Bob Vollmer was 45 years old when he started to work for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He continued to tramp around state property as a land surveyor until he retired at the age of 102 after a career that lasted almost six decades. Bob Vollmer passed away at the age of 104.
As he prepared to retire in 2020, Vollmer thought about both future and past generations. He planned projects to do for his great-grandchildren, and he remembered his father’s teaching. In an interview, he said that he had always tried to follow something his father taught him growing up–to be sure and say thank you. I love that he followed his dad’s teachings for over 100 years. Vollmer also honored his wife—he retired on their wedding anniversary.
Bob Vollmer was one of many people who made mid-life career changes or who finally found their groove within their chosen career. I was surprised to learn that Eric Carle illustrated his first children’s book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? at age 38. That’s the same age that Fred Rogers was when he began Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Ray and I know all about mid-life career changes. He was 47 when we decided to earn our daily bread together as a family by publishing homeschool curriculum.
Some people begin even later than mid-life. Grandma Moses began painting in her seventies. She was 76 when an art collector discovered her paintings.
Mamas are prone to worry about how prepared their children are going to be by the time they reach 18. They are prone to worry a lot if, in their mid-twenties, their children are still needing extra time to figure out where they are headed with their life’s work. Those hits and misses in young adulthood just might be building blocks for a solid future.
Remember that you don’t have to pour into your children everything they will ever need by the time they are 18. God will have a lot more to teach them after that. You can count on Him.