Pat Novak continues to use her golden years as an opportunity to pursue friendships new and old and to engage in hobby jobs. Novak works at reupholstering furniture and as a bailiff for the Ward County Courthouse. She also travels and keeps in touch with friends and family.
"I've found that enjoying people has come for me as I got older. You learn to appreciate people, and there are so many different walks of life," Novak said.
Novak has enjoyed making connections through her hobbies. She has been reupholstering furniture for many years, which began when she saw the need to reupholster her husband's old chair.
Pat Novak works on reupholstering a couch at her farm this summer. Novak takes on reupholstering projects periodically.
"I started back in the '60s, due to a lack of funds. I fixed my husband's chair that was falling apart, and it happened by word of mouth that I started doing it for other people. I have visited with another lady who does it, and we get a lot of calls. We're a dying breed I think," Novak said.
"A lot of people want things redone because they have a favorite piece they would like to hold on to. What started out as a hobby just kind of grew. It's fun, and I have built many friendships through it," she added.
Novak also has spent time visiting rummage sales for things she can turn into projects, and she has spent some time crafting.
"I think I inherited my crafting from my mother. She was always trying to make something out of nothing, and she always sewed everything. I watched her growing up and I just figured out how to do it by watching her," Novak said.
"For a time, I was doing a lot of woodwork, too, but that's faded away now. I was doing little cutouts and I built hutches for my kids, but nothing really vast," she added.
For Novak, the joy of turning trash into treasures adds fun to crafting and reupholstering projects.
"I dearly love upholstering. You can make something shabby look very nice. I figure furniture is like the rest of us. We all need a new lease on life," Novak said.
"Anybody can go to the store and buy something. To create something useful is much more satisfying," she added.
Novak also continues to work as a bailiff from time to time. She began that job nearly seven years ago, when she was called to be on a jury panel. While on the jury panel, she visited with courthouse staff and the current bailiff and decided it was something she'd like to try.
"What I do is tend to the needs of the jurors, and see that they're comfortable. Coffee and cookies are always number one on the list. I really enjoy it, you get to meet so many interesting people," Novak said.
In addition to her hobbies, Novak enjoys keeping in touch with her family; and during the summer she traveled about 4,500 miles to visit her children in Colorado, California and Oregon.
Novak has six children, 16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She and her husband live on a farm south of Minot.