee to remain once that employee mentions leaving. In February 2011, I had a similar conversation with my boss. Before that conversation, I took the entire month of January to pray about my retirement. One of the key influences in my decision was the line in your blog's heading - "It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place."
    Best wishes to you and Jo as you ponder the final decision on the delayed retirement.

  2. Terry & Jo -

    I applaud you for your dedication to stay with the job. I too was asked to stay on as the network manager where I worked. But in my situation, with my disability progressing, I couldn't stay and then be guaranteed that I would be able to enjoy my retirement. So though I applaud you I also warn you to take retirement as soon as you possible can. The Lord doesn't promise us tomorrow let alone today. So enjoy the next two years and then ski-doodle, YOU deserve it. The state got along without you before you were there, there are plenty of people you can take over and do it when you're gone. Get out and enjoy that DRV while it's young.

  3. John, Believe me it isn't dedication. Jo is eligible for early retirement in 2 years, and if things are where we can, we still want to retire then. As for her boss, even he might not be able to tolerate the CIO of the state's IT "agency." Her boss has some good plans for consolidation, but if the CIO isn't receptive to them, he would be likely to leave. So far, the CIO hasn't been too receptive to suggestions. Personally, I think he has an ego problem.


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