I just heard something very encouraging today. One of our vendors, a salesman who I have particularly enjoyed for the last 13 years, is transferring to a new department. He has been in sales for many years and he now figures it’s time to try something new. That being said, he is moving to purchasing. Ray is older, and retirement could easily be in the near future but he has chosen growth and a new learning experience instead. I love that. I love Ray anyway — always cheerful, always friendly.

Sometimes as we age we think it’s time to wind down and take a back seat. It’s time to let someone else drive. But I think there is great value in decades of experience and I love it when I hear about folks in their 80s driving in to the office every morning. People like Bill Reel. If I remember correctly, Bill’s dad died at his desk when he was in his 90s. Bill is well into his 80s himself, yet he still works full-time and he never misses my birthday. He telephones me every year. I was a customer of his back in my purchasing days, but I have not been his customer since 1999. He still phones me every March 14 and he always asks about my son and daughter — by name. He knew them as kids and now they are adults with children of their own. No wonder Walmart and McDonald’s tap into this “older” workforce. What a work ethic!

I look up to Bill and to Ray. You can’t match the quality of these well-seasoned individuals. They are primo candidates for all around “great human being” awards.

Keep on working — it’s good for the soul and it encourages everyone around you. After all, what else do you have to do? —Kathy Shertzer is office manager at DuKate Fine Remodeling, in Franklin, Ind.