Editor's note: This is one in an occasional series of chats with local seniors about their lives, youthful aspirations, sources of pride and regret, plus a bit of wisdom to share with younger folks.

Carol Muller, 77, took off her watch when she retired and only puts it back on before going to a casino or embarking on some other pleasure trip.

The Southport grandmother of nine underlined during a Seniority interview with the Fairfield Citizen she is absolutely retired. When working full-time, Muller was a payroll clerk with the Westport Board of Education.

Her main hobbies and interests are gardening and taking Lifelong Learning courses at the Fairfield Senior Center. Among achievements she is most proud of is, with her husband Julius, building their Southport home.

She is looking forward to every day being able to get out of bed.

Q: Do you live in Fairfield?

A: Yes, the Southport section for 36 years.

Q: Are you married?

A: Yes, 50 years to Julius, also known as Jay.

Q: Children?

A: Two daughters.

Q: Grandchildren?

A: Nine boys who make me laugh.

Q: Are you retired?

A: Absolutely. When I retired, I took off my watch. I only put it back on before going to a casino or embarking on another kind of pleasure trip.

Q: What did you do when you worked full-time?

A: I was a payroll clerk for the Westport Board of Education.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: A lab technician. I won a scholarship for that but my dad stopped me from accepting it.

Q: What was a significant memory or defining moment in your childhood?

A: My mom had to work from the time I was five. My sister and I were the original latch-key kids. We grew up to be very independent kids. My mom was a waitress. She often brought home leftovers from banquets.

Q: What are your main interests?

A: Gardening, volunteering at Bridgeport Hospital and taking Lifelong Learning courses at the Fairfield Senior Center. A recent course was on the Life of Cleopatra.

Q: Do you have a favorite work of art?

A: Not really. I just like art that shows, well, an apple that looks like an apple. I'm not wild about art that just looks like splashes of color. I swear my grandsons could do better.

Q: What TV show d you watch regularly?

A: "Desperate Housewives."

Q: Who do you think was the best President of the United States?

A: All were good in some ways. All had problems in some ways.

Q: If you could tell President Obama one thing, what would that be?

A: I do not envy your position. You have a Congress that works against you.

Q: Do you have any regrets in life?

A: That my dad prevented me from accepting the scholarship to a medical technician school.

Q: What achievements of yours are you most proud of?

A: Building our home in Southport. I put down sheetrock and planted hemlocks. The construction was in 1974-75. We paid the mortgage off in 14 years.

Q: What, if anything are you greatly concerned about?

A: The future of our grandsons. Not to be able to have a job is scary.

Q: Best piece of advice for the younger generation?

A: Work with your hands. It's okay to get your hands dirty. Make sure you earn the money you are paid when you have a job.

Q: What are you looking forward to?

A: Spring and getting out of bed every morning.

Pmccormack@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561, ext. 116