My daughter posted this meme on her blog, Shamalamamama. She had been tagged with it on Facebook. I wasn’t tagged but I thought it looked like fun. And I promise, I won’t tag anyone either but if my readers are so inclined, have at it. What you are supposed to do is list 25 interesting facts about yourself. Kind of a retrospective of your life--at my age anyway. So here goes and I’m sorry in advance if this is looonnnggg.
#1. I was born in a tiny town of about 400 people in a tiny hospital in Omer, Michigan which had once been a home. It was on one of the coldest, windiest days of the year. My mother said they had to stick cotton around the cracks in the windows to keep the cold wind out. Funny but the same thing happened the day my son was born. It wasn’t cold but it was so windy,the wind actually whistled around the windows. They tried opening the window but it about blew me out of bed!
#2. Although I learned to swim as I child, I wasn’t the best in the world! When my kids were toddlers, I entered them in swim classes at the YMCA. As a result, they became “water rats” and I took classes too. Eventually I ended up teaching swimming and was the Interim Aquatics Director at the Y for a few months.
#3. I LOVE to travel. I never traveled as a child. Even though I grew up in Michigan, I actually visited Mexico before I was in Canada or even the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. (My dad and I went to visit his brother and sister in law in Texas and we went to Mexico). After I was married and the kids came along, we took big trips every summer. Nova Scotia, Colorado, Texas, Florida etc. Then after Mr. Snowbird retired, we got a motor home. I was a teacher and the day after I got out of school each summer we would take off for 6 or 7 weeks. I have been in 49 of the 50 states. I’ve also been to Scotland twice and am going to Ireland this summer.
#4. My dad worked in the oilfields. He started when he was about 10 years old driving a wagon in the West Virginia. He met my mom when he was working on an oilwell in Allendale, Illinois. They followed the oilfields to Texas (where they lived in a tent), to Kentucky and Michigan (where I was born).
#5. My mom was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver when I was 15. My dad was seriously injured and even though I was asleep in the back seat, I came through with only a sore neck and arm.
#6. We discovered Sanibel Island in 1984. Mr. Snowbird, my daughter and I were down here on spring break. We were camping in a campground on John Morris Rd. in Ft. Myers. The lady camped next to us had the most gorgeous shells on her picnic table. I remember huge whelks!! She told us about Sanibel and we came over on a couple of day trips. Little did I dream that I would eventually live in this paradise.
#7. I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was in grade school. It was only when I read about Helen Keller that I wanted to teach the hearing impaired. I attended Eastern Michigan University and got my degree in “Deaf and Hard of Hearing” as well as Elementary Education. My first teaching job was in Trenton, Michigan where, with a blank check, I set up the first classroom for the deaf in that school system.
#8. My minor in college was Theatre. I would never have dreamed that this would be my minor but friends of mine were in the college theatre and I tagged along. I became the Wardrobe mistress for several years and a member of Alpha Psi Omega, a drama fraternity. In later life, theatre became a huge part of my life. I was a member of the Fort Findlay Playhouse for over 30 years. I acted, directed, produced, stage managed, did makeup, lights, set, props etc but never again did costumes. I was a member of the Ohio Community Theatre Association Board of Directors for 9 years and was a secretary for 6 of those years. I like to say that my kids were born in a trunk on the stage of the Playhouse. They did grow up there and Karen went on to make theatre a career at South Coast Repertory Theatre for several years.
#9. My biggest hobby is genealogy. I have been doing genealogy since 1967 when my aunt got me interested. I have traced both my father’s and my mother’s lines many, many generations- -one back to Charlemagne. I also love doing genealogy for other people so if anybody is interested, let me know. I’m serious!
#10. When I began teaching Hearing Impaired, it was by the “Oral Method”. In other words, we taught the kids to read lips and use their voices. I knew no sign language at all! Suddenly I was transferred to a school where I had to use sign language. My first signing class was actually from a deaf woman. And the rest I learned by teaching with a sign language book on my lap! I became fairly proficient at signing but have a horrible time “reading” someone else’s sign.
#11. As most of you know, I volunteer at a Wildlife Hospital which I will not mention here due to a Confidentiality Policy :-(. I have always loved animals and had many pets as a child including dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, calves, etc. I attended a program at this particular wildlife hospital several years ago and decided right then and there that I wanted to be a volunteer. And here I am, 8 years later, going on rescues of all kinds of birds and animals, transporting sick and injured wildlife, working in the clinic, acting as a docent at the education center etc. And I LOVE it! Even though I can’t talk about it!!!
