Sunday, February 25, 2018

Four Fun-Filled Days!

When I retired July, 2015, I really worried about how I was going to fill my time after so many years of working.  I shouldn't have as I was really busy with many things.  Taking care of Teresa was perhaps the most important "job" I had during those two years.

For the past seven+ months, not having her in my life has been hard. So many times I want to tell her something that has happened.  Even before she passed, that was not possible because of her dementia.

I have kept very busy with Governing Board activities and with the many incredible friends that I have.  Meeting Dave has been an incredible bonus in my life.  He is such a nice man and he treats me incredibly well.  And the best part is that I get to be totally myself and I HAVEN'T scared him off (YET)!

On Thursday, Elise and Jessie came up from Tucson.  We had tickets for Bill Maher on Saturday night and that was the reason for them to be here.  I was so glad that they came early.  The nice part for them was that they had the entire downstairs to themselves!!!

Thursday night we went to dinner in downtown Gilbert at POMO and then went to the Hale Theater to see No, No, Nanette.  I had not been there to see anything even though it has been opened for several years.  What a nice venue and we really enjoyed the musical.

Brad and Liz Barrett were there and when I saw them, I waved to them.  At the intermission, they came over to where we were sitting.  I introduced them to Elise, Jessie and to Dave.  Brad gave Dave "a little talking to" about how he should treat me, which was hilarious! Poor Dave!  People should be lecturing me--not him!

We went to breakfast Friday and then to the movies in the early afternoon. Elise and Jessie went to dinner with her niece in Phoenix and Dave and I met Anna and Phil ("my" secretary when I was a sub principal).  I absolutely love both Anna and Phil and we had a really nice time.

Saturday morning  after I moderated a Town Hall at the District, we went to breakfast, MANY others were also thinking the same thing.  Everything was super crowded.  We ended up at the Broken Yoke.  The best part of that breakfast was the flight of Mimosas!

We met Patty Montgomery at the light rail station in Mesa and took the light rail into Phoenix for the concert. I love taking the light rail--no worries about driving or parking.

We had decided to go to dinner at an Irish Pub--Seamus Mccaffery's.  Judy and I had eaten there when we went to see Jersey Boys. It has great ambience and looks like a real pub in Ireland.

After dinner, we walked to Comerica and  had to be searched.  I must look a bit shady as of late because I had to be "wanded" as we went in.  This happened to me both on the way to and from Oakland when I went last month.  Jessie thought this was really funny!

Bill was hilarious. I really enjoy seeing him. I do not agree with him all of the time at all, but I appreciate his intelligence.  He is very irreverent!!

We got home late, but it was a good tired to be.  I have been going nonstop for days it seems.

Jessie and Elise left, but it was so good to have them here.  I always love spending time with both of them and things with Dave went very well.

Tonight we are meeting my dear friends, Sandra and Tom Sanders, for dinner at Si Senor in Chandler. Always look forward to time with them.

Dave has been so nice to me and I am very comfortable with him, which is totally unbelievable to me. I keep thinking that the timing of him coming into my life was perfect. If it had been much sooner, I would not had the time to get to know him and spend the time with him to get to know him. He leaves next Sunday to go back to Montana, but he will be back for a week over St. Patrick's Day. I am going to enjoy every moment!  I am blessed in many, many ways!


Monday, February 19, 2018

Southeastern Arizona Adventures over President's Day Weekend

A while ago I made reservations to go to Tombstone for President's Day as Kerri and I had gone there last year and really had fun being tourists for a few days.  We had made reservations late and stayed at a not so great hotel--but it was clean and that was what was most important.  This time, I made reservations for a bed and breakfast. 

Since I have been seeing Dave quite a bit, I told Kerri that I wanted to take him down to see southeastern Arizona and my "roots" and she was okay with it.  So Dave and I left on Saturday and drove to Tombstone. The bed and breakfast was unique, as are many places in Tombstone!

We walked around Tombstone and I told him all about our family connections and the history that I know.  We had a good dinner and some drinks and had a good time.  

We did some of the typical tourist things and had this picture taken.  I love it.

We had planned to go to Bisbee on Sunday so he could see Bisbee and could meet my dear friends, Gloria and Craig. I had let my secretary in Douglas, Carol, know that we would be in the area.  She wanted to see us and I so wanted to see her. I was very hesitant to go to Douglas since we sold the house.  I wasn't sure I could do this. However, on Sunday Dave asked if I would take him to Douglas as he wanted to see where I grew up and the house.  So I said yes.  

