CEDAR — Nancy Deye shifted gears when she retired.
Instead of slowing down, the former educator says she has never been busier.
"She is a true example of a late bloomer," said her husband, Ross, who moved to northern Michigan with his wife after they both retired two years ago.
After 30 years in education, Nancy says she missed the enthusiasm she had when she started as an elementary teacher in Sylvania, Ohio.
"I spent the last years of my career as a media specialist in the high school and I just felt that I was missing something," she said.
Silversmithing and tai chi gave her the creative outlets she was looking for outside of her career.
As an avid yoga practitioner, Deye, now 60, got interested in tai chi 10 years ago.
"I was hooked right away," said Deye, who eventually took classes to become a certified instructor in the exercise and stretching technique that integrates body, mind and spirit.
"I really enjoy the mental and meditative aspects that I couldn't grasp with yoga," she said.
Deye particularly likes sharing the positive benefits of tai chi through classes offered by Northwestern Michigan College's extended education services and through the White Crane Tai Chi Association that she established.
"The improvement in physical, emotional and mental health are so beneficial, I feel that this is really a way that I can give back," she said.
Deye has also taken her interest in silversmithing and the turned it into a second career.
"I have always loved the process of putting together the beautiful metal with a stone that I have shaped and fashioned to become a piece that someone will love," said the self-taught artist.
Her favorite pieces include stones she and her husband collect while walking the shores of Lake Michigan.
"Petoskey stones and Leland blue are stones that really mean something to people, really become a symbol of this beautiful place," she said.
In addition to showing her pieces at local art shows, Gallery 22 in Suttons Bay has invited her to display her work.
"I feel very lucky. My satisfaction level goes off the charts."
CEDAR — Nancy Deye shifted gears when she retired.
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- Oryana celebrates 40 years in business