#12. I only have a blog because my daughter had one and I thought it looked like fun. It is!!
#13. I am a General Hospital addict. I have watched it since my kids were tiny. I’m also a LOST addict and follow several LOST blogs. In fact, that’s how I found one of the blogs I follow - -Farmer’s Files. Both she and her hubs have been extras on the show.
#14. Forty years ago, I sat my two kids down in front of the TV to watch the first episode of this new kid’s show called Sesame Street.
#15. I am a sport’s nut. I played basketball in high school. I was a forward and got 24 points in one game. I’m 5’7” and was one of the shortest on my team! I love hockey and football and baseball. My favorite teams are the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Browns thanks to my son who converted me from the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. Favorite hockey teams are the Detroit Red Wings and the Bowling Green Stage University Falcons.
#16. My son was the mascot his senior year at Bowling Green State University.
#17. My students used to make write weekly letters to each of the BGSU hockey players and would make a poster to hang outside the locker room. I became friends with many of the players and their parents and knew players who went on to the NHL such as Rob Blake, Nelson Emerson, Brian Holsinger and Dan Bylsma.
#18. I am a list maker. I don’t think I could make it without lists!
#19. I love to take photos and thank my lucky stars for digital cameras. I love taking what I call “artsy fartsy” pictures. I couldn’t do this so much when I had to pay for film and developing the film. Now I can take all the pictures I want and delete the ones that aren’t so great. I must admit, though, all of my pictures are natural-none are photo shopped. My daughter is the photoshop expert.
#20. Mr. Snowbird and I had our first date on December 7th. (the 20th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day). We knew each other from being members of a couple of single’s groups but had never dated. Our roommates were dating so we went out with them. We were engaged a month later and married 3 ½ months later.
#21. One of the single’s groups which Mr. Snowbird and I were members of was called the Coffee Breakers. It was a group founded by the Wyandotte, Michigan YMCA. Through that group, about 15 or more couples met and married. (And only one couple got divorced). Almost 48 years later, many of these same couples still get together once a month for dinner. We attend when we can.
#22. My daughter got married on the anniversary of her godparents. Unfortunately, her godparents were unable to attend the wedding since Marilyn had to have knee replacement surgery. Marilyn was my roommate when I first began teaching and we were friends for over 45 years until her death a year ago. She was my maid of honor and I was her matron of honor and I miss her a lot. Her hubby is still one of our best friends and will be visiting us next month.
#23. I am a collector- -or was! Up north I have a Hummel collection, a ruby glass collection, and a bell collection. In the past I have collected Neil Diamond records and memorabilia (yup, I was a “Neil Baby” fan!!), Avon bottles, Fenton Glass etc. Down here, I don’t have room for all that stuff so have collected a few pictures that I like- -mostly Ikki Matsumoto prints and my friend Carol Rothman's wildlife photos. And I always have lots of pictures of my kids and grandkids.
#24. I met my closest friend and confidant just a few years ago. I’ve had lots of friends in my life but never one who was so much like me. I walked into the wildlife hospital one day and she was answering phones. It was an immediate connection. It is like we knew each other from the minute we met. We have soooo much in common, it is scary. We both feel like we knew each other in a previous life. Ok, I’ll admit it, I believe in reincarnation.
#25. I feel a close bond with each of my grandkids. Even though I wasn’t in the same room, I heard my eldest’s (Sam) first cry and was the first one after his mom and dad to hold him. (There is nothing quite so special as your child handing you their child). I was also his first babysitter. We saw Erin when she was an hour long and went to pick up her big brother from daycare to take him to meet her. Again, I was one of the first to hold her. She is so much like me, freckles, sports nut, etc. I was in the room when my daughter’s first born, Noah, was born. She was the one who handed him to me. His other grandma and I bonded that day too. And when the twins were born, I was the only person other than parents and medical staff allowed in the room. I wasn’t able to hold them right away but observing the birth of your twin grandsons is amazing!
OK, that is 25. I could keep going and going!! Hey, I’ve got 71 years of memories. Sorry if I bored you but this was so much fun. Thanks, Karen, for the idea. Maybe I’ll do another 25 again in the future.