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The plan is to finish off the spring sports season, then take a vacation and spend some time with my grandchildren

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - Lon AustinI have been getting questions recently regarding my impending retirement.

It was my intention to wait until the spring sports season to announce that I really am retiring.

However, it seems like enough people already know that the cat is out of the bag. Friday I was asked by multiple CCHS athletes if I was quitting at the end of the winter sports season, so I guess it is time to make an official announcement.

For those who have already heard, yes, I really am retiring.

For everyone else, Thursday, June 4, will be my final day at the Central Oregonian.

Well, that is not exactly true, but that is my retirement day.

After that, I will still be taking photos for the paper, at least on occasion.

Now that that is out of the way, I have enjoyed working for the Central Oregonian, and have especially enjoyed following high school athletics and the coaches, athletes and family members who have been so kind and helpful to me during the past 13 years.

I will be leaving the paper with fond memories, and I will continue to follow high school athletics.

This decision has been some time in coming. My wife retired a couple of years ago and has a large list of home improvement projects that she would like me to work on.

In addition, my mom needs maintenance done on her house as well. Last year I was so busy with work that I failed to work on either list of projects and did not even bother to purchase a fishing license.

That is not going to be the case from now on.

In addition to repairing problems with both houses, I expect to spend more time fishing, hiking, backpacking and, more importantly, spending time with my grandchildren.

My wife and I are planning on doing some traveling, and I hope to be able to photograph at least a couple of major sports events that have been on my bucket list for some time.

Then, there is this book that I have been thinking about writing, plus a host of other things that I'm sure will keep both Karlene and I busy.

Retirement is one of those things that is always a bit of a dilemma. I have a large list of things that I would like to see, do and/or accomplish. As I'm not getting any younger, some of those things are getting harder and harder to do.

If I don't start on the list now, eventually some of the things will be beyond my physical ability.

The trouble is that while you are working, there isn't the time to do a lot of things, but once you retire, there aren't the financial resources to be able to afford everything you would really like to do.

Somehow you have to find that sweet spot where there is enough money to do at least some of the things you have only dreamed of, while still having the physical strength and stamina to at least be able to attempt to follow your dreams.

I think that this is the right time.

Between now and June 4, there are several things that I am looking forward to writing about.

Not only is the Cowboy wrestling team once again one of the top teams in the state, but the boys basketball team is also having their best season in years.

In addition, there are a host of spring sports that deserve attention.

Then there are the columns about my "adventures." Next up will be a 48-mile walking relay race that I am apparently going to be a part of. Not sure how that is going to go, but at least I've started training.

No more just showing up at the starting line and trying to wing it. I'm sure that the race will give me plenty of fodder for a column.

I'm also sure there will be a column about my favorite memories from the Central Oregonian as well as the usual emotional goodbye column. Who knows what else there is going to be to write about, but I'm sure there will be more than enough to keep busy.

Well, that's it for now. More on my future plans later.

Lon Austin is the sports editor for the Central Oregonian. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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