A Post I Never Thought I’d Be Writing

When my children were looking at colleges, my husband and I encouraged them to venture outside their comfort zones. We wanted them to embrace new experiences, explore unfamiliar places, and meet people with different backgrounds.

We wanted them to do what was scary and uncomfortable, as we figured those experiences would benefit them throughout their lives.

Our oldest was somewhat reluctant to tackle this. She had her heart set on attending an instate school to play volleyball, but when that didn’t pan out, she found herself 1,000 miles away from home at Binghamton University in New York.

(This was the day we dropped her off. Sunglasses were on for a good reason. And it had nothing to do with the sun.)

317808_181899358549299_7686283_n.jpg

She graduated four years later having made three of the best friends she could have ever asked for. After spending a year back home, she knew Neenah was not the place to pursue her dreams. So quite bravely, she quit her job, and headed off to Rhode Island. It wasn’t easy, but she is now happily working in Boston.

 

 

 

Our son opted for Macalester College, a tiny liberal arts school in the heart of St. Paul. Students hail from all 50 states and 90 different countries.

He graduated with a degree AND a girlfriend…and is now furthering his education at a school in Boston.

Our youngest also graduated from Binghamton. While she was grateful for the experience, she discovered she was a midwestern girl at heart. She returned home to attend grad school. She is enjoying school, coaching volleyball, and has reconnected with her high school Homecoming date.

18557193_1542581652481056_8359435659902934520_n.jpg

This is when she told us she was moving back home.

Just kidding.

So our kids have experienced a lot. They have been brave and ventured out of their comfort zones.

But my husband and me?

Well, we’ve always lived here.

(Disclaimer: Reed actually moved to Neenah when he was 2.)

I was born in the hospital where my mom worked. Each of our three children were born here.

img_7396

I was baptized in this church. My husband and I were confirmed here. It’s where we were married. It’s where each of our three children were baptized.

This was my church for 34 years. My husband’s for 39.

Switching to our current church 17 years ago was not a decision we made lightly.

IMG_7309.JPG

My husband, my children and I are all Neenah High School alumni.

img_7400

This is the Ron Einerson Field House where many moons ago, I performed for basketball games. (Soooo sorry I don’t have a picture to share.) It’s where my husband played his trumpet in Pep Band. It’s where all three of my children played volleyball and where my son played basketball.

Back in my day, the high school was composed of two buildings separated by a parking lot. My children reaped the benefits of the addition of “The Link”, which connected the buildings, eliminating the fun of crossing the parking lot in the cold, snowy winter months.

The parking lot was also where my husband impressed a crowd of peers by ‘lighting up’ the tires of his ’67 Mustang and creating a cloud of smoke that could be seen for miles. Or at least as far as the window where Miss Kessler was watching. Through the haze she could see his license plate. (Reed doesn’t want me to share the rest of the story.)

Neenah High School is also where I have returned each school year for the past 17 years to attend teacher inservice .

And while I have always lived here, I have lived in many houses—most of them built by my dad.

This is the house I have lived in for the past 13 years. The longest I have ever lived in a house.

img_7060

I’ve lived here so long, I know how to navigate the stairs in the middle of the night. 5 steps. Landing. 7 steps. Landing. 3 steps. Slippery wood floor.

Anyway…

about a year ago, my husband was contacted by a long time customer of his. He wanted Reed to know he would be retiring soon, and encouraged him to consider his position.

Which he did…but…

the job was in Georgia.

And…well…

we have always lived here.

Over the winter, we didn’t give it much thought. But this past spring, he called and asked Reed to submit his resume.

Encouraged by our kids, we figured why not.

In early June, after progressing through a series of interviews, we flew down to Georgia for an ‘in person’ interview. (Reed even got a new pair of shoes for this interview. I actually took the picture for our youngest, as she was the one who picked out the shoes and wanted to see the complete look.)

img_7143

And then we waited.

And waited.

And while we waited, we realized how perfect this opportunity was for both of us. And suddenly we became aware that we would be disappointed if it didn’t work out.

So when Reed was offered the job in late June, we knew, without a doubt, it was meant to be.

Next Friday, Reed will retire from Gulfstream with over 34 years of service.

And the following week, we will begin our next adventure, as Reed begins his new position at Aflac in Columbus, Georgia.

We are finally taking the advice we gave our children so many years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Replies to “A Post I Never Thought I’d Be Writing”

    1. Isn’t that the truth! Too bad it took me so long to figure that out. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it!

      Like

      1. It was a good read and, even though I don’t have children, I got a little choked up reading it. I could feel your love and emotions. You’re a good mom!

        Like

  1. Congrats!!! I hate to see you go, but Aflac was smart to grab him!!! And I love the shoes!!! 🙂

    Like

  2. Oh my stars! Only one year of knowing your wonderfully dry sense of humor, appreciating your different flare for food and enjoying “no socks after Spring Break”. I will be sad, but happy that you can pick up and move at this point in your lives. It is hard but so rewarding at the same time. My best to you in finding an inspirational job and jealous of your southern winters.

    Like

  3. Way to go REED and KAREN !!!
    Am soo happy for you both. So it was time to move on. Reed, I’ll miss ya buddy. Sad I won’t get to see you once in awhile. You have been the best worker/ manager I had in my 47 years of aviation. Another 10 years and it’ll be time to REALLY retire. Only the best wishes in your new adventure. AFLAC is gona love ya. Hope to hear from you now and then. Tell Dale Hi for me. CONGRATULATIONS !!!!!

    Like

  4. Love your reflection on your life. I will miss your sense of humor and conversations with you, this is where I love Facebook to keep in touch Glad we had that time at copperstill. Wish you ALL the best and can’t wait to hear updates Hope to see you again sometime 🤗 blessings to you!

    Like

    1. Thanks, Patti! I will miss you all as well! And we most definitely will be in touch…I’ll be back from time to time!

      Like

  5. Love you girl! And I love Love love your whole entire family! And don’t forget about Quinn, she’s as well-traveled as you all! Get it, y’all, just tying to assist with a cultural reference!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Like

    1. I see what you did there! And Quinnie is looking forward to being a Georgia dawg! Love you right back!

      Like

  6. What a great new adventure! Stepping outside of your comfort zones for both of you will not be easy- but they also say the best way to make time go by slower is to break out of routines. This is one big break! Good luck to you and Reed! And good thing your youngest is in Neenah- this way you have a good reason to visit. 🙂

    Like

  7. Awww!!! Congratulations!!! It’s a great time for the two of you to start new chapters in your life as well!! So many beautiful memories your family will forever cherish!! Wishing you much happiness and joy with your new adventures!! Love you two, your family, your sense of humor , your smile, Reed’s shoes lol would have loved to see his mustang and him burning rubber lol! Take care and keep on writing from the heart!! Always so heart warming!! ❤️❤️❤️😘

    Like

    1. Thank you, Julie! We love the Brocker fam as well and love being able to keep in touch via social media! Keep the pictures and posts coming!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s