So my Mom has made it 38 years at her job before retiring this past year (officially at the end of 2012) as the secretary of South Beaver Township in PA. She’s been training the new secretary since the beginning of the year and this past week was her official first week of sleeping in!
38 years. That’s really dedication if you think about it. She started that job when I was only seven years old and had the office in our family home. So growing up, we always had people stopping at the house to get building permits or for other township business — sometimes they interrupted dinner (my Dad was never happy about that) or they’d stop on the weekends — at all hours of the day and night. We had some very interesting people come through those doors and into our home. For my Mom, it was more than a job. As kids, we actually learned a lot from her about having a good work ethic and it just rubbed off on us. She never complained and she jumped through hoops for everyone. And she made sure that we sat down for dinner every night as a family. She taught us so much about work-life balance.
Mom turns 73 this year. She’s long overdue for this retirement!! She was really resistant to it for the past five years, because she just loved all the guys she worked with — the road crew, the police department, etc. They are more than coworkers, they are her friends and her social life. One-by-one each of the township personnel started to retire. It’s in with the new and out with the old, and my Mom is definitely ready to move on. The natural gas drilling started in the township over the past five years or so. And that has doubled and tripled my Mom’s workload (which was already too much for one person to handle). Last year she dealt with the Shingles and then a heart attack, followed by another stent procedure. It was time to slow down.
She’s already planning her summer days. Weekends at the cabin, a trip to Charleston, SC to visit her brother and his family with Debbie, Megan and Tara, and a July trip to the Finger Lakes with Tom, me and Bob. I’m sure she’ll be boating on the weekends with Tommy. She plans to spend all her extra time with her family. She’s planning her new chicken garden — where she’s creating a whole garden of perennials for her “girls” to enjoy scratching for bugs. She loves those silly chickens — all four of them! She’ll spend her entire summer outside under the blue skies, tending all of her flower beds, feeding her birds and enjoying her chickens. And now we’ll have something new to learn from her — how to slow down and take time to stop and smell the roses.
So my sister, brothers and I are planning the biggest shindig! After all, we celebrate the good times, right? My Mom is someone who truly deserves a day to be the center of attention, because she’s never in the limelight. And I personally want to thank her for teaching me so many things — how to be a giver, a believer, a friend, a gardener, and a cook! She taught me about God, how to love and how to pray. She always put each and everyone of us first, often sacrificing what she may have wanted. So this time, all eyes will be on Carol for her service and dedication to one country community in Pennsylvania. She made a difference and we will be celebrating that!