Going On 18

No, I am not talking about the grandkids – although perhaps my granddaughters may be thinking about going on 18.

Rather, it’s almost 18 years since I retired from Unilever, started the renos and staging of our Georgetown home and eventually decided to sell and relocate to Almonte. Staging didn’t involve the cat, but we didn’t have a lot of control about where Sammy decided to take a snooze.

Quite a bit has changed since then, not just these two.

Unilever no longer owns the spreads, peanut butter or tea businesses. The Bramalea plant has disappeared and the Rexdale refinery has been decommisioned and demolished. My job wouldn’t exist now, or if it did remain it would be in the USA with a different company.

Back then WFH Covid-19 style could never have happened. I worked in two offices, with two desktop PCs each connected by wire to a local server. We communicated via email and collaborated afer a fashion with a specialized Lotus Notes program. There was no cloud storage, video conferencing, VPNs, wifi even. Nor did we have any form of social media or instant messages. We had a cellphone – one of those Motorola candy bar models. It made phone calls.

In 2004 we went to Carleton Place but had no clue about what Almonte had in store for us.

Cruise vacations and grandchildren were still well in the future. So were cataract implants and hearing aids.

But like clockwork, the anniversary of my retirement comes on the occasion of the Winter Solstice. As the memory of my worklife fades in the rear view mirror, I try to keep looking forward to another year of brighter days and warmer temperatures. Here’s to 2023!

Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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