Tranquility … enjoying letters from old BFFs before we had the term BFF:)

Rick Reading mail by the Ocean
What do I enjoy about retirement on the island? One is a day at the beach with family, time to read and enjoy email from a dear friend, and sit and think as the waves crash.

Life here is sometimes challenging, trying, and most often unbelievably peaceful. One of the best things of it is an email from a friend from way back in Germany, a friend who has been on my mind nearly every day for many many years, and who reports she is doing great.

I get her updates sporadically, and often have time to only digest the news and reply, but yesterday I was picnicking with family by the ocean. As they play cards and swim in the cool waters of the Atlantic, I had a chance to really sit, read and reflect on fabulous times.  Vielen Dank, Miss Mon. Muito Obrigada.

Sitting and listening to the waves, or sitting in the back yard and counting stars here happens relatively often.  I often feel guilty hearing from friends and family in the DC area or in the military as they bemoan stress, responsibilities, inadequate leadership in their jobs, etc. Then I force myself to remember many years of those same things, in uniform and working with State Department in “much less relaxing places” on every continent around the globe. (All right, I never made it to Antartica, true)! When I feel guilty, my wonderful family reminds me, I did my time — long days, radios, beepers, guns, and cell phones, short notice airplane “rides” etc.

Now I can relax and stay in touch with those who helped me survive those years. My wife, children, family and friends all thank you.

To all my dear friends, stay healthy, enjoy life, and thank you for being there when I need you!!!