People always tell me, “This getting old is not what it’s cracked up to be”. Well, I’m sure that is a very accurate statement in many respects, with some I can also vouch for. But for the most part, since I have retired and become adjusted to my new lifestyle, I can say that I’m having some of the best fun in my life. Yeah, I may go to bed much earlier and tire out quicker doing many things than in the past, but for the most part, I enjoy my day to day activities.

What brings me as much joy as anything these days is getting re-acquainted with the many friends from my school days? I have always said that the kids you grew up with will be some of the best friends you have in your lifetime. Since I have retired I see many of my schoolmates more now than I have in years. Now granted, the last 15 years I was in the workforce, I worked out of town, and my exposure to our community was limited, which played a part in being removed from many of the people I now associate with, but another factor that has bolstered getting re-acquainted with friends from my youth is our ages. We have reached an age where many of my school days friends have retired and moved back home.

When I was growing up in Miami, there was at the very least, double the number of children being raised in this community today, so that was a lot of kids we had the opportunity to know while growing up. Almost daily, I will see one or more acquaintances from my youth and visit with them. I have more company nowadays than I’ve had in years as old schoolmates will stop by the house to visit, or even if they still live out of town, they sometimes will drop in for a visit while in town. The conversations are always great. I have to give Facebook credit for some of this resurgence of reuniting old friends, but for the most part, I can’t speak for other eras, but the people I grew up with have always been a tight knit group and will be friends with one another until our days are over.

Another great aspect of retirement life is that every day is a weekend. If an old friend does come by and wants to go out and do something, I generally have nothing keeping me from going. I sure don’t have to get up and go to work, so at times I’m liable to stay out as late as 9:00 or 9:30!!!!! Unlike in my working days, if I get an urge to fire up the smoker to barbeque and have a cold drink on a Wednesday, that’s alright. Most of my life all of these rituals were reserved for the weekend.

I remember one Saturday many years ago, when I had some friends over for a ballgame and decided to grill up some chickens wings for us to eat. I remember doing like three or four different types from teriyaki to BBQ. One day recently, probably on a Tuesday or Wednesday, I had the urge to have a grilled chicken wing party for one (which you can do when your retired), and fired up the grill to make some Beer Wings. Unfortunately, for me and them, nobody came by for a visit that day so I feasted on the wings myself, but they were delicious, and the only thing that could have made them better would have been if an old schoolmate would have stopped by and eaten them with me.

Grilled Beer Wings

Ingredients

2-3 lbs Chicken Wings

12 oz Beer

1/2 stick - Butter

1 Tablespoon Granulated Onion

1 to 2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Salt

1/4 Cup - Worcestershire Sauce

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large metal pan.

Place on grill or smoker preheated to 350º.

Poach for one hour, stirring at the 30 minute mark. (Do not boil)

Place the wings directly on the grill, spoon remaining sauce over the wings and grill for 5 minutes.

Flip the wings, baste and grill for 5 more minutes, or till you think they are done to your satisfaction.