• 52°

Know your neighbor — Jody Marie Letchworth

At 51, Jody Marie Letchworth has figured out that faith and family are the most important things in her life.

Letchworth, a mother and grandmother, works as a carpenter with her brother.

“I worked for many years in different office management and office duty jobs, but with the passing of my mother this year, I decided to go a different direction,” she said.

That change put her in the home repair and carpentry trade.

“My mom made me promise to take care of my brother, so I went to work with him. We take care of each other, along with our kids and my grandkids.”

Pounding nails is a bit tougher than pushing pencils.

“I’m not as strong as I wish I was, but my doctor says I’m doing pretty good for 51 years old,” she said. “My brother just tells me ‘Stop being a girl’ when I whine on the job.”

Letchworth’s daughters are 32 and 28. The oldest is a nurse with a husband and three children, two girls age 12 and 7 and a 7-month-old baby boy. Her youngest is a hard-working single mother with a 6-year-old son.

Her spare time is filled with her grandbabies, church and church-related activities.

“I’m not saying that to sound what I guess people call ‘churchy.’ I just don’t have time for anything else and don’t see the point in making time,” she said. “I’ve lived, really lived, long enough to establish what is truly important in life. And that is God and family. That’s enough for me. I find my worth and my pleasure in very simple, or what others may consider simple things.”

However, Letchworth admits to one guilty pleasure — dark chocolate.

“I try to abstain from it, but I can only last so long. It’s definitely my drug of choice,” she said. “And, of course, there’s the ‘foo-foo’ coffee. Must have my two cups a day to ward off the I-feel-like-I’m-dying feeling.”