The first time I retired was in 2003 from a 24 year retail career as a District Sales Manager with stores in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Three months after retiring, I took a position with the Janesville School District assisting ELL elementary students. The plan was to work a year or two until my husband retired, but I hadn’t counted on being captivated by the energy and imagination of the amazing young students I had the privilege of working with. They taught me something new everyday for the 10 years I worked there. I retired for the second time in January 2013.
Currently I enjoy volunteering with our Australian Shepherd, Tessa, who is a member of Therapy Dogs International. Together we are participating in ‘Tail Waggin’ Tutors’, a unique reading program that brings therapy dogs and students together for individualized tutoring. Tessa is a great listener and the results are nothing short of incredible.
My husband, a retired art teacher, and I have been married for 41 years and love to travel. We have enjoyed many trips to Caribbean and pacific islands where I have fallen in love with snorkeling. We have two sons. The oldest lives in Hawaii with his wife and our first granddaughter, and the youngest lives in Wauwatosa with his wife and our first grandson. I say ‘first’ because I hope there will be many more.
Other firsts? My first book, SHARED HOPE: A Survival Handbook for Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them, began as a speech. It was originally written for a major fundraising event for the fight against cancer. After much encouragement, the speech was put into writing and published. It became an easy decision once it occurred to me that the book could be another means of raising money to fight this disease. I am proud to make a donation to fund cancer research from the sale of each book. More than just a survival handbook, it is a humorous, inspirational, and empowering guide for those navigating a journey toward wellness, and it shares insights for those seeking to focus less on the losses and more on the blessings in their lives.
TWS is my first writers group. I join with the first draft of my first novel and with gratefulness to the members for their willingness to share their insights and knowledge.