My new blogging friend, Karen, at http://karengberger.blogspot.com/has huge faith in me, so here goes ... I totally zoned on the invitation earlier this week from Suz at http://randomthoughtsofabuzybee.blogspot.com/ So this is for you both and thanks girls, this is a fabulous opportunity to reflect.
I haven't seen you in fifteen years. These are the the things that I need to catch you up on:
1. Ron and I had been married 13 years in 1993 and I was 37. Let me save you the math ... I am 52. We had finally finished renovating our 1930's house in West University, a prosperous Yuppie city within the city of Houston. We were living a very nice life as both of us were still working in the oil business and making a ton of money. I invested in the Sportswear, Shoe, Handbag, and Jewelry Markets.
2. I worked my way up in the oil industry from receptionist to Assistant to the President of Glickenhaus Energy, an independent oil and gas exploration company backed by Seth Glickenhaus, a famous Wall Street tycoon who is almost 100 years old and still goes to work every day. We founded a "spin off" company called Cresent Petroleum, to re-enter wells drilled by Texaco in the 1950's in Chocop Field, Peten, Guatemala. We had an office in Guatemela City which was managed by an old friend of Ron's, Juan Maldanado, or fondly referred to as "One Mile an Hour". I was able to travel there a few times and climb the Mayan ruins ... an incredible experience I will never forget. Coming down was the bomb! We stayed at a lodge deep in the jungle and the electricity went off at night. I don't even want to know the names of the animals that bounced off the roof while we tried to sleep. On a somber note, we hired an ex (?) CIA agent to manage the operation in the field. Upon returning from Chocop to G City one bleak day, his plane ran out of fuel and crashed in the mountains. Monte Overacre and two other employees were killed. If you google his name you will find a very interesting article from Mother Earth magazine. I was interviewed for the article but asked to remain anonymous. I'm not so sure that Monte was not still with the CIA and that this was a U.S. covert operation to monitor Guatemala's drug trade. What experienced pilot runs out of fuel ?
3. I studied art, photography, and portrait photography at the Glassell School of Art in Houston under Sally Gall and Rob Zeibel. But prior to taking photos, developing and printing them, I was fortunate enough to be forced to study many semesters of the prerequisites: Visual Fundamentals, Art History, and the History of Photography. I have treasured these art basics over the years and I am grateful that I fit this very important learning into my busy Houston life. My first 35 mm camera was a Yashica that I bought when I was 18. I have always taken tons of photos. My greatest love is portrait photography.
4. I became Muzz, Ron's family's name for Grandmother, to my step daughter's three awesome grand daughters, Anna, Emily and Meghan. They live in Nashville. When Ron was a child he could not pronounce Grand Mother so he said Grand "Muzzer", which became Muzz. My step son and his wife adopted two beautiful children from Russia, Ian and Liliya. They live in Houston. Being a Muzz is a cool feeling. Oh my God this is four already ... hmmm.
5. I went back to school at the University of Houston as an adult. After graduating from High School I immediately went to work in the oil industry ... a great move on my part. Prior to acceptance at U of H, I had to take about a million semesters of math in order to take College Algebra.
"In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra." -Fran Lebowitz
Thank you, Fran.
6. I started my Quick Books accounting business to have something to do to bring in some money, yet maintain my freedom for courses. Today I am retired other than my one client, my friend, Mark Green, at http://www.mgp2.com in Houston. We are totally automated, paperless for the most part, and it's the best job I have ever had in my life. I travel to Houston every few months or so to maintain the position and spend time with family and friends.
7. I became addicted to English Composition while at U of H and took all of the writing courses I could. I wrote many papers about my life and things going on around me. I often threaten that one day I will pull those papers out and publicize them. They are fun, sooooo me, as in absolutely nuts, and they will make me famous, I assure you.
8. My father, an alcoholic, passed away from a heart attack 8 years ago. He and my mother were separated at the time, after 44 years of marriage. When you ask her about it today she will tell you, "I was a slow learner". Bless her heart, she has made up for it and then some, by living life to the fullest and having the most fun she can have. She hunts and fishes with my brother, Randy, who lives in Pierre, SD, and is a guide. Randy owns a bar there called Whiskey River Outpost. Dad and I were in the midst of a stand off at the time he died ... a stand off that started with an argument over a pressure cooker.
9. Ron and I traveled to Europe two years years ago this month with my best girl friend, Kelly, our best gay friends, Jim and Tirey, and the choir of their church, Bering United Methodist of Houston. The choir had scheduled appearances through Italy and France and our first stop was the Italian Riviera's Cinque Terre. Not too shabby! We then traveled to Provence and the French Riviera. One of my goals this year is to put my photos on Flickr.
10. My baby sister, Wendy, died suddenly from an aneurysm two years ago next month at 46. A life defining event, it has taken all of the strength, faith, and courage I can muster up to get through this loss on a daily basis. We were so close. There is a huge piece of me missing today, yet a huge piece of me has been found. Her death prompted our move last year to 3.5 acres outside of my home town, Watertown, SD. Ron and I wanted to retire but did not have a plan. I felt a deep need to be near Wendy's daughter, Catherine. We had a cabin here on Lake Kampeska for 10 years and he always loved it. Prior to moving here I only missed two summers here in the 37 years that I lived in Houston. Catherine and her husband live a mile from us and my Mom lives in town. It's family first here ... I have 30 plus cousins within a 10 mile radius and they are awesome! We are living a life that is totally different from what we have been doing all these years. Every day is an adventure and other than Wendy not being here in the physical sense to enjoy it along with us, everything is perfect.