Two and a half years. Today. That’s how long I have been retired now. April Fool’s Day 2010 was my last day of work.
People told me I would get bored. I would want to come back as a rehired annuitant, or become what we called in DC, a beltway bandit. A contractor. But, that hasn’t happened. I have no desire to return to the work force.
My retirement “jobs” are way more fun. Jobs like volunteering at the Conservancy, and completing the HoLLIE program. I spent most of my career in DC and VA, while living in Howard County. Finally, I feel like I live here, instead of just sleeping and eating, between commuting and traveling for 30 years. I experienced some lovely days at places like Sharp’s Farm, with a talk about farming, and a guided hike by Denise Sharp. My interests in local foods and farms shaped my volunteer efforts for this past two years.
What is HoLLIE? Howard Legacy Leadership Institute for the Environment. I found out in 2011, when I completed the six weeks of lectures, field trips, reading and discussion, with 12 other class members. I did my internship at the Conservancy, where I am now a volunteer naturalist, leading field trips for local schools. Getting trained for it, using opportunities like a guided history tour of the property.
I also am a member of the program committee. It was part of my placement to become a part of the committee and assist in planning Wonder Walks and other events. The cool thing about HoLLIE was learning more and more about local, regional, national and global concerns. But, we could focus on what mattered to us. Like for me, working with the local farmers, to bring programs to the Conservancy about their farms and food.
Want to help the public school system with activities like the Our Environment in Our Hands activities for fourth graders, held at the fairgrounds? Or, volunteer at Robinson Nature Center, as the Gift Shop Leader, or maybe the Discovery Room Leader? Or, help keep the Patapsco clean by volunteering with the Friends of the Patapsco Valley? Or, with Parks and Rec?
All sorts of things for those of us who have retired, and want to still be useful. To make a difference. There is an information night being held at Miller Library, on October 9th, from 7 until 8:30 pm. Many graduates of the program will be there to talk about their experience.
If you are like me, retired and wanting to give to Howard County, check out this program. You can’t say you are bored if you do. My calendar is as full as I like it, with hikes and festivals and more.