Report from Louisiana: My last four days of working for a living!

If you Google “What to do when I retire,” you’ll get lots of lists that include things like teach, garden, visit family, spend time with friends, mentor, buy a motorhome, and join a fitness group.

Excuse me, but I’m retiring, not moving into an assisted living facility.

My list looks a little different.

When my retirement from the classroom begins next week, literally the first thing I’m going to do is drive three hours to south Louisiana and sit in an historically restored Cajun cottage along Bayou Teche. My husband and I go there five times a year and it is our home away from home. I’m going to walk across the street to the grocery store, buy some fancy cheeses, some fresh veggies, and I’m going to spend seven days decompressing and uncoiling from twenty-five years of teaching tenth grade English.

More immediate things on my list include cleaning out closets, drawers, cabinets, and eliminating a whole lot of clutter. Get rid of those work clothes! Why do I have six Pyrex casserole dishes? Do I really need this antique waffle iron with the fraying cord? Those size three jeans in my closet? Yeah, they haven’t fit in fifteen years so it is time for them to go.

I am going to listen to podcasts. Got any suggestions? I listened to S-Town and loved that. So well done. I don’t really listen to podcasts, but I think I might try that while I start a walking regimen. My son listens to some podcast that sound far too much like Beavis and Butthead; I don’t want that. Something good. Help a girl out.

I am going to read that huge stack of books taking over my house; then, I’m going to put them in the Little Free Library on the corner.

Day drink. Why not have a cold beer at noon while I pull some weeds out of the flower bed? Why the hell not?

Stay up as late as I want to.

Finish my second book. I’m close. I need to get it off to my publisher so I can start on my third book.

Narrow down topic for third book.

Learn how to cook alligator. Not everyone can do this well.

Go to Monroeville, Alabama, home of my idol Harper Lee. See the inside of that courthouse.

Re-tile my bathroom. I have no idea how to do this and I think I need tools which I don’t currently own. Saws and things. I can do this. Right?

Spend days and days in the archives at the library doing research. I love this. This was the best part of writing my first book — the research! Love it!

Write. Write. Write.

Drive as much of the original alignment of Route 66 from east to west as possible.

Attend as many minor league baseball games in as many ballparks as I possibly can.

Find some way to move permanently to south Louisiana, to Cajun country, which has my heart and soul.

Brush up my French.

While this little list isn’t exhaustive, I think it is a lot more interesting than some of the suggestions for retirees that I’ve seen. Retirement has proven “boring” for my husband; when he retired six years ago he went back to school and got his BA and then his Masters degree, which was fabulous! But now he’s bored.

I can’t see myself ever getting bored. Maybe this is because I’m technically still working and the reality of retirement has not yet hit me. Maybe after a period of time, I will be restless and aimless.

I doubt it.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium; she is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.ing

Very Quick Thoughts, A Marian Feast, A Chosen Scare, the No Hitter Glut, Restaurants and a Prediction under the Fedora

Today at daily mass we celebrated the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. Our Pastor informed us this is a very new feast that Pope Francis only instituted three years ago for the day after Pentecost. Given Her connection with the Holy Spirit it a good fit for the day after that celebration.

Just goes to show you that for all his shortcomings, on some thing Pope Francis gets it. Hey even the 62 Mets won 40 games.


Watched the latest episode of The Chosen that was released last night around (S2 EP 6). Other than the 1st episode of the series and episode 3 of season one it had the smallest direct biblical foundation of any of episodes I’ve seen.

I was very surprised that at the 2nd appearance of the possessed man all the hair of my arms stood up. There was no special makeup or special effect to make him seem possessed but something about that scene at that time really hit me.

I’ve recommended the show to others and recommend it to you but I’m holding back on financial backing until I see how they handle John Chapter 6.


While I haven’t been watching any baseball on the radio sports folks were talking about the glut of no hitters this year blaming it on batters swinging for the fences and MLB deciding what they want to do about it.

I don’t understand why they have to do anything about it, I’d worry more about long term fan retention from being woke than this type of thing. The only people who should be panicking are the insurance companies who backed the “throw a no hitter win free furniture” deals

On and for the record that seven inning no hitter should count, if it’s an official game it should be an official no-hitter


Is it just me or has a welcome side effect of the last year been some chain restaurants improving the quality of their food?

It seems to me A lot of such restaurants shrunk their menus during this time and seemed to focus more on quality. It’s been very noticeable.

Let’s hope that quality uptick is maintained as we open up.


Finally as you remember I’ve been predicting that in the end the fact that election 2020 was stolen in several states (and plenty of votes in others too) will come out before the next national election (2024) and likely even before then. I’d like to make a 2nd prediction.

When it does come out the same people who insisted that this was all bunk with change their narrative to say it was justified to stop Donald Trump and the media and even regular democrat voters will embrace this meme.

I’m hoping I’m wrong here but I don’t think so.