The best part of my retirement was a surprise


So?  Where is she now after so much kvetching about retiring?

I’ve got a job!  And a very big, enthusiastic yippee to that!

How many people are a-wishin’ and a-hopin’ and a-dreamin’ about being retired?  Most.  And retirement is a panacea, right?  A dream come true, with no stress or responsibility or time limitations – hurray! And no pantyhose (for those of us who were so inclined to don them) or punishing high heels (although they do look great and professional and so totally feminine and attractive) –  fuggedaboutit! Sneakers, on the other hand, rock, and they’re pink, or striped, or stars and stripes, and they look adorable, especially with a little golf skirt, a pretty top and a matching golf cap!        

But here’s the rest of the story:  After whining much of last winter to Pepper, my golf partner, about all the negative aspects that I found with retirement, he told me that I needed to see Tony, because he had the perfect job for me. 

Tony is a transplanted New Yorker with a highly successful insurance business here on the west coast of Florida, and he owns … here it comes … two beautiful golf courses! And he was looking for someone to run The Halfway House!  That’s its real name, although no alcohol or drug abuse is involved – but copious amounts of beer and other spirited spirits are sold there!

After you play the 10th hole, you cross the street to get to the 11th hole, and you have to pass – you guessed it – The Halfway House, a cute little green building with a door through which I can see everyone approaching and a darling roll-up window on the opposite side.  Delish, freshly made sandwiches, including beautiful sausage-and-peppers sandwiches on a big bun, hamburgers and the like, as well as all kinds of soft and hard drinks, and snacks and such. Is this right up my alley, or what?! 

I only work three or four days a week, about 9-4 or so, and the best part is that I get to flirt with mostly happy, funny, and, of course, retired men, and talk about the market, as well as selling some really delicious food. The Halfway House is so good that folks from the beautiful neighborhood and workmen driving by stop in for chow too!       

Did I mention that I get paid for this gig, and make great tips? 

So this isn’t a career path – and so what to that! I now have structure to my week and more than enough time to play golf, go to meetings such as Rotary, political groups that I’m part of, book clubs and numerous other interesting things, as well as to continue to torture Pepper with my mediocre drive. 

I make friends very easily, and everyone in the establishment is so nice and incredibly helpful.  The kitchen produces wonderful food all day so I don’t really cook, just look cute, stay organized and continue to be my outwardly personable self – easy!   

Between hungry golfers, I have time to read the Wall Street Journal every day, as well as books (I have been rereading some classics lately), sit in the gorgeous Florida sunshine for about 15 minutes for my daily fix of vitamin D, and kibbitz with people from the ’hood jogging or walking with kids. Cool, huh?

And, you ask, are my various degrees, certifications, licenses, etc., wasted slinging burgers and dogs and the like?  How many embarrassing steps down is this new gig from my big, long-term, beloved Wall Street career (and the aforementioned high heels)?  Are you kiddin’ me? 

What we all need is to be respected and honored for whatever it is that we do, and, believe me, the line cook is as important and integral to the successful operation of a business, and perhaps more so on many days (try a golf tournament with dinner for 150 …), than the big-shot corporate exec. 

And loving what you’re doing, doing it with genuine kindness, and making the people you’re serving, in whatever capacity, feel important and welcome – that’s what all of life is about, dear readers! 

Until next time … perhaps when I franchise Halfway Houses on every golf course on the planet!

BARBARA KENERSON ( was the first vice president of investments at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC for almost four decades and wrote the Investment Column for the Jewish Voice for many years.  She also reviewed Broadway plays for Rhode Island newspapers and was a motivational speaker for women.  She takes no prisoners!