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Jan’s farewell

By Jan Pease

Today I’m going to tell you a story.  A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Oops!  Wrong story!  Let’s try this again.

Late In 1990 I was a sad mom who was still grieving the loss of our infant son, Nathaniel.  Our daughter was in first grade, and I was at home every day, but was teaching a few piano students.  My mom saw a little notice in the paper that the library was looking for someone to work 8 hours a week, including one story hour.  Mom suggested that it would be good for me to get out of the house.   She promised free child care!  So I applied, head librarian Carol Blunt hired me, and as they say, the rest is history.  I officially started in January of 1991.

My brother’s comment was, “Eight hours a week! Is that a real job?”  It grew into a bigger job, but planning and presenting story times remained a huge part of what I do.  Eventually, I was responsible for purchasing books for the four libraries in Meeker County.   Summer Reading Programs have been a big part of my job.  I’ve also written an average of two columns a month for more than 20 years.  That might be the equivalent of the book I always meant to write.

It’s been a privilege to work with talented, curious, intelligent people.  The staff at Litchfield Library provides excellent library services.  I have to add that Beth Cronk has done a wonderful job of stepping into the management of all of the Meeker County libraries.

As time slipped by I approached retirement age.  It came so fast!  I thought if my health held up, I’d like to work until age 67.  Well, during our great time out, I had a birthday and the number is 67. I’ve been talking about when and how to retire, and the time is now.

Library service is drastically changed, and there are no summer programs planned for groups at this time.  It seems like a good time to close this chapter of my life.  Do I need to add that this is an extremely difficult decision? But it’s the right decision.  As of May 31st, I’m retired.

I love living in Litchfield, and Dave and I will still be here.  We have no retirement plans to move to a more temperate clime.   I’m looking forward to having free time to meet friends for coffee or lunch, or both.

Robert Browning wrote, in a poem titled “Rabbi Ben Ezra” (read the whole poem sometime)

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

See you around!