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A retiree sure could use some spare time

After reading the newspaper, then the financial news online, I tackle the crossword puzzle. / /

Recently, our son told us of a problem with one of his kitchen wall outlets. As an expert in handyman tasks — I watch “This Old House” — I offered my assistance. I have an outlet tester.

“When would you like me to come over?” I asked, referring to his home in Shoreham.


He responded, “Whenever you have some spare time.”

“Spare time,” I thought. When do I have spare time? I have idle time, nap time, and even down time. I have lunch time, dinner time, or even tea time. In the fall, I have half time, hang time and, maybe, overtime. I once enjoyed rag time and swing time, but not flex time. And how about Miller time?

Reflecting on my “retiree” status, I realized that I have lots of time. But spare time? I hadn’t thought much about it, but I do not have much spare time.

During my working days, I looked forward to a day off to catch up on chores or visit a winery or some other leisure spot. I loved my spare time then. But these days, I cannot find much any more. My days are filled.

My mornings are occupied with activities essential to my physical and mental health.

Upon waking, I stretch. Depending on what aches the most, I stretch that part or other parts. I then settle in with my copy of Newsday. I need to read about the Yankees and Mets and follow the escapades of our local politicians. I need at least two cups of coffee to sustain me during this part of my day. It all takes . . . time.

I finish the paper close to 10 a.m., and then I read digital copies of financial news from around the world. Following this, I tackle the crossword puzzle until it’s time for lunch. If pushed hard, I will walk for 30 or 40 minutes, too. Very busy mornings in this household.


If it’s Tuesday, Rita, my wife of 59 years, and I head to Costco in Smithtown or Riverhead. We can gas up at the Riverhead store to save 4 or 5 cents a gallon! This about kills the afternoon, so we opt for a late lunch or maybe an early dinner at home or out. It’s a lot more “outs” these days.

On Wednesday, I visit the gym to keep this body from collapsing too soon.

On Thursdays, we have a very late lunch followed by “noshing” at 6 p.m.

And then the weekend is here, and we barely have time to wash the kitchen floor and vacuum the car.

I spend lots of time “helping out” with laundry and shopping and dusting. Phew! All this thinking wears me out. If lucky, I’ll find time for a glass of single-barrel sour mash or a local pinot noir.

Maybe next Wednesday afternoon I can squeeze in time for fixing the outlet between sweeping the garage and crushing ice for our 3 o’clock mint julep gathering with friends. I can use some reserve spare time. Have you any left over?

Reader Alfred J. Faragasso lives in Miller Place.