After 31 years with the University of Georgia Extension Service, Dad decided to officially retire and then hire back on part time for a while. Despite only being 53 years old, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a couple years ago. Mom still knows everybody and if you were to casually meet her you wouldn't necessarily know anything was wrong. (You'd probably just think she was a bit eccentric.) But she is getting to the point where she depends on Dad to do pretty much everything for her, and she can't be left home alone too much anymore. So after lots of contemplation and prayer, Dad decided he needed to retire so that he could devote more time to Mom's care.
My brothers have been picking on Dad a bunch about being retired. His facebook page has included questions as to whether or not he is now sporting black socks with mandals (men's sandals) while driving the speed limit in the left lane with his right blinker on en route to his favorite fishing hole. I enjoy the opportunity to tease him about being an old grandpa these days, and an old retired grandpa at that! (Although if we were to be real honest, we are all hoping to be able to retire at 53...admittedly we'd prefer if it wasn't because our spouse has Alzheimer's though.)
Besides my mom, brothers and sisters-in-law, grandparents, aunts, and some cousins, there was a huge turn out of extension service colleagues for the party. Dad has had a great career with the UGA Extension Service and is greatly respected by those he worked with. He makes me awfully proud to be his daughter!
Lilian kept a close eye on Mr. Marable, the photographer of the evening. (And thanks to Blane Marable for letting me share these pictures!)