Lakeville senior nurtures her garden, neighborhood and parish

| June 23, 2016 | 0 Comments
Judy Glenn of St. Joseph in Rosemount works in the garden of her Lakeville home. It’s one of her favorite ways to stay active. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Judy Glenn of St. Joseph in Rosemount works in the garden of her Lakeville home. It’s one of her favorite ways to stay active. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Judy Glenn’s modest rambler in Lakeville is filled with phrases.

There’s at least one in every room.

“I have so many slogans in this house, it’s just amazing,” said the 70-year-old member of St. Joseph in Rosemount. “My biggest one is: Wish it, dream it, do it.”

That simple sentence serves as a summary of how Glenn lives her life. Though widowed for the last 15 years, she has left self pity behind.

After losing her husband, John, to cancer in 2001, Glenn did nothing once she got home from her job at Northwest Airlines. After two years, although still grieving, she decided it was time to change.

Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

“I thought, ‘This is dumb,’” she said. “I’m just sitting here getting old and taking up space.”

That’s when she decided to start living by an adage she now quotes with ease: “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

A lifestyle filled with sailing, gardening, traveling, baking and many volunteer activities has chased all the moss away. And, it has kept her in good health.

“I feel younger than I am,” she said. “I look in the mirror, and I don’t think that’s me because I feel like I’m about 40. I like doing things and being active.”

Two months ago, she spent time in the Caribbean with her daughter, Tiffany Hodgson, and son-in-law, Josh. The two live in Rhode Island but regularly visit Caribbean islands to go sailing.

A scuba diver years ago, Glenn decided to do some snorkeling while there. She got a real treat in the form of the largest sea turtle she had ever seen. “I hovered over it and watched it feed,” she said. “I enjoy nature immensely. It’s very, very fun.”

Since arriving home, she returned to her workout routine. She goes to the YMCA in Burnsville five days a week for workouts that last an hour to an hour and a half. Then, she comes home and picks up her gardening tools.

Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Not only does she attend to her own yard, but she also takes her skilled and able hands to friends’ homes. She is working on a project to trim lower branches off of a friend’s set of fir trees.

“That’s my workout when I don’t go to the gym,” she said. “I work there for six or seven hours [in a day].”

She also is busy at her parish. Her former pastor, Father Paul Jarvis, inspired her to volunteer.

“I signed up for the funeral group to help with funerals,” she said. “I signed up for the garden group, and then I signed up for the mission committee.”

She also has been active in her neighborhood. When the city was planning to erect a cell phone tower nearby, she went door-to-door to get signatures opposing the move.

“I went through the whole neighborhood — 57 houses,” she said. “We beat it, and no cell tower went up.”

Her current neighborhood project is helping to organize a National Night Out event, which will take place Aug. 2. In her spare time, she shops at Goodwill and volunteers at various charities.

She’s also reconsidering her retirement, which began in 2007.

“Now, I’m thinking about going back to work,” she said. “I put in an application to Fresh Thyme to work in the bakery.”

All of which brings to life one of her favorite slogans: “Make it the day the good Lord woke you
up for.”

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Category: Featured, Senior Living