I let Carol know we would be down there around 11ish and would meet her at the Gadsden.  I so dreaded this trip, but was hoping I would be okay being able to show Douglas to Dave.

We met Carol at the Gadsden but nothing was open so we went to the American Legion.  It was so AWESOME to visit with her.  She was my secretary, but more than that, she is my dear friend and always will be!

She brought me this beautiful "stone" in honor of being Irish and St. Patrick's Day.

After we talked and had such a wonderful time, we left and drove around Douglas.  I showed him the house and didn't fall apart.  The people who bought it are taking very good care of it.  We went by Loretto School, Douglas High School and the District Office.  We went to the cemetery as I had not seen Teresa's headstone in place yet.  He was amazed at how close everything is to Mexico.

I did well and didn't fall apart..........

Next we went to the border so I could take his picture.  He couldn't believe how close it is.

We then went to Bisbee and met Gloria and Craig, my dear friends who have a home in Bisbee, for lunch.  We had so much fun and they got along so well.  I love this picture!

After that we headed back to Tombstone.  Went for a drink as we had eaten a lot and then back to the B&B.

Today we went to Green Valley to have lunch with Dave's cousins from Montana who are here golfing (like he is).  I met his cousin, Chuck and his wife, Maura, and they were delightful.  I think that Maura and I could be great friends.  It was awesome!

We had another great time together and I am so happy he has come into my life!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Special Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was special for me. I have been doing a lot of things lately that are way out of my comfort zone in many ways. Spending time with a wonderful man has been quite an experience. Dave is so good to me and the more time we are together, the more I appreciate what he has to offer.  

We have a lot in common with our love for sports and our educational careers. He is very respectful of my role on the Governing Board and encourages me to do as much as I feel I should.  That says a lot to me.

He is currently staying in a retirement community in Apache Junction with a golf course and a lot of amenities. Last night they had a Valentine's Day Dance there with a live band. The band played a lot of songs from the 50's and 60's.  Although I haven't had much opportunity to do so, I love to dance. Many nights I put on my music and dance around the house to get my "steps" in--not a pretty sight!  However, he also likes to dance so we went last night.

We went to dinner first at a Mexican restaurant owned by an acquaintance of mine. It was super crowded, even as early as it was in the late afternoon. I generally try to avoid restaurants on Valentine's Day and this was a perfect example.

The dance was really fun with the exception of "too many old people" being there!  Haha!  I am just in denial, I am thinking!  What was really great was to see so many people having such a great time!  It was such a fun night and once again, we had a wonderful time together.

Dave leaves at the end of the month to go home to Montana. He is planning on coming back for St. Patrick's Day and I am planning a trip to see him the first part of April.  I don't know what the future will bring, but I do know that I am enjoying every minute of our time together right now!  What a nice, kind and gentle man he is! 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Very Nice Weekend

This weekend has been a pleasant surprise in my life.  A lot has happened and it has been nice.

I met a gentleman friend a little over a month ago.  We have gone out several times and have talked and texted.  I am absolutely not used to this.  Although I have "dated" here and there since I retired, it has mostly been "there."  Prior to that, my dating experiences have not been the best.  And on top of that, I am living alone for the first time in many years (and not very often during the years).  I have really enjoyed being alone in my house and not having to pick up after anyone or anything.  

My life is full and I enjoy it.  However, it has been nice to have someone who cares in a different way.  

This weekend we had a great time.  It is the first time we have spent extended time together.  Friday afternoon we went to the movies and then had a beer at BRI.  I told him I would fix dinner Friday so I got steaks and barbecued them.  We also had  baked potatoes, zucchini, salad and beer bread. 

After watching a game, we went outside and I built a fire in the fire pit.  It was really great to sit, talk and listen to music with a great fire.

Saturday afternoon we went to dinner and then took the light rail to the ASU basketball game.  ASU won so that made it even better.

Dave is a retired teacher, counselor, coach and administrator.  He loves sports and we have a lot in common.  He lived in Washington, Idaho and is now back in Montana.  He is just here for the winter so he can golf, swim and play pickle ball!!

In addition, he grew up (and now again lives) in Butte, Montana.  He has "copper" in his blood  like I do!  He grew up in an Italian Catholic family as opposed to an Irish Catholic family for me--but many similarities!

He is very thoughtful and brought these beautiful flowers on Friday afternoon.  I appreciated it very much.

