Those at Fun and Friends Senior Center who volunteer and work with Meals on Wheels try to make work seem like fun. From those who work in the kitchen preparing hot and frozen meals to those who drive the routes, there is always a smile on everyone's faces.
This week for Meals on Wheels I went on route two again with different people. Richard Goans is a volunteer driver, and Dianne Mitchell is paid through the Older Americans Act and works in the kitchen and wherever she's needed. She has been working with Meals on Wheels at the center for about three months.
"You girls do a great job, now, there ain't no doubt about that," Richard said about the women who work in the kitchen. "We have the finest group of employees I've seen anywhere at the senior citizens center."
"Well, it helps if we all work together," Dianne said.
"Everybody gets along with each other," Richard said.
This time around I sat in the back of the van and packed hot meals for the carrier to carry out.
Richard has volunteered with Meals on Wheels for about five or six years and said he enjoys meeting people on the route and at the center. For about a year, he said, he took a break from volunteering, but the center kept calling him in to substitute. "I get rebellious on them (the center)," he said. "Old men are supposed to be that way, though."
Dianne said that although the money is good, she is retired and can enjoy more in life than money and knows she is doing a good thing in her retirement. "It isn't just the money that keeps me going to work every day. It really isn't," Dianne said. "If I didn't like it there I wouldn't stay. I'm retired. It isn't like I have to go to work every day. The money is nice, but it isn't the important part."
There are some elderly people who receive Meals on Wheels who are retired, too, but live on a tight budget because of the rising costs of medications and the cost of living.
"The money definitely helps (me)," Dianne said. "It's a shame, you get to the point where you can retire and, then, you can't afford to retire."
Finding the houses to deliver to can be quite an experience, too.
"I went on this route yesterday, and we never did find this place until we got all done with the route," Dianne said about one house that was difficult to find.
"I used to run the mail route through here, so at least I know a little bit about where I'm going," Richard said.
One of my observations while traveling on these routes is that you can see parts of the town you never thought existed.
For more information about Meals on Wheels or to volunteer call the Fun and Friends Senior Center at 264-7354.