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From dreams to retirement isn’t a big step, after all

October 9, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

In a dream, you can do things you can't in real life.

So, I'm lying in bed waiting for a program to begin. A man stands to talk, but suddenly there's a raucous noise. I tell him to hold up, then cross the room to where the noise is and reach down, check cords, then yank one from the wall. The noise keeps going, and I'm miffed because I know I'll have to reset my clock. The second cord pulled fails to stop the noise. The third cord fails.

Finally I wake enough to realize my alarm is screaming at me, but I just let it scream as I think back and realize I'd been down on my knees to check the cords and stood back up without any help. I liked that feeling. Then I got out of bed to shut off the clock and nearly fell because I was so stiff from lying in one place too long.

Oh, how your mind can fool you.

Give me a few more days and I won't have that buzzer-screaming dream because I won't set an alarm. Well, on special occasions I might, but Willie Nelson better be standing at my front door waiting to take me to Scotland.

In dreams you can marry two disparate things, so who's to say Willie Nelson might not show up and offer to take me to Scotland. Don't know why, but I've got a soft spot in my heart for Scotland and I've always been a fan of Willie Nelson.

In more than a quarter century of interviews, my interview with him remains my favorite, even if I was so scared waiting to talk to him, I couldn't have told you my name.

But, I digress. I'm known to do that. I won't be setting an alarm because as of Thursday, I'll be retired. Officially retired. By some golden blessing of the god of wishes, I get to continue writing this column.

So, if you have anything you'd like me to know, just drop me an email at You may try calling 576-6765, but I've got a suspicion I won't be home much.

Two words of warning, though. DO NOT call me before 10 a.m., and even then you'll be slicing it fairly thin. My only plans so far for retirement are to stay up till 3 and to sleep till 10. If you haven't noticed, there are a lot of good movies on the tube early, early in the morning.

I wanted to write a going-away column telling you what it's meant to me to be part of your lives for the past 12 years. I had beautiful phrases thought up, crafted perfectly to say exactly what I felt. There are people I've met I don't think I can live without, and I wanted to tell them how I feel.

Then I read it aloud. I always read what I've written aloud to make sure I haven't said anything insidiously stupid. By the time I had to make that decision, though, I couldn't see. Walls of water flushed my eyes, making sight impossible.

I can't do that to you. Just know you mean a lot to me and it's been wonderful chatting with you on Sunday mornings.

Now, however, I'll be able to eat lunch at Big John's in Bode with my friend Dee anytime I can catch her home. I don't have to wait until there's a story in that area to cover, then arrange my going or coming home around lunch time.

When I'm in Laurens, I can actually take the drink that's been offered at The Pub. Don't know what kind of a drink it will be. Likely a Diet Coke. That's just about all I drink.

And when I'm driving south through Boxholm, I can pull over and just look at the school yard ball field. My dad played ball there for years, and there are a lot of good memories in that little town. Good friends, too.

Good memories count. Good friends count more.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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