In 2010 I thought my life was over. I knew my marriage was over. Just like the past forty years or so of my life, I was looking for something but didn’t know what it was. I guess I was trying to find my niche in life. I was good at several things, but not great at anything – if that makes sense. I had a chip on my shoulder that would flare up at the drop of a hat. I guess you could say that I had hatred in my heart.

During the time I was a patient in the Bath, NY domiciliary I got into a few arguments with other patients. I was not a happy camper. Things began to turn around when Dixie O’Dell started working there as a Craft Care Specialist. I volunteered to help her straighten up the craft room, which was a total mess at the time. Whenever Dixie was there, I was there. I started building model cars. I enjoyed it a lot, but found woodworking much more exciting. Before I knew it, I was winning first place prizes in Dixie’s craft contests! My attitude was changing because I had finally found something that gave me purpose in life.

When I left the domiciliary, I enrolled at Corning Community College but continued to visit the craft room. I eventually became a volunteer in the craft room. I taught wood burning classes and delivered craft kits to the nursing home patients. In 2014, I graduated from Corning with an AAS degree in Human Services. None of this would have been possible without the aid of the craft kits that I received and worked on. They taught me how to focus my energy on positive things in life. My real passion is making clocks. When I make a clock today, I usually have a specific person in mind and I tailor that clock to fit them. If I have a legacy to leave this world it is my clocks.

James S.

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