Grandpa Zohner never really retired completely. His “retirement” included maintaining a huge garden, working part-time preparing homes for auctions, tinkering, and inventing things. When he fished it seemed like work because his tackle box was huge. I remember him walking toward his best fishing spots at Sprunk’s sandpits by Columbus while carrying that huge tackle box, a cane pole, and a folding chair. It was a memorable sight.

Grandpa Zohner was not afraid of hard work. I saw him dig a hole by hand on a hot day when he was in his late 60s. A little dirt wasn’t going to stop him.

Dad was similar to Grandpa Zohner. Their farming careers taught them hard work was OK. Through time after “retirement”, they learned how to relax a little more. Retirement meant backing away slowly.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. Those that ask me when I am going to retire mean well, but the reality is I love what I do, so work is not working, it’s a hobby. I am not ready to retire.

Retirement is great for others that are ready or want to travel or pursue other hobbies. Fishing is a hobby already. I like to watch my fishing poles from the kitchen table at our small cabin by the Platte River while writing articles. That’s relaxing since my favorite hobby is writing.

The goal of my articles is to entertain readers while increasing public awareness of risks like carbon monoxide poisoning. The articles have resulted in improved health and saved lives. Many other topics can make a difference, so the “battle” to share knowledge needs to continue.

Another rewarding part of my career is helping teach the willing the HVAC or plumbing trades, then watching them grow throughout their careers. For me it’s more Rewa, riding than great golf shots and catching large fish.

I started in the plumbing trade before becoming an operations manager at a pharmaceutical company. Eleven years and 43 neckties later it was time to go back to the trade I loved. The neckties never fit quite right!

It’s important to understand our best career direction. I feel sorry for all the kids today that are going to college just to make their parents happy. Many do not have a clue what they want to do someday so they enroll in classes that sound impressive. Too many struggles with grades, party too much, or worse yet, they graduate with a large debt and a degree that’s never used or they do not like; just to please their parents.

A good example of expectations parents may have for their kids was shared in an advice column recently by John Rosemond in the Lincoln Journal Star. A parent explained their son decided to drop out of college to become a diesel mechanic and “needless to say, we are very disappointed”. How sad is that?

Their son may love being a diesel mechanic. It’s a good career that pays well. Most importantly it may be a job that allows their son time to pursue hobbies or even be a better parent than what he experienced growing up. Maybe it allows him to be more involved with his children at their school programs or sports games.

Doesn’t it seem the best career is the one that allows us to enjoy life to the fullest? In the end, if we had a career we loved, raised our children well, and lived a good life, we should have no regrets.

Some may not understand HVAC or plumbing trades are a great career today. Technology is requiring more training. There are fewer techs available and incomes continue to increase.

If you know of someone that needs a career, John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical is growing and always looking for that just right person with a great attitude for our Plumbing Apprentice Program. They must have good driving and criminal history record, be able to pass a drug test, and be a quality person willing to go that extra mile while working with a great team.

Last year Deb and I took off lots of time to do fun stuff. That was possible because John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s has quality managers and a response team can be counted on. The system is working.

Those that know me well understand I will remain dedicated to the plumbing and HVAC trades while keeping John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical moving forward. The internal fire is still burning strong.

Happy holidays……goodbye 2017…..bring on 2018!

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