As I’ve gotten older, it is so fun to celebrate birthdays with my sisters. The fall of 2018 we decided to do something on Nadine’s bucket list. Nadine asks for so few things. I contacted a balloon guy in Topeka. Since Nadine’s birthday is in November we knew we were going to be early but wanted to do it whenever the time worked out. We started planning for our ride in August. We had many Saturday mornings that didn’t work out. I was beginning to think it would never happen. Lo and behold October 28 (Sunday evening) we (Pam, Nadine, Rob and I) took off from the Industrial Park in Minneapolis and had a beautiful balloon ride. Rob loved it and we loved watching his experience. It was so fun!
I realized as I was creating this personal history that I talked quite a bit about work related subject, and not a lot about family. Why? Well, I think it is because work filled a lot of my time and energy, but also because those work experiences were unique to me. Not even my family new what I did on a day to day basis.
But, I feel we had a good balance in much of our family activities. We work together, we play together, we learn together, we take vacations together. One tradition we have kept that is easy to overlook in its significance is that we almost always ate one meal together around the kitchen table each day. Sometimes we talked about nothing in particular. At other times we had some involved conversations. The point being, we valued the time communicating with each other face to face, and meal time gave us that opportunity.
I thought I would just share with you a little about each family member and where they are now in 2020, or what they are doing now…
Marya. She loves to bird watch. This love of birds gave rise to another hobby. She purchased a quality camera to take pictures with, and started taking pictures of landscapes, and our children’s events. This secondary hobby has given her opportunity to create books and slide shows to share place, memories, and events with others. She has even won awards and recognition in various publications for her photos. I tell people, “I am not much of a bird watcher, but I can be a good bird watcher-watcher.” She is currently serving as the Ward Music Coordinator for her church calling. And enjoys the increasingly popular sport of pickle ball.
Taylor. Taylor is very creative. He is good with his hands. When he sets his mind to creating something or doing a particular task, he does it with lots of energy and focus. As of this writing he lives at home and in many respects is trying to make up his mind which direction he will go in life.
Caleb. Caleb graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington with a degree in Studio Arts. He is also living at home. Caleb loves running. He had such a positive experience with running from middle school, high school, and college that he has now accepted the position as our high school’s head cross country coach. A position he shares with another Teton High alumni. He also works for the school district, right now as a physical education teacher and paraprofessional at the Tetonia elementary school.
Sapphire. She studied at Brigham Young University – Idaho in Early Childhood Development. As of this writing, she still has one “wrap up” class to do and her internship to receive the degree, but for all intents and purposes, she is done. She is very talented in working with children, and was before she received her degree. She has moved to Preston, Idaho, and is living with my father to help him, and working in Logan area as a nanny. Sapphire moved in with my parents one week before my mother passed away.
Crystal is in her third year at Grinnell College in Iowa. She is studying Biology with the intent of working for a places like the National Park Service, National Forest, Fish and Game Management, or some place like that. She has already worked for the National Park Service for 3 summers. She loves playing soccer and was able to walk on to the intercollegiate women’s soccer team at college.
Jade. Jade is now in her first year at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. She is taking general credits at the moment, but she is leaning toward a career in creative writing or editing…something along those lines.
Crystal (Big Crystal) Hansen. Her and her husband live in Teton Valley. She manages the local US Bank branch and loves spending time with her husband Scott and son Cooper, and are expecting their second child in the spring.
My work is going very well. I help take care of the state and federal compliance work for some guys that own trucks in the oil fields of North Dakota, and make sure the pay for the work is right. I spend a lot of time working on the computer, texting, emails, and phone calls. My clients are happy if I can keep them from having to sit in front of a computer because they are “hands on” type of men that like to build houses, fix things with an engine, etc. I changed my business name this year to VIP Support Services.
I attend Toastmasters meetings regularly. Toastmasters has helped me to overcome my fear of public speaking. I have even been paid to speak for business and professional organizations. I have won a few speech contests. This organization helped me stopped worrying about what was going on in my head…the nervousness, the anxiety….and focus on the message, and eliminate things I might be doing that distract from rather than compliment a message.
Chris Harris is my best bud. We do things on a regular basis. We worked together at the construction supply store, and now we try to have a meal together regularly, and attend a few events. If I could choose one word that described Chris best it would be congenial.
Marya and I went out of the country for the first time together this last summer. After taking Jade to college to start her freshman year we went over to the Vancouver area in British Columbia, Canada. We went to a botanical garden, a bird conservatory, and the Vancouver temple. We then went to visit a friend, Cherie Scarpino, who lives about midway north in the BC province. We were able to help her insulate the skirting around her home, and we visited an old gold mining town called Barkerville.
How to I feel at fifty? Very good. My health is good. I enjoy my work. We have a loving family. We live in a beautiful area. I enjoy serving in the church. I am striving to live a life that positively contributes to those around me. My personal and business motto comes from a quote by Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”