A question by one of our grandsons: What were you like as a kid?
As a child, I was extremely shy and very quiet. No, really. I was! I was so quiet in fact, my father would say, “She’s growing up and nobody’s noticing.” I loved playing with my small group of neighborhood friends, riding my bike or walking around the block with our basset hound named, Casper. Regardless of the weather, I wanted to be outside. Mom used to tell me, “You always liked bad weather.” It was true, too. If it was snowing, I was outside trying to build a snowman. If it was storming, I was on the front porch swing watching it. While I really liked playing with Barbie dolls and Dawn dolls (you may have to Google that one since they don’t make them any more), I equally enjoyed playing with my Hotwheels cars under our big tree in the backyard. I had that orange track and everything which I placed over rocks and logs to make ramps and hills. My favorite car was the Chevy Impala — that big ole boxy behemeth of an automobile. Not the Corvette. Not the Camaro. I preferred the big, old-lady sedan. Still do today! If memory serves, I believe it was green, Army green. I’ve not once in my life desired to own or even drive a sports car. My dream car is a red 2004 Jaguar. Don’t get excited, it’s a 4-door sedan.
Question 1 from my niece: What made you join the reserves (Army)?
Well, going into the military wasn’t a life goal, or even an inkling of an idea in my mind at all. When my first child was about 18 months old, my husband at the time was trying to get back into the army. He was only offered the same job he had when he was enlisted years before and was not interested in that option. He said to me, “Why don’t you see what they’ll give you.” Being super suggestible (which is what happens when you don’t know want you want to be when you grow up), I said, “Okay!” I went through the testing, physical, all that, then was offered my choice of 3 military occupational specialties (MOS). I chose Legal Clerk. After my training, I spent the remainder of my 3-year contract at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma where my second child was born. About a year after my discharge, I entered the reserves and stayed for nine years.
Question 2 from my niece: What made you choose nursing as your second career and go back to school later in life?
Again, just like the army, being a nurse wasn’t even on my radar as a career choice. I was a needle-phobe and couldn’t even stand the thought of blood, much less the sight of it. I was a legal secretary at the time having parlayed the military legal clerk job into a civilian one. One day, during an online chat with my favorite uncle, Apple Joe, he said, “You’d make a good nurse,” and “With your personality, you’d be a good nurse.” I told him he was nuts and we continued our chat. But, still being super-suggestible because I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, his words planted a seed in my mind and I got to thinking about actually working in the medical field. I chose to go to school for medical assisting because I thought perhaps there wouldn’t be so much blood and guts in that profession. Ahem! I earned my associate degree and worked for a cardiology office for a year or two until I got very bored. I really wanted to work in a hospital, not a clinic. So, that left one option: Go on to nursing school. That’s all I got to say about that.
Now, what else do you want to know? I’m all ears and keyboard!!