Happy Trails, Part 26

Retirement has changed many of my habits. I don’t roll out of the sack early every single morning; I am no longer obsessed with the time of the day; indeed, there are times when I forget what day it is.

I also have changed one of my major travel habits.

No longer do I look for newspapers to purchase when I travel around the country. My wife has kidded me at times over the years about how much more stuff we are carrying home than when we leave.

My journalism career seemed to compel me to look at local newspapers. We would stop somewhere, I’d ask for a local newspaper stand and then I would purchase the paper.

Why? Well, I was always looking for new ideas on how to present, say, opinion pages. Since I edited opinion pages in Beaumont and Amarillo, Texas, for nearly three decades, I thought it helpful to see how other newspapers presented their opinions — and the opinions of contributors — to their readers.

These days, my newspaper-purchasing habit has virtually vanished. I no longer work for a living. I no longer have a need to see how other editors do their job. I no longer feel virtually obligated to fill my vehicle with newspapers, to bring them home, cart them into the house and pore over them to search for better ideas.

On our latest adventure, I did purchase one newspaper: the Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial-Appeal. It’s still a pretty good read. So, I read it — and then tossed it.

Life continues to be so very good.

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