"I live independently. I am proud of my home and like keeping it clean. I do my dishes, wash my clothes and cook meals. I can cook potatoes, vegetables, meat and pasta. My favorite thing to cook is ham – I’m good at doing that. I also like doing my groceries and shopping. It’s nice having my own place. I can make my own decisions and people don’t tell me what to do. Living on my own makes me feel good.
I used to work at Arc Industries. When I worked there I did the hydro sticks, the pallets, swept and dusted. I was a hard worker and was good at my job because I kept everything nice and clear. I am proud of the work I did there. I retired from there 2 years ago and moved on to doing more things in the community and volunteering. I am happy to be retired and getting to do what I want, when I want.
I like building my own schedule and making my own decisions. That’s a big part of being independent. Keeping busy, going out and doing different things is important to me. There are a lot of different things I do to stay busy. I enjoy painting and taking classes. When I finish a painting, I always want to go back and make more. Bowling is an important part of my life. I’m a great bowler. I’ve won bowler of the week two times, and also won a ribbon for 3rd place at the Ontario Special Olympics Bowling Tournament in Timmins. In the summer, I like playing in the garden. I am proud of the gardens I helped build. I taught myself how to garden, it is a part of my life and it is something I have control over. To make a nice garden, you have to separate the dirt, plant the seeds, water it and watch it grow. It’s important to keep it clean by taking out the weeds. That’s my favorite thing to do. I also love planting red roses, those were my mom’s favorite flower, and they are mine too.
I have a good friend. He’s a nice guy. He’s good and helps me. We help each other out and keep each other company. We get along very well and enjoy doing things like going to Art in the Park and travelling. I’ve been to Mexico, and Calgary. My favorite travelling memory is getting to see the Calgary stampede. I love seeing great things like waterfalls, and taking pictures to keep the great memories I’ve made in photo albums.
Volunteering makes me happy. I love helping and spending time with people. It makes me feel happy. I volunteered at Meals on Wheels and helped by pushing carts that were full of recycling and making sure things were in the right spot. Sometimes, I helped package the frozen meals and peeled the potatoes. I also helped with the Age Friendly walking groups. I would sit at the registration table, signing people in when they arrived and helping them find the washroom, or answer questions they might have. I think volunteering is important. I would never tell anyone to volunteer; it’s not my job to tell people what to do. If people were interested in volunteering, I would tell them that it’s great and helping people makes you feel good. It’s good to be part of the community, helping others with what they want to do. Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house, meet new people and socialize."