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Born a Buckeye in Central Ohio, my parents moved our family of 6 to a small island in Southwest Florida. It was a move for improved health I learned later and it placed us next door to my mother’s maternal aunt when I was 6. It was an ideal life from many aspects however, it was lonely as it was barely populated back then. A one-room schoolhouse with 30 students did help me feel safe and connected and somehow, I did finish college and grew up to be a small businesswoman, much like what happened with my parents in Florida. We had the ‘American Dream’.

As a college freshman, I met the man I married and eventually moved to the Finger Lakes region of New York State. What a radical weather correction that was but it provided a wonderful environment to grow both a business and a family with two sons. As they flew the nest for college, I quickly saw a path to more time in Florida again and became a snowbird. I was able to withdraw from working and refocused on volunteering. I also returned to campus for my master’s degree. This helped me remain stable through a divorce and my own health challenges in my 7th decade.

A new decade and a world undergoing radical disruptions have found me in Englewood in 2021. Gratitude ranks high for me today, especially for lessons learned in 12-step meetings over two decades. Years ago I fought against technology but today it helps me feel connected still to a web of friendship & through Zoom groups. Finding a way to relax, just like when I was learning to swim so many years ago, is needed now. These lessons have helped me learn to float comfortably above the muddled turbulence that I accept as ‘the norm’ now. I have learned to trust, when I reach out to others, that I can find others who are ready to act in loving kindness also.

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