For Seniors Only: Senior Spotlight
When and where were you born?
October 29, 1952 – Candace Ann Price born in Potsdam New York. At noon – I wanted to make it easy for my Mom.
What do or did you want to be growing up? (Did you become this? If not, then what did you become?)
When I was in grade school, my Father told me I could have any flavor of ice cream that I wanted from Baskin Robbins. WOW – 31 to choose from. That took me quite a while, but I finally settled on Chocolate Chip. Then my Mother said that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up. This is where the problem began. I could handle a choice of 1 in 31, but the choice if 1 in Millions – triple WOW. I didn’t know where to begin looking. So I went through grade school and high school – and still didn’t have an answer. What to be when I grew up. So I just decided to go to college. I was sure that the answer would be there. In the early 1970’s a state college cost $2000 a year for tuition and $120 a year for books. Since I lived at home with my folks, that was all it cost. After 4 years, and getting a Bachelor of Science in Economics, I still hadn’t answered the most important question – what do I want to be when I grow up.
So, I decided to join the US Army, and surly there, I would find the answer. I decided to become a helicopter mechanic and see the world. I did both, fantastic job, lived in Kentucky for 3 years as a crew chief on a medevac helicopter, and then in Germany for 3 years. I saw lots of great countries and cities. I actually saw the Berlin wall when it was still up. Tradition was that everyone who visited the wall was supposed to take a piece of the wall, so that maybe one day it wouldn’t be there. So I did – and I still have that stone. And the wall is gone!! I guess traditions are worth keeping.
At this point, I had gotten a great education, served my country, had a fun job, and seen the world. And guess what – I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. So I called my Mom and asked her why she had given me such a hard task. She just laughed, and said that one day I would have the answer.
So on I went. The next adventure was accidentally getting a job working with computers. That was loads of fun. So I job hopped with that career and ended up in Winston Salem, NC in 1987. I decided that this was a pretty good place to live, so I bought a house and stayed. I was still in the computer career field, and really enjoyed it. I worked for RJ Reynolds for 23 years and was fortunate enough to retire from a fantastic company. And guess what? Right! I still didn’t know what I want to be when I grew up.
So again, I phoned home!! But this time Mom wasn’t around. Crap. I had waited too long to push her to really help me find the answer.
So, now being retired, I decided I had to do something with my days. I have lots of hobbies and activities to keep me busy like, gardening, cooking, reading (also a member of Golden Readers Book Club), and gym workouts 6 days a week, wine making, wine drinking, and taking care of my 4 dogs, and 1 old man. This just wasn’t enough, so I started volunteering. I did fund raising for Susan G Komen and Habitat for Humanity. I helped build a house for Habitat. I did lots of 5 K races. I deliver Meals on Wheels to Senior Citizens for Senior Services. I am also a driver for the Shepherd Center of Kernersville to drive seniors to doctor’s appointment, shopping, or just getting their hair or nails done. I volunteer at least 3 days a week. Now I know that I can’t call Mom anymore, but I do remember her saying one time – Candy, you are one of the most giving people that I know. And now I finally know what I want to be when I grow up – A VOLUNTEER. But I’m not going to say that that is the final answer, because that would mean that I have to grow up. And I am pretty sure that that is optional. Since I am only 61 this month, maybe ‘growing up’ is still in my future.
What advice for healthy aging do you have for the next generation of seniors?
Keep active. It doesn’t have to be much. Just start by doing 20 minutes of exercise a day. Anyone can do that. Then it will suddenly become 30 minutes, then more. Live your life as if you have no idea where you are going and you won’t be disappointed. Just enjoy every day and every birthday. And SMILE!
Is there anything that scares you about the future?
Nothing! OK, maybe doing a ‘zip-line’. I have been working on my ‘bucket list’ and the next thing on it is do a ‘zip-line’ at Kersey Valley. I am scared to death of heights – but I WILL do it in October. Other things on my future to-do list that don’t scare me are – a Mediterranean cruise, a trip to Russia (already did China), whale watching, swimming with dolphins, and maybe a trip to Paris. And that is just for starters.
What do you like about being your age?
Senior Citizen’s discounts. Not wearing a watch. Getting up when the Sun does. Going to the stores that HAVE to ‘card’ everyone. Not having to get ready for work on Sunday afternoon. Everything!