I didn't want to retire. I wasn't ready to retire... But I have to admit - the thought of being home on dry land everyday is exciting for me. I can think of so many things I want to do. And, I had to retire, because I couldn't get a fit-for-duty-slip to return to work.
On April 3, 2014, when the Deck Department of the M/V Indiana Harbor was scheduled to return for spring fit-out, I went on Officer's Sick Leave and I haven't been back to work since.
Now, I've got to admit that the idea of NEVER working aboard ship again is sad for me, in a way... But, the thought of being home with my loving wife Linda, immediate family and my trusty dog Eli every day is an exhilarating concept.
I've been home almost 10 straight months and I'm feeling more "normal" everyday. I can tell that Linda "likes" having me home and that means ALOT to me. The "rest" of my clan is happy I'll be home too - and Eli (my furry little buddy), will probably be with me almost every single day... I REALLY like that!
ASC And AMO Are Great Organizations
The American Steamship Company Human Resources Department and The American Maritime Officers Benefit Plans Department have BOTH helped me (and are helping me), tremendously.
It was a surprise to everyone, except maybe my Doctors, that my health issues would force me to retire this year. I had thought, since first going on sick leave, that before long I would be able to return to work... So, I wasn't "ready" (at all), to retire.
Hardly a weekday goes by when I don't hear from ASC or AMO. I don't have to ask them for help - they actually call me and ask how I'm doing and remind me of things that need to be done to make my retirement as successful as it can be.
Every single person I've talked to in both the AMO Pension and Medical "Plans" Departments and the ASC Human Resources Department have been EXTREMELY helpful, considerate and encouraging. I hope I've been able to make them know how grateful I am.
What My Retirement Means For The Great Lakes Ships Site/Blog
So, I've decided I'm going to spend a lot more time working and writing on this Blog. I actually have many "unique" visitors to this Site every day and YOU deserve to find interesting content here.
Now, I'm not going to make any guarantees, because I'm a confirmed procrastinator... but my intention is to post at least 3 times a week on the Great Lakes Ships Blog.
Of course, I have many truly good friends who work on Great Lakes Ships so I will still be "connected" to the industry.
And I live right on the largest commercial shipping port on the Great Lakes, the Duluth/Superior Harbor, so I should be able to post lots of pictures and I'm going to work on creating interesting videos to post here as well.
Many Folks Have "Bugged" Me About Not Keeping Up With This Blog
Lots of people have asked me why I don't Post to this Blog. Many folks have read the few Posts that are here on the Blog and have been frustrated that I haven't added more content here.
I want to say that I really am sorry I've neglected to maintain this site. And I want to thank everyone who takes an interest in "The Great Lakes Ships Site", (and what I have to say).
I intend to REALLY try to make this site interesting again. So, go ahead and bookmark this site, (if you haven't already), and give me another chance to make things "right" on this Blog.
AS an old friend, (HWP), would say; "I'm all worded out".... So I'm going to close for now.
Check back in a couple days - I BET I'll have another Post here!