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Thirty Six Weeks (standard:travel stories, 585 words)
Author: meg malpasAdded: Feb 02 2009Views/Reads: 1806/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
On a countdown to retirement, a way to make it come quicker.


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 

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 


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