My sister, Alena Stevens retired from the school district last year, in what was probably the weirdest retirement ever. She had planned to retire at the end of the school year, but then everything got very crazy. Spring break turned into the unofficial end of the in-class school day, and after a while, all that was left was to sort out the students’ belongings so they could stop by the school, and the staff would bring the belongings out to them. Alena’s job pretty much ended in March rather than June.

That wasn’t the only work oddity in Alena’s working career either. Alena worked at Kmart in her teen years, as did I…it must be a family trend. Anyway, she was walking to work from our house, which was less than a block away, and for some reason our youngest sister, Allyn Hadlock was in her own car, sitting in front of the house. This was back in the days of the CB radio. We didn’t have cell phones in those days, so if you didn’t mind having everyone within range hearing your conversation, you could pick up the mike and “call” a friend. The unique thing about the CB radio is that it also has a PA built in too…maybe not all of them, but Allyn’s did. So, as Alena was about to turn the corner to head to Kmart, Allyn picked up the Mike and said, “Alschmenerdoodle” over the PA. She made sure to say it in a long drawn out manner…and very loud. Alena stopped in her tracks and turned around laughing!! You have to understand that our family has a rather long history of making up funny nicknames for each other. I don’t know if Allyn had used that nickname before, but after that it became a standing joke and funny nickname!! Of course, while Alena found that super funny, it just couldn’t stand without “retaliation.” From that point and for a long time, Alena called Allyn “Alschminerdoodle!” Hahahahaha!! I don’t know, maybe retirement is the best move for Alena!! Work gets very odd for her…although, she did meet her husband Mike Stevens while working at Shellabarger Chevrolet, so there is that.

These days, Alena’s favorite title is grandma. She loves spending time with her granddaughter, Elliott Stevens. Elliott is a perfect fit in our family, not just because she is blood relation, but because she is humor related. She is so funny, and I just know that Elliott will get right in there and come up with a new generation of nicknames. Alena loves spending time with Elliott, and they love being silly together.

This year, Alena and her husband, Mike purchased a new camper trailer, and with summer finally upon us, they are looking forward to doing some camping at Pathfinder Reservoir. It will be a fun time with family, and especially Alena, because she knows that she doesn’t have to go back to work when the summer is over. That takes some getting used to after retirement, but it sure is nice to remember that every time it comes to mind. Today is Alena’s 60th birthday. I hope I’m not in trouble for telling her age. Happy birthday Alena!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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