To Jack Zimmerman, wood is a blank canvas. Each block of pine, maple or
butternut, with its unique feel and grain, calls to him. “You start carving, and
end up with something you can see and touch,” he says.
Everybody must carve their niche in life,
and find meaning. For Jack and his wife
Joyce, residents at Revera’s Glynnwood
in Thornhill, Ont., much of that meaning
comes from the arts and volunteering.
While Jack carves, Joyce paints
watercolours. Sometimes, she uses her
technique on Jack’s wood animals. “I do it
by layers, about 17 of them, and gradually
the colour builds up,” Joyce says.
For the Zimmermans, married 58 years,
the need to give is as strong as the creative
urge. They have volunteered most of their
life. Through Thornhill United Church
they’re involved in
Out of the Cold
provides hospitality and shelter to the
homeless. Jack teaches woodcarving at
church as a volunteer, and has guided
fellow residents in the craft too. “When
the form starts to take, and you see the
enthusiasm on their faces, that’s the
biggest reward,” says Jack.
The couple agrees that it’s vital to seek
stimulating opportunities, whether
assisting others or pursuing challenges.
Always look to do your best, and don’t say,
Oh, I can’t do that anymore’,” Joyce says.
The best part of aging? Having time
for what matters. “You have to stay
interested,” says Jack. Joyce adds, “Age
is just a number. l’m an accountant, so
numbers are important to me – but not
that number.”