Same Ol’ Same Ol’?? — New Retiree Writes About His Life

(at left) — Forever together … a man and his dog

by Thomas Peddecord
Cuenca, Ecuador

Here we go again. Same old thing. Up at nine (regardless of how late our restaurant, PANACHE!, was open for service the previous night). Then it’s out the door for a walk around the neighborhood. Maybe the beach is a possibility this morning?  No, no such luck! Rain is coming. Better to return to the restaurant before we get drenched.  

Upon our return home it’s into the Subaru, turn on the ignition, and begin another edition of our daily rounds.  Stops at the grocery store, produce stand, and  Asian market are all on the “to do” list everyday. A double- check of the grocery list is in order to make sure nothing has been forgotten is in order.


If luck is with us and and time allows a stop at Quizno’s for a sandwich is the next order of business.  I really love the Cubano sandwich! Not too spicy and full of flavor. Maybe a sandwich for Linda?…  

I really enjoy the solitude in the Subaru at times like these. Listening to “Fresh Air” on NPR, sharing a delicious sandwich, temporarily insulated from all the craziness of the restaurant (and life in general), and finding time to think about something other than the monotonous tedium that pervades our apartment, our restaurant and our lives.  O.K.  All good things must come to an end. 

Turn on the ignition and head back to PANACHE!  Time to unload the groceries, stock the shelves, the refrigerators, and the freezer.  Check the prep list for dinner service.  Turn on the soup warmers and head upstairs to check on Linda.  She’s fine.  (Catching a few extra winks this morning because she got upstairs really late last night.  That last customer didn’t leave until 1AM!)  Once in the office a check for e-mail and phone messages while being mostly concerned with messages from folks wishing to dine with us tonight.  People seem to think it’s perfectly fine to wait until the “day of…” to make reservations for dinner whether the table is for 2 or twenty. (I never will understand that attitude).  

If the prep list isn’t too long and the first reservation isn’t coming in too, too early we may have time to relax and watch a few minutes of the Anderson Cooper Show.  I wonder what issue Anderson and his guests will be discussing today?  Gun control, rising incidence of obesity in non-white train conductors, animal cruelty, or the perplexing popularity of the Kardashian litter…  

No matter because today the demands of the restaurant require our immediate attention downstairs to begin preparations for dinner service.Somedays I get a chance for a nap before dinner and somedays not.  Unfortunately this is not one of those days.  Juan, Little Juan and Greg will all be in to help in the kitchen tonight!  What a relief!  Maybe we can leave the after service clean-up to the crew so that our walk can begin a little early and end a little later. Our time together at night is much anticipated and greatly valued.  Solitude, companionship, moments to think about “stuff”.  

Particularly so lately since it has been decided that I am going to be moving to Mom’s ex-husband’s 150 acre farm in rural Missouri.  I can’t wait!  No more short walks around the neighborhood, no more grocery buying excursions every morning of everyday of every week, and no more wondering if the nightly walk will be a short one or a long one. 

Don’t get me wrong!  I love Dad and Mom to death but the life we have all been  living for the past eight years since the opening of PANACHE! cannot be considered “living” by any stretch of the imagination.  I am deeply sorry that we are going to have to spend the rest of our lives in different parts of the world but retirement, hopefully, comes for us all. 

I will be living on a 150 acre parcel in the middle of the country chasing horses and rabbits, sticking my nose in the babbling creek behind the house, sleeping on a homemade quilt in front of the fireplace and riding in to town with Don (Mom’s ex) in his old Ford pick-up. Dad and Mom will be living their dream in Cuenca, Ecuador.  

Someone once said, “Never underestimate the capacity of the human heart for love.”  The same can be said of the canine heart.  I know I will forever live in their hearts and, believe me when I tell you, they will forever live in mine.   

(Tom gives permission to reprint this article, as long as you include his bio and don’t change the content. He may be reached at )         

Editor’s Note: This IS the place for publishing your retirement stories! Author Thomas Peddecord, was born in Wichita, Kansas. He and his wife Linda have lived in California and Oregon. Mr. Peddecord is a 1998 graduate of Western Culinary Institute Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon. After working in the food industry for a number of years Tom, Linda, and their dog Ginger, opened their own restaurant in Newport Oregon in 2005. 

PANACHE! was a fine dining white tablecloth restaurant that specialized in menu items which utilized fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, wild seafood, and chemical and hormone-free beef, lamb and pork. After enjoying great success for a number of years PANACHE! was sold in 2012. The author and his wife moved to Cuenca, Ecuador shortly thereafter and have been enjoying their lives in South America ever since.   

Have a retirement story? Send it to me — Susan Klopfer — and see it in print. Please include your bio and a photo, if possible.