As we go through life we all experience watersheds along the way. We graduate from high school, perhaps we graduate from college, we get our first major job, most of us get married, we have our first child, the kids grow up and we adjust to the “empty nest”, we become grandparents, and eventually we choose to “retire”.
Well, after 16 years here at Piragis Northwoods I have reached that watershed they call retirement. I will be 67 years old this coming October and Diane and I want to have more time to paddle our canoe, travel in our Airstream, and spend time with our kids and grandchildren.
I have to say that of all of the jobs I have had in my adult life, working here at PNC in the Outfitting Department has been the best job I have ever had. Over the years I have gotten paid to talk about what I enjoy the most - paddling a canoe. Helping people plan a canoe trip, whether it is their first or twentieth has been a dream job. The crew here at PNC has been top-notch and to work with them has been a privilege.
One of the things I have enjoyed most over the years is establishing a relationship with people who return year after year. I will certainly miss that part of not working. Of course, many of you have graciously extended invitations to visit if Diane and I happen to be traveling near your home. The way I figure it out, Diane and I could get into our Airstream and visit friends from one end of the country to the next. So, don’t be surprised if some day you get a call asking if you have room for an Airstream in your driveway.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for enriching my life over the past years. Your friendship, your thoughtfulness, and your loyalty to Piragis Northwoods will never be forgotten.
Several of you, upon hearing of my retirement, have graciously said, "What will Piragis do without you?" Rest assured that everything will be just as good if not better. Drew and Adam will not miss a beat and will continue to provide you with the best service and best gear available.
I look forward to the “freedom” of retirement. My plate will be full, but I am grateful for good health, family and friends, and the blessing of living in a place like Ely. I would love to hear from any of you who desire to keep in touch. My personal email is Bertheep@gmail.com.
So, farewell friends, I raise my paddle to all of you. Thanks for all the good memories. Perhaps we will run into each other on a portage or on the water. You may not even recognize me as you say, "Who was that old man portaging that canoe? He sure looked familiar."
P.S. I will be doing a few phone shifts each week at the store to help out during the summer. So, maybe we will talk again.