I grew up in rural Rowan County, Mt. Ulla, North Carolina to be exact, with my two younger sisters, Jean and Karen. I had the most wonderful, loving parents anyone could ever have wanted. My parents instilled in the three of us from a very young age the importance of moral values, hard work, manners, accepting our own responsibilities, respect for others, and also the need for a good education.
School came first in my life, fun and play occurred only after homework was completed and checked. I never liked getting up in the mornings, and still can't stand the alarm blaring at 5:30 AM, but I continue to struggle out of bed to make the most of a new day. I longed for weekends growing up so I could sleep late, and I long for the same now!
Sleeping late in my home growing up was not guaranteed. Many mornings I grumbled when my father, a gifted home builder, would drag me out of bed to go help him put on a roof, carry bricks or 2x4's, paint, or install insulation (makes me itch to think about it) for a house he was building.
Helping with the house was one thing, I won't even mention the garden with beans, corn, potatoes, squash, okra, etc. that needed to be planted, then harvested. Daddy always planted enough to feed the entire community, but it was disheartening as I grew older to see that many wanted the offer, but not as long as they had to pick it for themselves.
almost a white
When I got older,
my sister and I began working in our aunt and uncle's tomato fields for
a summer job and spending money. Starting out we worked in the grading
shed, separating first grade tomatoes for market from the seconds and discards.
From the grading shed, we were " promoted" to planting, staking, tying,
pruning and picking! Of course, being the only girls in a field full
of boys wasn't all bad!
I graduated from West Rowan High in 1973, and received my BS in Special Education in 1977 from Appalachian State University, located in the mountains of North Carolina in the town of Boone. Not only did I get my first taste of really cold weather and snow skiing as a PE course (ugh), but I also met my dearest and closest friends, Janet, Yvonne, Grace, and Lynn.
These four ladies, all teachers, have been a constant in my life and we still stay in touch and get together as often as possible. On our 20th year anniversary from ASU, we took a cruise together. We laughed, played the card game Spades, (our minor in college) and enjoyed being with each other again like we were when younger.
After graduation, I took a job in Sanford, North Carolina as a resource teacher in an elementary school. I worked there for six years and then went to the high school and started the Behaviorally/Emotionally Handicapped program. After three years, I was needing change, so I moved back to Rowan County and took a job at Barium Springs Home for Children in Iredell County as a teacher. The teaching I enjoyed, but when I was told I had to be a cottage parent and live on campus, I decided to go back to public schools. I taught a self contained, cross categorical class at Statesville Junior High (Statesville Middle now) for two years and resource for one.
Rick and I honeymooned in Aruba, fell in love with the island and bought a time share in Aruba. We have been back to Aruba several times, but now have started exchanging to see other places, having recently traveled to the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
Rick works for
Biesse Group America and travels quite a bit with his job. I get
lonely at times, but the dividend miles he accumulates come in quite
handy! We have no children, only our Miniature Schnauzer, Nixie.
As with any marriage,
there are ups and downs. The hardest time we have had to overcome
was my being diagnosed with choriocarcinoma
in April 1990, not even two years after being married. Unfortunately, my
doctor at the time of the miscarriage (which caused the cancer),
never asked me to come back in for a check up, even after calling her and
describing the symptoms, all associated with the disease. In a non
pregnant female, the HCG level is < 5, but my HCG level had escalated
to 300, 894. Six months of chemotherapy, (one week out patient, the
next week in the hospital), and a thorocotamy in 1991, was a trying
time for us both, but now I am pleased to announce I am cancer free.
In Hickory, I worked at an alternative school for five years and I am presently beginning my fifth year, and twenty third year of teaching at College Park Middle School where I am teaching a self- contained Behaviorally/Emotionally Disabled class.
This is my first attempt at a web site, but I hope to have other thematic units on the web if this one works out! I want to give thanks and praise to my colleague, Michelle Hunt, who has helped develop the units I am trying to put on the web for our students. I value her friendship and feel honored to be able to work with such a dedicated and caring teacher. Thanks Michelle, your youth and enthusiasm has made me feel young again!
Three years ago, I met my guardian angel, Anetia. She was my assistant, but has since become "my sister." She knows me better than I know myself at times and I am truly blessed for knowing this beautiful lady.
Two other teachers, which have become true friends are Carolyn and Sheila. Not only are they cherished friends, but they are also travel and shopping buddies! When we get together, a fun time is surely guaranteed even if we buy "big hair!"
Finally, I would never have dreamed of developing a web site, had my online Swiss friend, Thomas, not encouraged me to do so. While giving him advice, (mostly help with English), on the development of his site, I became interested in developing a site also. He is truly a gifted artist, as well as a treasured friend and confidant. Please check out his site, you won't be disappointed.