21, No. 9, Nov. 1, 2001
Vidoni enjoys family
time, honing his culinary skills
By Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; firstname.lastname@example.org
by Bill Wiegand
time for family Dennis
Vidoni retired in August after a 17-year career with the university's
Counseling Center. He was a clinical counselor and the center's
assistant director. He has found more time to spend with family
and enjoys spending time in the kitchen.
Unlike some retirees,
who may feel their identities have disappeared along with their job
titles, Dennis Vidoni is relishing his liberation from the workaday
Vidoni, who retired Aug. 20 after a 17-year career with the universitys
Counseling Center, was a clinical counselor and the centers assistant
Retirement has been even better than he had expected, Vidoni said.
"Its just relaxing," Vidoni said. "Its not
boring. Its a sense of freedom. Its good. Its a 10."
Vidoni also has discovered unexpected rewards to retirement rewards
both culinary and kindred.
Now the household chef, Vidoni has improved his cooking skills. Although
he cooked a few meals a week when he was still working, Vidoni said
now that he has more time his repertoire has expanded beyond slapdash,
defrosted meals to more time consuming fare.
"My cooking is really pretty good," Vidoni said. "I can
marinate stuff for three hours instead of three minutes. I can take
my time. I can follow the recipes. Thats one big change."
Another unexpected bonus to his retirement is that Vidoni has found
himself drawing closer to other family members, particularly his three
"One of my brothers is retired, and he and I have communicated
more in the last two months than we did in the whole previous year,"
Vidoni said. "Were talking probably two, three times a week.
Its very nice."
When Vidoni went to visit his other brother in Denver recently, Vidoni
said he enjoyed the freedom of being able to extend his stay a few extra
days without having to be concerned about work piling up at the office.
Vidoni also has used his retirement to continue an expedition he and
his 22-year-old son, Eric, started more than a decade ago: canoeing
the entire length of the Kaskaskia River in short sections. Vidoni estimates
that they have traveled approximately 80 to 90 miles of the river and
have about another 150 miles to go.
"We started when my son was 10 and did it in five-mile segments
and I did most of the work," Vidoni said. "Now hes 22,
and he does most of the work in 20-mile segments."
Without a job to dominate his time, Vidoni no longer has to rush through
household projects and is enjoying them more. However, Vidoni cautioned
people nearing retirement against tackling monumental tasks; he is now
undergoing physical therapy for a shoulder injury he incurred trying
to scrape and repaint his two-story Urbana home by himself. With winter
looming, the house-painting project is on hold until spring while Vidoni
mulls over whether to forge ahead by himself or delegate the task to
Despite the injury, Vidoni was able to stay active and continue his
sports and fitness activities, tennis, running and golfing, at least
until the cold and dreary autumn weather intervened.
All in all, however, Vidoni said hes enjoying his retirement so
much that he really cant think of any negative aspects to it.
"I kind of miss the helping dimension of my work and miss being
around the students, mentoring and counseling them," Vidoni said.
"I guess thats the down side of retirement. But its
not enough to outweigh the benefits in my view."