After 18 years with the organization, the last 13 as director, Linda Carpenter soon will be retiring from the Seymour Senior Citizens’ Center.
She began her tenure there delivering Meals On Wheels to needy seniors in the area. She served in that capacity for five years before receiving her current position.
“I still deliver, in fact,” Carpenter noted. “Our delivery area is quite large — the route I did this morning was about 60 miles. But I also do all the administrative things, such as record keeping, fire and tornado drills, that kind of thing.”
Seymour’s senior center is not merely a nutritional service; it also serves as a social hub for its clientele. Carpenter’s role as director inevitably leads to the development of long relationships.
“People have to trust you, at least a certain amount; just filling out the applications means giving out a lot of personal information,” she explained. “You really get to know people in this job.”
She gives a wry smile, adding, “There are days you try your best to forget, and then some you’d never want to.”
Carpenter’s eyes flashed impishly, and she began to tell a story.
“There was one New Year’s Eve, in particular,” she said.
“It fell on a Saturday, and so this being a government job, we got the next Monday off. But when Monday came, I just got up and went to work. Never thought a thing about it.”
Now it’s not unheard of for a person to forget that the shop is closed and show up to an empty workplace. You’d chuckle ruefully to yourself and turn around, then head home. This was a bit different though.
“The thing that really threw me was that everybody else showed up, too!” Carpenter said, laughing.
“We were all there, just going about our business as usual when finally we noticed that we weren’t supposed to be there at all.”
So, she placed a call to her supervisors.
“They said, ‘Get out of there as quick as you can!’ There was no reprimand or anything like that, but they weren’t happy,” she explained. “I guess it’s hard to yell at somebody for coming in to work.”
When asked if there is a particular memory she’ll cherish from her time as director, Carpenter looked away and dabbed delicately with her ring finger at the corner of her eye.
“Oh, now you’re going to make me cry,” she said, gathering herself. “Every day somebody says something I don’t want to forget. Something that I want to have in my memory always. It’s just a question of how long you can keep it with you.”
Carpenter plans to spend her retirement learning how to sleep past 5 a.m.
“When you’re 73, you really want to catch up on your beauty sleep,” she said with a smile. “I’ve enjoyed this job. But it’s time to hang it up. I Just want to thank everybody for everything and ask that you remember me in your prayers.”
Carpenter’s last day as the director of the Seymour Senior Citizens’ Center arrives next Monday.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.