LaCorona Vida #1

Our family has been isolated since the middle of March. Our son is here with us since his college closed their campus and went totally online. The gyms where Heather works shut down and my work sent me home with my high tech laptop and low tech job all about the same time.

You know something, it hasn’t been bad. We are blessed we know, lots of our friends are out of a job or on furlough and they still have mortgage and car payments to make. So I count our blessings but not too loudly. Logan has been doing his classes online, Heather has been taking exercise classes online. I haven’t done that, yet. I am missing yoga and so I guess that I’ll take my first online yoga class soon.


I’ve done numerous laps of the 3 mile Lafortune Park trail. We used to take Rascal the Pomeranian with us but no more. The weather was a little warm and humid and I had to call Heather at about the two mile mark to come rescue us. Rascal was gasping for breath and me helping him wasn’t helping him so Heather came and scooped him up into the air conditioned car with the AC on full blast on him and took him home to cool off. He’s fine but he is done with Lafortune Park this year.

I’ve learned to love curbside pickup. I show my ID when requested and they never question it.

Like many people I have been tracking the stats on the Coronavirus. I have been using the seven day trailing average just like the State of Oklahoma does and unlike them I don’t see a big reduction that our governor used to open the State up. I get it though, when do we come out of isolation? Our economy needs to get going again but at what cost? Here in Oklahoma, I can tell you, as a fact, that many oil producers cannot find anybody to buy their oil. Why? Because demand has plummeted, and storage is full. Many producers are telling their pumpers to flow the wells until the lease tanks are full and then shut them in. Pretty wild.


You couple all that with my retirement coming up June 1 and this makes for exciting times. I will probably retire without going to the office. I’ll have to to retrieve my crap that I accumulated over time, personal items like photographs and such. Usually one gets a little reception in a conference room for a couple hours. I have been dreading it because I thought nobody would show up, so now I don’t have to worry about it. I might have been surprised though cuz both HR and my Leader have asked me if it was okay if they gave out my contact data because people have been wanting it. Probably bill collectors, right? No, not right, so that made me feel good.

The big tall tower is a demethanizer and the three little towers are molecular sieves. Plant to extract ethane, propane, butane, and gasoline out of natural gas. I love this stuff. The truck in the lower middle of the photo is an Xray truck to check welding quality. Except they use Gamma Rays instead of Xrays cuz xrays don’t penetrate metal.

I started out in the energy business 43 years ago. I wanted a month off after graduation but no, my employer, Mobil Oil Corporation, had a bunch of new people and they wanted them all in the office in Houston on a certain date to get them processed all at once so that left me just a week or so. I got to see my mother cry at our house in Albuquerque as I pulled out one morning headed to Texas to help America solve her energy problems.

I can’t complain though, again I was blessed. I was always able to shape my jobs to something that worked for me. I’ve had 45 bosses in my 43 years and I think 43 of them have really looked out for me. Seriously, do you know anybody else with luck like that? In the energy business???


So anyway, leaving the energy biz as matter of factually as I got into it suits me fine. This work at home has given me a glimpse of what retirement might look like and I think it will work. I find that I actually enjoy my wife and son’s company.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next in my life. I am looking forward to continuing to tutor first and second graders in reading, helping environmental organizations, and spending time with Heather, and reading, lots and lots of reading, geocaching, hiking, bicycling, maybe starting running again, and traveling.

I’m a lucky guy.

5 thoughts on “LaCorona Vida #1

  1. Angie

    Alan – some governors seem to be willing to sacrifice people for the economy. Unbelievable. We are very fortunate that our Governor has his priorities straight. Today, for the first time since the middle of March, we have had no new cases in Montana. We are praying that the next few weeks demonstrate that the phased re-opening of Montana is the right strategy.

    It sounds like you are ready for your retirement! Congratulations in advance!

  2. Susie of Arabia

    The world is definitely a much different place now and the effects will be felt for a long time to come. I just hope we learn some important lessons from all this and things change for the better – because we’ve been headed the wrong direction for a while now.
    I love that shadow photo – it’s cool!
    How exciting that you will be retiring soon! I know you’ll keep busy and productive. I wish you all the best in your retirement. BTW I’m sure you would have had a good turnout if you had a reception at work.

  3. Barb

    Great mask, Alan! Your “early” retirement for a month or so is good practice for your “real” retirement. I wondered how Bob would do, but he never looked back. He owned his own company, found a buyer, and waved goodbye. Like you, he has many interests, loves to be outdoors, and isn’t a Type A who needs a job to make him feel useful and fulfilled. He and I do lots together but also spend time with separate friends and like alone time, too. It will all fall into place. Congratulations on your long work history in energy. (Our oil stock is plummeting, but I won’t hold it against you!) I love the shadow shot – so interesting.

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