“Do you have more friends like you?”

Nope, not a pick-up line in a singles bar, but rather a question I was asked while answering phones and doing office tasks at the Historical Society yesterday. I go out to work in the servant’s quarters, where the offices are located, behind Kearney Mansion, for the week leading up to the Civil War Reenacted. Although this is only my third year of volunteering, the event is celebrating 25 years. It is a huge endeavor and takes lots of manpower. This year, unfortunately, my schedule is so impacted that I can only offer three days of office service.

The director has also given me a schedule of tour dates for December for the Victorian Christmas that will again take place in Kearney Mansion. I love doing those tours because the house is decorated so beautifully and the content of the tour shifts from M. Theodore Kearney to Christmas in the early 1900s. I can only provide three days for the tours as December has begun to fill up. The school chaplaincy position looks to be filling two days a week due to the large number of first grade classes at the school I am assigned. Then one day a week is set aside for Good News Club at another elementary school.

This prompted the question, do you have any friends like you. Oh, yes, I have a group of friends who were co-workers at that large inner-city high school where we all toiled those many years. We all worked so hard, and we worked so well together. This is the group I now call “Ladies Who Lunch.” We only got a short lunch while teaching, and usually we had students in and out of our office the whole period, so we said, “we want to be ladies who lunch, who have time to to OUT for lunch and spend hours eating and talking.” Now retired, that’s what we do.

But, we all do much more than “lunch.” My friends are also involved in numerous activities so they wouldn’t be available to the Historical Society. They are smart, funny, dependable, hard-working, can follow directions; and did I say, SMART? These are all attributes that any non-profit is looking for in volunteers, and from what I’m hearing, there aren’t a lot of qualified applicants out there. Most with those attributes are already so busy that they can’t take on any more unpaid work.

When I retired from teaching I had no intention of retiring from work. My goal was to do good work with good people. That has certainly been the case. Getting to pick and choose my projects has made a world of difference. It would, of course, be nice if some of the projects actually paid some money!



8 responses to ““Do you have more friends like you?”

  1. too bad your friends like you are busy! Well, like you!

  2. I understand how easy it is to get overcommitted once you retire and get involved in volunteer work. You take the cake, though; I can understand why they would just love to clone you! 🙂

    • It really seems to be a simple job, just answering the phones and doing some office tasks; however, they told me, when I returned after my two days away, how happy they were to see me as those two days didn’t run as smoothly as when I ‘man’ the phones. 😎

  3. You are a very busy volunteer. Retirees, take note!

  4. Sorry, but your lead sentence made me think of the line, “with friends like you, who needs enemies.” But obviously, that’s not what they meant. Many organizations would go under if not for kind and caring volunteers. Good work.

  5. Kudos for all that you do. I know this keeps your world interesting and full of good things.

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