Woodstock Area Job Bank

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Thirty years ago, we added a large cedar deck to the back of our house.  I wanted cedar because I didn’t like the chemicals in pressure-treated wood. My husband, the builder, didn’t agree. We compromised.  The frame is made of pressure-treated wood that should last forever, but the planks you walk on are cedar, now aged to silver.

Every couple of years the deck gets a soft place.  Cedar is a long-lasting outdoor wood but, like all things in nature, it eventually rots. So my husband, the builder, pries out the bad piece and replaces it with a shiny new piece.  For a few months the patch is jarring. Soon it will be splotchy. Then it will mellow. By next summer I will not be able to distinguish the old from the new.

My cedar deck is a perfect metaphor for how I would like to age.  Instead of letting my life roll along losing bits to time, I want to subsettute the parts that are no longer working with shiny new pieces—replacing running with biking, biking with walking, walking with swimming.

But it is not that simple. I also need to think forward.  Our first floor bathtub needs work.  My husband, the builder, says water has gotten into the walls and we need to retile.   We could, or we could rip out the tub completely and put in a large walk-in shower with a bench.  The tub might be better for resale. The shower might be better for us.  We talk, and talk—moving forward.

I am not old. In twenty-five years I might be. Maybe we will decide to move, maybe we will decide to get a smaller place with less land, nearer to kids or grandkids.  But whatever we decide I want to be like my cedar deck—adding jarring new pieces one at a time, letting them gracefully mellow into place intentionally, until they are seamlessly blended into the whole of my life.

At the Job Bank, I have the opportunity to witness many ways people are choosing to think forward. John found an interesting part-time job after trying out retirement for a few years. Megan found she loved doing different types of volunteer work, just for a change of pace.  Susan found an extra pair of hands to help with her gardening this summer so she could still enjoy her vast flower gardens. Tom found a computer whiz to digitalize his memoir.  What can the Job Bank find for you as you move forward?

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