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Bob door


When you’re born, they start at zero, and count your age in days, weeks and months until you’ve completed a year of life, and you turn one. I was 59 on September 29, which means I’ve completed my 59th year on the planet, and my 60th year begins, today, on September 30. I’m not “in my 60s” as the term is conventionally used, but it’s close enough. Holy crap – suddenly I’m old.

I’m also retiring after nearly 30 years of practicing law – more than 26 of those with the same firm. It’s unsettling to be leaving a profession and a work environment that I know so well, but it’s also exciting to be setting out into uncharted waters. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do – acting, writing, and travel all come to mind. But the important thing is that I’ll be defining what I do, and when I do it. And it doesn’t matter if I earn money at it or not. My last day at work is today, Monday, September 30.

Now that we don’t need to live close to any work site (my wife retired from her job in Nutley in December), we’re having renovations done at our former vacation home in Monmouth County, and will move there permanently in a couple of weeks. We did an extensive facelift of the house, including new siding and ground-level stone, the addition of a porch on the third floor, and upgrading the siding, railings and trim around the porches on the first and second floors.

We’re also adding a brand-new mahogany front door, with a stained-glass insert in the center, and stained-glass panels on either side. It’s replacing a double door that had a white aluminum frame and full glass panels – basically, a sliding glass door with handles and hinges. The new door, by contrast, is a work of art.

As with most renovations, this project has hit a number of snags – missing/slow tradesmen, late inspectors, delayed shipment of materials, machinery, and/or fixtures, rerouting pipes and ductwork to accommodate conditions unknown until the walls were opened, etc. The usual.

As a result, the projected completion date of July 30 has now been pushed to October something-soon. My builder won’t commit to anything more concrete than after the first, but before Halloween. Although the front porch and the steps leading to it have been rebuilt, the paved path that’s supposed to run between the porch steps and the sidewalk is still a pile of dirt. Nonetheless, the builder tells me he’s ready to install the new front door. It’s to be delivered, today, Monday, September 30, and installed on Tuesday, October 1.

That’s also my first day of retirement. And the second day of my 60th year. They say that when one door – or in this case, a couple of them – closes, a new one opens. We’ll see.