- 2001 was a pretty good year but it was the beginning of the end of my tenure at the #3 Telephone Company. I had a good run there and I loved the people I worked with. I was only a contractor (my choice) for them but I was employed by the smartest group of women I've ever encountered. Not only were they smart, they were also ethical and people-oriented. It was a great combination. My boss was brilliant, had a great sense of humor, and really cared about the people she employed. I have never worked with a better group of people in my life. Hubby and I bumped along. Wolfie was still alive and Fritzy had entered our lives. We were becoming very active in our church.
- 2002 was a bonus year at the #3; one I didn't expect. But the great women I worked with saw to it that I had a little cushion of time to get my life in order before all contractors were dismissed from the company. I lasted there most of 2002 though I really didn't have a whole lot to occupy me. Hubby and I stepped up our church activities and the boys were still full of vim and vinegar. I think this is the year we formed a lasting friendship with two couples we had met while attending the UMKC Signature Series concerts (one of the best bargains in town).
- 2003 was a year of change. The big event was the celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary with a concert to benefit our church. Wendy came from Houston, Lou showed up from Louisiana, and Hubby sang his heart out. The video of the event shows how really wonderful it was. My beloved Seville finally bit the dust and Hubby replaced it with The Tank -- a huge Cadillac and that never ran properly and made my existence miserable. My career sputtered. I got three temp jobs but none of them were satisfying. The worst was a weekend taking credit card applications over the Thanksgiving holiday at Nebraska Furniture Mart. Finally at the start of December I landed a job in construction which kept us from going to Houston to celebrate Christmas with family. It was a sad time.
- 2004 saw me continuing my construction job. I had a great boss and I liked him so much that the drudgery of the work kept me entertained. We continued to step up our church activities and that helped. Hubby and the boys seemed to be doing fine. We resumed our Christmas holiday in Houston, vowing never again to spend our Christmases apart.
- 2005 was dreary. The construction job had moved from its original small location to the Legends in Wyandotte County. I was now traveling 35 miles a day to and from work. The boss I had loved resigned. I was forced to give up my temp status with the company and become a permanent employee. I was so afraid of being unemployed yet again, that I agreed and this was a huge mistake on my part. I went through five insane bosses in a very short time - each one more dysfunctional than the last. My old boss helped us find a newer Cadillac to replace the dreadful Tank and the car ran a lot more smoothly. In October Wolfie, my heart dog, died. My heart broke into pieces. Though Gus came into our lives with his sweet ways and huge amber eyes, my heart refused to heal. We began to realize that our beloved church was losing ground and was in danger of dying. It was a very hard year.
- 2006 really shook the ground on which we based our lives. First the Cadillac burned in Hubby's driveway. He replaced with a 1991 Lincoln that looked exactly like your grandfather's car -- really dreary. Except it ran like a top and never gave us a lick of trouble. Hubby nearly died from a cranial aneurysm the day after Easter. He took the rest of the year to recover. I was informed a month after his attack that my job at the construction site was ending. A dear friend at church took me in hand as I dithered about what I was going to do and insisted that I apply for a teaching position with the KCKS school district. I finally did and I was eventually hired -- at the perfect job for me in the perfect school with the perfect staff. So, though three quarters of the year had been horrible, suddenly, at the end, everything was wonderful. The only flaw in the ointment was that I needed to go to grad school to get SPED certification, but even that turned out fairly well when I enrolled in the local Pitt State campus for six hours. At Christmas Hubby performed his last big concert and it was bitter-sweet. Age and illness had taken away his power of singing, not his love of it, but his ability to sustain great music for more than a couple of songs. Still Hubby was alive, I was finally working at something I loved, and we spent Christmas with our beloved family in Houston.
- 2007 found me hitting beginning to hit my stride in teaching. I continued taking grad courses. Hubby continued to gather strength. We found less contentment at church but continued to doggedly try to hang on to a dying situation. The boys were healthy, our friends were supportive, my career was flourishing, grade school was okay, and at Thanksgiving all the family met in Branson, taking in two concerts a day for four days. We had a blast and found we loved the resort town. We've been spending Thanksgiving there ever since.
- 2008 was more of the same. Hubby reconnected with his biological sister in Washington, D.C. and went to visit her in the summer. Fritzy died of kidney failure and Hubby insisted we drive to Tulsa to rescue a little mite of a nearly blind Schnauzer only eight months old. Luie quickly became an integral part of our lives. Our church lives changed miserably with the retiring of our old minister and the hiring of a new one. I succumbed to every illness the children at school could pass on and lost 30 pounds in the process because I was literary too sick to eat most of the year.
- 2009 found us doing more traveling than ever. We went to Chesapeake Bay in July to visit Sister, Branson for Thanksgiving, and Houston for Christmas. We finally left our church home, though it was a very sad occasion for us as a family. I started my fourth year of teaching and completed 24 hours of grad credit towards my SPED certification -- earning an A in every course. I continued to love everything about my job. We acquired a 1995 Lincoln to replace the 1991 one damaged in December by a tow company. We all drove to Houston for Christmas -- and it was the best one yet. Family love simply cannot be overrated.
Hubby will be 75 in 2010. I will turn 64 but have no plans to retire. Gus is now five and Luie is probably around two. We are all aging fairly well except for the bad knees and arthritis. We have friends who care for us, family who love us, and we have each other. I have a job, Hubby has his health and life. We own our home and our 1995 car. It's all good.