And an added good thing--both Diego and SEAMUS love him!!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Another Year of Community Service

January is the beginning of the new year of my four year board term.  We are elected in a November election and then take office the first of January.  Last year I was elected Board president and it was quite a year.   The superintendent that was in place when I was elected, resigned in June. We had an incredible interim superintendent in Suzanne Zentner, who had been the executive director of Talent Management.  Suzanne served the District well in this role from June until October.  She continues to be an integral part of our leadership team and I so value her contributions.

We went through the Arizona School Board Association to find a new superintendent.  Shane McCord was selected in September and started the first of October.  What an amazing four months we have had with Shane at the helm!!  GPS is on its way back (in my humble opinion) to being the best District in Arizona.

For the past four months, I have been able to truly serve the District as a board member and be a part of some incredible happenings.  Because public education is underfunded and a myriad of other issues, it will always be a difficult job, but it has truly been a pleasure working with the other Board Members and the administration, faculty, staff, students, and parents.  

We had our organizational meeting last week and I was touched to be elected Board President for another year.   I look forward to the next three years of service to GPS.   It will be a difficult, but extremely important journey and I believe in the people we have in place!

As I look back on my wonderful educational career, I am blessed to have had the experiences that I have had and the wonderful relationships that have been built through the years.  

When I retired in July, 2015, I was worried about what I would do with my life after so many years (and hours) of working.  I shouldn't have been as my days are filled.  

I can continue to count these past three years as part of my career in education from being a substitute principal in Gilbert, to working with ASU and mentoring a principal, to my time on the Board.  Not many people can say that they have had a career that spans 47 years.   I had 44 years of "regular" employment in the schools to now.  Although I don't get paid anything, I am getting way more than a paycheck could ever bring.   

I have three more years on the Board which will bring me to 49 years (as I am counting this year in the 47).  I don't know what three years will bring, but I may just have to run for one more term to get 50 years in!  Who knows?   But as I said previously, I am blessed in more ways that I can express!!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Twenty Eight Years

Twenty eight years ago today, we moved into our house on Gary Way in Gilbert.  I remember being so excited to have this new house that I had a lot of input into it being built.  I wanted a house with a basement so that we could have a pool table and a fun place to be.

At the time, there were very few houses in the area.  I was able to choose the lot as well as the floor plan.  The houses are really close together and I was able to get a corner lot with no houses on one side or in the back.  That has proven to be a really good thing.

Having had the house in Douglas for almost 100 years in our family, it is still a milestone to live in the same house for 28 years.  I love my house and I love the area that we are in.

As I grow older, this location will be great as there are so many stores, etc., close by.

I have been here by myself (for the most part) since mid-October.  I love having the house just to myself after so many years of having my kids (and various other people) living with me. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Good Friends, Good Times

I have written many times about the friendship I have with Elise and Jessie who live in Tucson.  They have been such dear friends and have been there for me through thick and thin.  Elise and her sister, Ann, lived across the street from us in Douglas when we were very young.  I don't know the exact number of years, but we have been friends for over 60 years.  Not many people can say that.
Like many friendships, there were times we saw a lot of each other and then there were years where we hardly did.  But it has never mattered.
When Judy had my 60th birthday party, Elise, Jessie and Elise's mom, Marge, came.  I went to Marge's birthday party a few years later and then to her memorial service.
During my five years in Douglas, Elise and Jessie were a gift for many reasons.  I spent time with them in Tucson to get away, which was greatly needed.  Every year, we go to the cabin for a few days at least twice.   We went this past fall and have a trip planned for April.  They will be up in February as we are going to see Bill Maher. Needless to say, I look forward to being with them. 
I went to Tucson on Saturday and stayed until Sunday.  We sat around and talked in the afternoon and then went to dinner at our favorite place when I go down--The Outback Steakhouse.  Unfortunately, food hasn't tasted very good to me lately and I didn't get to enjoy my prime rib like I usually do.
Elise's daughter, Tanyge, came with us and spent the night.  I have gotten to know her and she is fun.
Elise and Jessie had this sign waiting for us when we got there.
Needless to say, I had another great visit and look forward to seeing them again in February (if not sooner)!

Here is a picture of Elise and her precious son, Chris.  Elise and Jessie are both so dedicated to his care.  I admire them MUCHO!
The only "problem" that I have when I go down there, is I have to sleep on a bed with a U of A bedspread!!!  The sacrifices we make for our good friends............