After eighteen and a half years of spilling blood and sweat for the county I get the axe due to the sluggish economy and falling property taxes. I have to buy my last year and a half of retirement in order to get a retirement check. Now my savings are one third of what I planned and the bills are rolling in and life seems to be harder than it really should be. Stuck with only a few realistic options of security guard or private investigator I decide to throw caution to the wind and put in an application for a crossing guard position with the railroad. Surprising enough I get selected and as luck would have it, I get the Old Mill Road crossing. Located miles away from the hectic city with only the local feed store within site, I find myself in a small ten by ten building facing the lush countryside, green grass, a few crops and a sprinkle of trees at the bottom of rolling hills, responsible for lowering and raising a manual railroad crossing barrier when trains pass by. I sit, and turn on the television to the local news station. I set a big Ben alarm clock for 10:30 am and kick back. When the alarm sounds, I walk outside and watch for the 10:45 train to pass headed for the rail yard just over the hill. As it approaches I take the crank handle and lower the barrier. A simple wave to the conductor, and then one for the engineer at the back, and crank the barrier back up. With a nod and a hand gesture to the waiting motorists, I head back to my box. Forty-five minutes later I repeat the process as the train heads away into the distance. Back the box again for some Family Feud and the Jerry Springer show, have lunch and wait for the 3:45 train going to the rail yard. Another couple of waves, a few nods and I’m done for another day. What a job! A job that provides a full day’s pay, benefits, and absolutely no stress. I now am able to enjoy a relaxing life at the end of a career in law enforcement. From dealing with criminals, fights, gunshots, car wrecks and anything else the public throws at its police officers today; to a quiet, peaceful countryside where the only threat of physical pain comes from the occasional mosquito bite. Thank the Lord for the timing as this position will be filled for many years to come.