Most people think about retirement as a time when life's pace becomes less hectic and more relaxed.
Such has not been the case for 69-year-old Finksburg resident Cliff Keffer.
Since retiring from Ford Automotive Shops in Baltimore in 1982 and his job as an insulator in 1987, Mr. Keffer has been the ultimate volunteer. He freely and willingly offers his varied skills to help family, friends, neighbors, his church and community organizations.
Doing everything from repairing lawn mower engines for neighbors to handiwork around the house, Mr. Keffer goes at each project with the enthusiasm of a child at play.
"I am busier now than I was when I worked," admits Mr. Keffer. "I like to help people and I just can't say no."
Mr. Keffer's latest project has been the construction of a dollhouse for the Roaring Run Lion's Club, of which he is a member.
Once the dollhouse is completed, it will be used by the Lion's Club to raise funds.
"I just joined the Lion's Club in January and when I joined I told the president if they would purchase a dollhouse kit, I would donate my labor to put it together," Mr. Keffer said.
The club agreed to purchase the kit and, to date, Mr. Keffer has spent some 200 hours using the finest materials to construct the nine-room house, known as Beacon Hill.
"Each one of the rooms has papered walls, and there is a staircase that winds and runs continuously from the first to the third floor," Mr. Keffer said.
Mr. Keffer said that his interest in dollhouses was piqued last year when he bought one for his wife, Faye.
"Last year I bought the Pierce House at the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer's Market," said Mr. Keffer. "My wife went and saw it when I was doing a favor for a guy and she came home and told me about it. We went back about a week later and I bought it."
Soon after he purchased the Pierce House for his wife, a friend gave him a dollhouse kit called the Harrison House, and he built it for his 7-year-old granddaughter, Jessie.
"Like everything I've ever done I felt challenged, but I also had fun," said Mr. Keffer. "My granddaughter was real pleased with the dollhouse and is still tickled. Whenever you can please a child, you have gone a long way."
Mr. Keffer will soon complete the Beacon Hill dollhouse and it will be delivered to the Roaring Run Lion's Club.
It will be raffled off in the near future and the proceeds will be used to benefit the needy and vision-impaired.
Speaking of worthy causes, don't forget to order your daffodils from the American Cancer Society in Carroll County.
The annual Daffodil Days event will officially take place this Thursday through Saturday, but orders can be placed now by contacting a volunteer.
A $4 donation will buy a bunch of 10 daffodils, flown directly from the West Coast to Maryland.
Your donation will help the American Cancer Society continue its fight against the dreaded disease.
To order your daffodils call a volunteer at one of the following numbers: 875-2252, 635-2408, 239-3702 or 795-4462.