Before I retired, I realized that I was going need something meaningful to do, and something to accomplish after retirement. All of my career I had been very busy accomplishing the many tasks required of me. As I stated yesterday, customer service was my number one priority. I also interacted with people continually, and it is something that I would miss. I have always been a people person.
Because of my rural background, I have always loved God’s creation: animals, plants, and just wide open spaces. Bird watching is another of my fun things to do. When I was young I had always wanted to become a veterinarian. Even though this was not to be, on our farm I have become a pretty good vet on our own livestock. Very few times have we ever called a vet with the few hundred head of cattle we have had.
Because I am getting a little older I was thinking of something not as physical that I would enjoy doing. I heard of the Oklahoma State University Master Gardener program, and I thought that I would apply. Well, there were only 240 others that also wanted to be Master Gardeners too. They had a limit of 40 people that they were going train. After filling out the application, and going through the interview process, I didn’t think that I had a chance. That was the first time that I had been interviewed since I was very young. I had always been self-employed. I was the one doing the interviewing. I was elated when a letter came telling me that I had been accepted.
All of the first year the University trained us in anything to do with gardening, landscaping, trees, insects, chemicals, etc. It was very educational and fun to learn. Because of my farm background I knew a lot of the material from personal application, but there was much I didn’t know.
The objective for the University to train us, is that each master gardener donates a minimum of 70 hours each year to the program. This is very easy and enjoyable to do. I usually answer phones at the extension office every Wed. I have been involved with our booth at the Tulsa State Fair, Home and Garden Show and other local nurseries. We answer any questions people may have, as well as teach them on any subjects they have in mind. The highlight of the program for me though, are the children. Many of the local schools invite us in to do various programs for the K-5th grade classes. These are very hands on times with the children. We take collections of insects, worms, etc. and let the children be involved in the whole process. It is probably more rewarding for me than them. The Master Gardener program is a wonderful thing.
So if you retire, or just tire of doing the same ole thing, there is a whole other world out there that you never knew existed. I am adding new experiences to my life, as well as helping others at the same time. What more could we ask for. “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps.118:24
Be extravagant for God or the devil, but for God’s sake don’t be tepid. —C.T. Studd