Life is Good, and Sweet, and Short.
It’s okay to break some of the rules, some of the time. Like a glass of wine before five; that’s okay. The nuns taught me I’d burn in hell for breaking rules, so I’ve decided I don’t believe in hell.
1. I am blessed to have a good husband (39 years!) and two wonderful adult children who I have adored since before they were born and love more with every passing day. I lucked out, too, in the daughter-in-law and son-in-law department; I feel as though these two special people have always been a part of our family, not just with us for the past few years. There are dozens of nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, and even two great-great-nieces and two great-great-nephews and one more on the way and dozens and dozens of cousins. There are special brothers and sisters-in-law and a sister, too. There are aunts who are truly inspiring, and many people in heaven who I think of every day. I don’t bother with the distinction of “step-” relatives, or “in-laws,” or even “exes.” Once you’re in my family, you’re in. No escape.
2. I was one of the lucky ones who grew up in a small, mid-western town in the late fifties and sixties — lucky, because that is an experience you can only cherish if you had it as a child. You might relocate from an urban setting to a small town as an adult, but you can only truly experience the wonder of it all if you got to be a kid in a place where you knew everybody in every house at least on your own block if not in most of the town, and where it was okay to climb the neighbors’ trees, run across the neighbors’ yards and down the alley behind the houses (yes, we had alleys – I thought everyone did!) and run outside to play “in the neighborhood with the kids,” without anyone making a “playdate” for you.
3. I am proud to be a graduate of The Ohio State University, a Buckeye! It was perfect to go from a small town where-I-was-related-to-everyone to a large campus in a metropolitan area with a myriad of options for majors, for classes, for entertainment. There are those who say large schools are impersonal, classes are filled with hundreds, and no one knows your name. That was never my experience. I was never “closed out” of a class, most of my classes had fewer than twenty students, I received outstanding personalized advice from the College of Arts and Sciences, the advisor in my academic department – the esteemed John F. Cuber, r.i.p. – and a caring Assistant Director of Financial Aid who believed in this kid who was working her way through school. Best classes taken? Philosophy of Ethics taught by Daniel Farrell, and Cultural Anthropology, taught by E. Ojo Arewa, both intelligent, dedicated, caring, , funny, enthusiastic young profs, and now both emeritus Professors.
I was lucky to follow that degree with several years working for an OSU Vice President from whom I learned something new every day; most importantly, the significance of always speaking with the utmost respect and professionalism, and never taking ourselves too seriously.
4. In a fourteen-year period, Wilt and I and our children, Walter Wesley and Wilma Wendy, (you are probably correctly guessing by now that I use a pen name for myself and my family members) lived in five states, eight cities, and eleven homes, one corporate apartment (and a partridge in a pear tree.) Yes, in my mind, “move” is a four-letter word. I have a lot to say about the moving experience, and daily I mentally compose bits of what I tell my children will be my first book, “Every Time The Dog Farted, We Moved.”
5. I have been blessed with good friends throughout my life. I’ve written about Sam, both in my initial post, and on her birthday in 2012, and earlier today I wrote about her Daddy. And I’ve written about Nancy, both here and here. There have been other Facebook “finds” as well – old friends, and one “new/old friend” (to be explained later in a blog post.) There are others who have touched me deeply as well: college roomies who are forever friends (you know who you are, Girls!) my very special and very Irish friend met during our years in south Florida (you know who you are too, Dear Friend!) cousins and nieces who are more friends than relatives. And there are the Facebook friends, those who I haven’t met in person, and yet talk with sometimes every day — most notably, The Blue Collar Philosopher (Facebook), The Minnesota Farmwoman (http://themnfarmwoman.com) and The Happy Housewife (http://thehappyhousewife12.blogspot.com/).
7. Most importantly, in my eyes, I was – and am – one of the lucky ones. When we had our first child, I was ready to be a stay-at-home mom. I never lost that sense of wonder for our children, and with every passing year — day — I cherish how fortunate I was and now still am to be at home full-time, even as an empty nester. I’m a homebody, and grateful that Wilt is okay with that. Blogging and Facebook make social connections easier now, but I know that even without them, I’d still be an “At Home” person.
That’s it. I just had those things to share with you all out there in blog-reading land. Thanks for joining me.