About Me

Part 1

 I cannot really speak about myself without including a picture of me with my husband, Jim.  We have been married so long that it is hard, if not impossible to know where one of us begins and the other ends.  Our personalities and interests are very different but on all the big things in life, we are one.  We met when we were between our junior and senior years of high school and we have been together ever since.  We have raised three outstanding children, become parents to three more wonderful kids thorough our children's wise choices in marriage, and now enjoy ten beautiful grandkids.
We have had our share of trials like all married couples, but we have always pulled together to figure things out and to overcome them.  Working together has helped us stay strong in our love and commitment to one another and our marriage covenants through thick and thin. 

The best thing we have going for us is our complete dedication to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our devotion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Our faith has added such incredible depth and dimension to our lives and enriched and united us everything we do.  All of our shared life experiences both good and challenging have made every day better that the one before it.  Coupling that with our adoration for our family and enjoying being with them whenever possible ~ we find our joy.

It is November 2011 and we have been retired for almost 18 months and have been enjoying every single moment of it.  We find the real luxury in life is time and space, not money.  Time to make our own schedule, time to pursue our individual and joint interests and time to serve others.  And time to enjoy our own space away from the grueling work a day world we were in for decades.  We have learned 'the dance' almost perfectly now after 4 years of dating 43 years of marriage.

We enjoy the same life style of working hard, enjoying free time together, keeping things organized, maintained and clean and taking the time and money to improve and our home and to keep our  family members connected.  We love entertaining and cooking together, traveling, photography, family history and serving those in need.  We love road trips and we'd probably go to Europe four times a year if we could.  We plan on serving a full time mission for our church in a few years.

We lived and worked in San Francisco when we were first married.  We left our  ♥ ♥s in San Francisco and return a few times a month to visit and explore our favorite nearby city.   We live in an antique, cozy, little cottage now and have been here for 33 years now. It is small but has a huge, beautiful yard and we love every square inch of this place we call home.  It is where we have grown up together and raised our own children and created a life time of memories with some very beautiful friends and family crossing our threshold repeatedly.  Our hope is to have that be a continuing thing for many years to come.  And if you have still not been able to come...we hope you can one day soon.

Part 2

Moi~Autumn 2012~Napa, CA

One of the things I have noticed is how much more you can grow into the person you were meant to be at this stage in our lives.  There is time to develop and nurture one's special interests in ways that never existed during the years of working constantly, raising a family, building a nest and a nest egg and caring for aging parents.

It is now January 11, 2013 and we continue to love being retired but have found that lots of new things have been filling our time, mostly volunteer work.  And yet on some very basic level we have guarded and maintained time for self, each other, friends and family and pursuing our own personal development.

The novelty of this kind of freedom does not wear off.  Each morning we awaken with an awareness of what a blessing it is and an excitement to be alive.  Each morning we also awaken to the more sure knowledge of God's love for us, his personal knowledge of who we are, our needs, and that he hears and answers our prayers.  Life gets more precious and more thrilling on this side of the hill.  When you stop to smell the roses you also worship and honor The Gardener in a different way than during earlier decades.  You take notice of the wonders of the earth and life itself in a more intense way.  I love this stage in life.  Depending upon your perspective and your attitude these really can be the golden years.

 I have pretty much learned through countless experiences that life is exactly what you make of it and you will be as happy and contented as you make up your mind to be.  Cliches are cliches for a reason...they are the compilation of many people's unique experiences that resonate with a common idea.  "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." Many have put that biblical verse to the test and found it to be absolute truth.

One of the things that I am adamant about is having some fun and free time in these autumn years.  It seems that was out of balance in our spring and summer seasons of life as we tried to always keeps things running a little too intensely.  We lived by the notion that, "First we work and then we play."  Hmmm, that was not exactly right I am afraid.  It took us on a slightly unbalanced way of doing business.  Progression is one thing, perfectionism quite another.  Working too many long, hard days with not nearly enough breathers and recreational activities and rarely any relaxation time is not healthy.  I have learned that relaxing is not just sleeping.

For me true relaxation is a conscious awareness that at that particular moment nothing is pressing on me and that I have choices about how to spend my time.  It may very well be that I choose to work during that free time but with the notion that I am not forced to do it.  It is not that some self or other imposed giant clock is ticking and I am rushing to yet another deadline that will only be replaced by another when I am done.  That kind of day to day madness is like stringing beads onto a thread with no knot at the end.  We all know work is never done.  We spent too much time being human doings instead of human beings. But that has changed and has made all the difference in the world as to how I feel, my blood pressure and general well-being and my cheerfulness.

I like to take time to enjoy my solitude.  This is essential to a person who is an introvert.  {If you wonder if you too might be an introvert read this article.}  This is where I gain my energy to go back out into the world and do more service, be more social, accomplish more learning, have more energy each day.  This notion of recharging my batteries that is now like a fountain of living water for me was non-existent in my earlier life.  It is where I can discover, savor and appreciate my blessings and my joy.

If I could pin my occasional feelings of being frustrated, exhausted, and confused as a very busy younger person, it would be on the fact that I didn't take enough time to know myself well enough to know what I actually needed.  I know this is very common for both women and men in the earlier years and it is one of the most important lessons I would like to pass on to our children as I watch them frantically 'doing it all.'  Be busy, be productive, keep learning and growing and serving but find the balance in it.  Know thyself and to thine own self be true.  An empty cup cannot fill another.

For me one of the most important things I have been able to do is write.  I need to write as often as I possibly can.  It helps me sort things out, and know myself in ways that the fragmented, brain chatter inside my head does not accomplish.  I need to get things out in full sentences and analyze them through the things that just flow out of me when I put my hands on the keyboard.  I want our children and grandchildren to find their own "keyboard" whatever that may be, earlier in life than I did.  It would be something that creates joy on its own merit and self-awareness and balance and true happiness.  To find their treasure they will have to first find their time to reflect and pursue it.  God grant them this blessing is my prayer for them today.