After 46 years with Virginia Health Services, Mary Jones is ready to relax.
But just a little bit, she says. Northampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center’s dietary manager, who will be 77 in December, is going to stick to cooking for “her babies” three days a week.
“I call them my babies,” she says of the Residents. She loves cooking for them and watching them and eat and enjoy her meals.
“I enjoy cooking. I enjoy what I do. I love what I do,” she says.
She’s introduced them to turkey wings, which she says they can’t get enough of. And she enjoys cooking hot dogs and more for cookouts every holiday.
Ms. Jones says she comes from a large family, so cooking for a group isn’t an issue.
“I married Virginia Health Services, I know that,” she says with a laugh.
This was her first job. She says she can count on one hand in 46 years that she’s called out, sometimes not being in for vacation or the death of a loved one.
“I just want to relax a little bit,” she says of semi-retiring. “… Just let me come in and do my little cooking and go home.”
She says she debated stepping away with God before making the decision. What she didn’t want to do was sit idly at home. They decided three days a week was manageable.
“And I ain’t babysitting,” she says of her family’s children, with a smile. “I send them home when they ask to spend the night.”