Retire? NOW?

I just read that Olive Stephens, of Shady Shores, Texas, announced she would not run for a twentieth term as mayor. 

So what, you say? 

Well, here’s the thing:  Olive is 94 years old.  Yep, 94!  She has been mayor for 38 years.  But now she is having a bit of trouble getting around, so she thinks its time for someone else to step up and take over.

No, I am not contemplating running for her job.  I don’t even live in Texas!  But when people ask me retirement oriented questions–which they do more and more frequently–my standard answer has been, “I want to write as long as Agatha Christie did!”   (Agatha Christie, you might recall, wrote almost until her death at the age of 85.  Still just a spring chicken, Olive Stephens would surely say!)

As much as I continue to admire Agatha’s tenacity, I have decided to rehitch my writing plans to Olive’s star.  I think I’ll keep on going until I’m 94, too.  Then I’ll turn in my computer and enjoy my retirement. 

“After a certain number of years, our faces become our biographies.”

Cynthia Ozick



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10 responses to “Retire? NOW?

  1. Jean Stewart

    Ok, as long as my mind still works, sort of, and my fingers still type a bit, and I can see well enough to know what I’ve put on the computer and paper, I’ll just write along with you! But I want to tell you, I’m already tired… may just try to read at least half the books waiting for me! And read the ones you’ll keep writing. Sounds lovely. :~)

  2. Thank you, Jean. I’m tired too! “Keep on writing” does not mean writing at the same pace. Dan and I had a long talk about this. No more “book every six months”! That’s a killer schedule.

  3. This is a wonderful and amazing story. She must have loved the job, and the people loved her. She will be one pair of shoes hard to fill. I live in Texas and i don’t want the job either.

  4. And the people must have loved her, too! Thanks for coming by, Shirley.

  5. Irene

    You go, girl friend! As long as you keep writing we can keep enjoying the fruits of your labor:D

  6. Hi Kay –

    I’m with you! I’ll keep going as long as I’m able.

    Susan 🙂

  7. Ian Bennett

    Ninety-four is an admirable target, Kay, but somehow you just don’t strike me as the early retirement type. Go for a hundred!

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