Salem woman adds spice to life with gift pies


by Tracy Barry, KGW News Anchor

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 26 at 8:52 PM

SALEM -- Adjusting to the slower pace of retirement can be tough for some people. But for one Salem woman it’s been a piece of cake. Or in her case, a piece of pie.

Vickie Hardin Woods retired almost a year ago from a fast-paced job as a Community Development Director. She couldn’t face the thought of an empty schedule. “I knew it was going to be a big transition,” she said.

So Vickie gave herself a new assignment. To bake a fresh pie every day for a year, and then, give it away!

“I want it to be a gift, just a gift,” Vickie told KGW, “You don’t have to do anything to receive it. It just happened to be your day.”

Vickie has kept track of the pies with mouth-watering names like brown butter hazelnut and key lime pie with ginger crust. And she has logged the people they have gone to on her simple but powerful blog called “Half Baked Retirement.

Vickie points out, “It is the story of my life over the last year.”

And it is the story of friends and often strangers who might be celebrating or struggling when a pie arrives, that fill Vickie with gratitude.

“When you give a pie to someone and you can see in their eyes that they really like it. That it was something they just needed that day.”

Today was pie 359, a pumpkin pie going to a young girl working at a nearby farm stand where Vickie often buys fresh fruit.

“I brought you a pie,” Vickie calls out to Cassie Woolhiser. “Thank you, thank you so much,” Cassie answers as she runs to give Vickie a big hug.

It’s a moment, worth baking for.

More: Vickie's 'Half Baked Retirement' blog