I went through elementary, junior and senior high with a large portion of the same people with whom I started Henderson Elementary at age 6. So it was a difficult decision to graduate early, in August of 1956. Somehow I managed to go through eleven and a half years of school and lack only one-fourth credit of being eligible to graduate. It didn’t make much sense to come back in the fall for just that fourth of a credit. So, I went to work for Humble Oil Company as a draftsman the summer of ’56. I took a typing course at Taylor Business School at night and had diploma in hand mid-August. In September I enrolled at South Texas Junior College for night school, with the idea of transferring to University of Texasat mid-term.
Stuff happens! I met the man of my dreams at Humble Oil, and was married the following February. He climbed the ladder of success as a Petroleum Landman, and I stayed barefoot and pregnant and crawled with babies for about six years. I have four fantastic kids to show for it…and a few stretch marks.
We moved to Spring, TX in 1970 and raised our family here. Our lives were typical of most of those who grew up post WWII. We searched for and found the American dream.
What a joy raising our children! Life in the suburbs is aptly portrayed in the sitcoms… Car pools, Girl Scouts, Little League, Boy Scouts, PTA. This was followed by band, drill team, Friday night football, proms and graduations. Then there was the Garden Club, Ladies Gym, backyard barbecues and coffee klatches for the grown-ups. We had our fingers in all of it. And what fun to run into new neighbors only to recognize them as an Austinite. The Klein School District was overrun with old Mustangs. They held positions as School Superintendent, Principals, Coaches and lots of teachers. Life was good and comfortable in Spring, Texas.
Our kids grew up and took all our money to A&M, UT and Sam Houston and then to South Texas Law School. Three kids in three different colleges at once. Those were the days when an education was still affordable. My oldest has a degree in psychology from A&M and is a music teacher. The next one works with developmentally disabled children in the Klein School District. My son, a U.T. graduate, managed Cullen Center until he was diagnosed with a form of Muscular Dystrophy. He is a wonderful stay-at-home dad and his wife is executive vice president at USAA Insurance. (The Lord provides, doesn’t He?) My youngest is an attorney who gave up his law practice to go into the ministry. So nobody is doing what he or she studied to do…but that’s okay. The minister son is executive pastor of Fellowship of the Woodlands, should you ever be in the vacinity.
All’s well that ends well. But for a time things looked like there would be a crash landing on my end. After all of this “good life” my husband suffered many health problems and made the decision to leave and live alone. We had been married 37 years and had eleven adorable grandkids. No amount of persuasion on my part or our children’s part would change his mind. Today he lives in a nursing home and we remain friends. After a four-year separation I filed for divorce. During this time I held many jobs, as a temp, and learned so much about me and what I could do. I also traveled…alone. I was woman… did you hear me roar?
I worked for a helicopter company for 3 months, a deep sea diving company for 2 months, a pet shop for 2 weeks, and for one year I was with Romance Writers of America. There were other jobs but these were the most fun. I also enrolled in computer classes and became quite proficient on the dreaded computer.
One Sunday afternoon while at the park with grandkids I broke my ankle. So I spent a month or two on the couch. During this time I chatted on the computer…something I had not ever done before. This was before it became such an unsafe cesspool of creeps. It was mostly people (tweaks) that were learning about and enjoying their new-found toy. I met a dear man while chatting and it turned out he worked for Compaq in the Woodlands, lived nearby and was a computer whiz. One thing led to another and I met him face to face after several months of conversations. Long story short…Love at first sight. Married him one year later.
Me and John, 4-wheeling the back roads of Belieze while on a cruise in 2006.
We were married for six wonderful years and I was never happier. I don’t know if love is better the second time around but I was on cloud nine most of the time. We were like two young lovers all over again. It didn’t matter that we got senior discounts at restaurants and movies and belonged to AARP. He wanted us to semi-retire and manage storage facilities. I said, “Sure…I’m game”. We were hired on our first interview and have had a ball doing it. But all good things must come to an end.
My dear husband didn’t wake up on January 12, 2007. He passed away in the night. I am thankful that I have been married to two wonderful men…not many women can say that. The Lord blessed me with husbands and children and grandchildren. My life has been satisfying, filled with all kinds of memories.
I will end on this note. I understand that it used to be a law or rule that no one could graduate high school without taking a health class. I don’t remember what exactly it was called (I think Home Nursing) but…guess what…I never took it and nobody ever knew or said anything. So maybe I am not a graduate…yet. Was I a reunion crasher?