I have threatened to have put on my tombstone: Whatever else, life was not boring!
I have lived as an adult in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. I've have driven in all 50 states and most of the Canadian Provinces. So far I have not been to the Northwest Territories nor Labrador-Newfoundland.
I have been to the Badlands, Wall Drug, the Mammoth Dig Site in Hot Springs (SD), Jewel Cave, Wind Cave, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, Yosemite, the San Antonio Riverwalk, the Alamo, the Great Smokies, the Field Museum in Chicago, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and the house where Samuel Clemens grew up. I've ridden a cable car in San Francisco and gone whale watching in Glacier Bay, Alaska. I've backpacked part of the Appalachian Trail.
I have visited the zoos in San Diego, St. Louis, and Lincoln Park (Chicago) as well as the aquaria in Baltimore, Chicago, Monterey, and Oahu. I have petted a dolphin, a hedgehog, an elephant, a camel, a water buffalo, and a full grown male black bear.
I have been north of the Arctic Circle (Kotzebue, AK) and met a man in Nome who competed in the first Iditarod Race. I hired a float plane in Wrangell, Alaska to drop me at Anan Island in Alaska so that I could watch the bears catching salmon (up close). As I walked up the path on Anan, an eagle flew within 3 feet of my head. I once hired a helicopter to take me and a very young cousin for a ride. I learned to scuba dive in 1970 when you couldn't even buy a wetsuit off the rack for a female and I've been down to 160 feet. Since there were few female divers at the time, I had some interesting diving buddies, including Ted Hess who later would participate in the Andrea Doria expedition with Peter Gimbel. It was Ted and Peter who discovered why that ship went down so quickly.
I have had a variety of jobs, each one quite different from the others. I have worked at a summer camp with severely and profoundly handicapped children, worked on a boat, been a translator for the government, worked several years in nursing homes and hospitals (including working in labor and delivery), taught in the public schools (Middle, Jr. High, and Sr. High), been a college professor, and driven an 18-wheeler more than 1,000,000 miles without an accident! My family keeps asking, "What next?"
Pets I had as a Child: Several dogs and hamsters, one blue-eyed white rabbit, and a chipmunk which I took away from my sister's cat! More interesting is that when I was a child, my mother's mother had a pet skunk! I found that fascinating.
My First Car Was: A 1961 white Corvair Station Wagon named Winston and YES, they did build such a thing, but only for 2 years. It was an automatic and the shifter was on the dash!
Favorite Music: Bach, Beethoven, The Beatles, Bluegrass and Bob Wills Western Swing.
Instruments I Played as a Child: Piano and Trumpet.
Favorite Movies: Fiddler on the Roof, Brigadoon, You Can't Take it With You, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The King and I, Harvey, Bringing Up Baby, and Father Goose with Cary Grant.
Favorite Ballets: Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Petrouchka, Le Corsaire, and The Spectre of the Rose.
Favorite Operas: The Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola, Otello, Aida, Rigoletto, and Tosca.
Picture Books - Anything by Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Patricia Polacco, or Dr. Seuss; Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends by Rev. Awry, Angelina Ballerina, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, and Joseph Had a Little Overcoat.
Children's Books - Heidi, Mary Poppins, Dr. Dolittle, Dragon Rider and Inkheart Series by Cornelia Funke, Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull, The Fire Within and Ice Fire by Chris D'Lacey.
Recent Teen Fiction - Anything by Anthony Horowitz, Robin Jones Gunn or Sarah Dessen.
The Classics - Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Fantasy - The Hobbit and the Trilogy of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Harry Potter, Storms of Vengeance by John Beachem and The Belgariad by David Eddings.
Science Fiction - Anything by Stephen Tall, James White, or Isaac Asimov.
Romance - MacGregor Series and McKade Brothers by Nora Roberts; Vows by LaVyrle Spencer; The Rose Series by Julie Garwood; Three Wishes by Barbara Delinsky; Granny Dan by Danielle Steel; and I Do! I Do! I Do! by Maggie Osborne.
Favorite Color: Any shade of blue.
Favorite Place to Relax: In the mountains. I need to see evergreen trees to feel at home and I hate hot weather!
Words to Describe Me: Practical, independent, determined, persistent, organized, responsible, serious, decisive, hard-working, well-educated, stubborn, loner, and intolerant of lazy people.
Hobbies: Genealogy research, Reading, Travel, Knitting.
I was the first person in my mother's family to go to college. My mother's family has lived on the same mountain top for over 200 years. Jeff Foxworthy says you may be a redneck if your family tree does not branch. Well, mine looks more like a spider web than a tree. I actually knew two sisters I was related to in five different ways. In part that is because in addition to being sisters they were also second cousins since their grandmothers were sisters. I was related to each of their grandmothers in two ways and I was also related to one of their grandfathers.
A friend and I co-authored a college textbook. That same friend was the navigator and I the driver of the winning car in a road ralleye.
Many years ago, on a Friday afternoon, I decided it was time to stop paying rent and buy a house. I called a realtor and asked him to run a computer check on a particular neighborhood. I picked up that list and drove around to look at the exterior of each house. I selected ONE HOUSE, called him back and asked to see that one. He arranged for me to see it that same evening and on Saturday morning, I put in a bid on that house (YES, LESS THAN 24 HOURS TO BUY A HOUSE!). I still have that same house. I definitely have a problem with people who can't even decide what to order in a fast food restaurant.