|Thirty Six Weeks (standard:travel stories, 585 words)|
|Author: meg malpas||Added: Feb 02 2009||Views/Reads: 1747/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|On a countdown to retirement, a way to make it come quicker.|
THIRTY-SIX WEEKS. Jenny was on a count down and it had gone from months into weeks now. Yes it really was 36 weeks and three days until she retired. Some days she could not believe she had been nursing for forty-one years. The years had flown past. Other days she wondered if the retirement day would ever come. For the last three years she had been working a, self imposed, wind-down. This now meant working as a "Bank" staff nurse rather than a full time sister at the local hospital, which gave her the freedom to do less hours and work them to suit herself. In reality, as Jenny found it impossible to say no, she was working 30 hours a week and whenever needed. Nursing had changed so much and sometimes, when Jenny met up with an old friend whom she had nursed with years ago and they started their “remember when...” she reminded herself of her mother and grandmother who had been nurses before her. Yes there were more days now when she felt she could not wait to be a full time gardener, baker and general housewife. Her husband Jim was three years younger than Jenny and as men had to work to 65 he had 8 years to do. She wished there was a way they could finish together yet she knew that as they still had a small mortgage he would have to work until he qualified for his pension. As part of this countdown Jenny began planning a holiday for the two of them as a retirement present to herself. She so wanted to go back to Italy. It was almost 31 years since they went there on honey moon. It had been a two-centre holiday with a few days in Italy and a few in Austria. They had promised themselves they would return. Now 31 years 4 daughters and one granddaughter it was time. While scanning sites on the internet for flights for next year Jenny noticed some cheap, in fact give-away, priced flights to Rome for 2 months time. In fact for the week after their 31st wedding anniversary. She sat with pen and paper and worked out the finances of this mad idea. Yes it would be tight going sooner and it would be 5 days rather than two weeks. However this countdown would be much more bareable if broken up with a wonderful trip to Rome. Over the next few weeks Jenny planned and plotted without a word to Jim then the week of their anniversary came. Jim had bought a beautiful card and asked, “Where would you like to go for our anniversary meal?” “Rome” replied Jenny. “In a private jet?” joked Jim. “No on a cheap flight next week for five days bed and breakfast in a countryside hotel just outside Rome.” Jim turned to face Jenny and realised she was serious. As they discussed the details his face went from amusement to shock to acceptance. “Wow.” He said at last. “Rome it is then as long as I don't have to speak Italian. “Don't worry” Jenny was prepared. “I have downloaded a quick course in Italian For The Tourist.” A week later as they ate an Italian meal at a little candle-lit table around the corner from the Trevi Fountain they drank to 31 years and Jenny knew the wait for retirement would be much easier as she repeated the stories of beautiful Rome to staff, patients and anyone willing to listen. Tweet
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