Keeping it real and Keeping it positive.

Lasts and Firsts…but first the lasts

Yes that’s quite a strange blog post title, I agree…but it kept coming in to my head as I sat tonight in deep thought. Three weeks from tonight Barry and I will be in Savannah, GA at our nice hotel en route to our new life in Florida. But before that happens there will have to be the LASTS.

The past few weeks it started happening. I had my LAST visit to my dentist in VA. Many of you might be thinking how that couldn’t have been emotional. Who even WANTS to go to their dentist? NOT ME…or at least not usually, but this is different. Until meeting Dr. Har I hated even the word dentist. I would stubbornly not go and just deal with the consequences, but then in 2002 I chipped a tooth and my dear friend Paula Ann worked for a Dr Har. She told me I needed to ‘get right in’ or it would ‘turn black’. Well even I had a little pride and didn’t want a front tooth BLACK, so I fearfully went. He was amazing and for the past 16 years he has been my dentist. Even when we lived in New York I drove down every 6 months to see Dr. Har. I don’t THINK I’ll fly back from Florida, but I make no promises…but for now we’ll say it was my LAST visit.

Last week I attended my LAST Army Officers’ Spouses’ Club luncheon. There really isn’t enough space for me to share all that this group of ladies means to me. Since joining the club in 1999 until now I can honestly say it is where I met and made my dearest NOVA friends. Friends I will have for life. I served on the board, on committees and this year just was a member. I walked down Lee Ave on Fort Myer with¬† lump in my throat and a tear on my cheek as I remembered who used to live in those houses…Nancy, Karen, Lisette, Lhoryn, Jean, Karen, Paige…and so many others who became my ‘go to’ friends. We laughed, cried and did life together, along with the many others who lived all over the greater DC area. Then I add my International friends that I made through this great club. I literally have friends around the globe who have changed my life. Thursday was a HARD LAST...but thanks to social media and texting and cheap airplane tickets I’ll be back and those friends and I will stay connected because that is SO important to me.

Tomorrow I will have my LAST appointment with Dr. Roser, my primary care doctor. He too has been my doctor since 1999, except for those 4 years at West Point. He defines what a family doctor should be. He greets you coming down the hall, always reaches out his hand to say he’s glad to see you and with a big smile. He looks in your eyes when you talk, asks about your family and your job and all of those things that matter. He is GOLD and knowing I won’t have him as my doctor anymore is a very sad thing for me.

Wednesday I will have my LAST coaching call with Laura, my business coach…but more like a life coach, really, and now a friend. Having had Laura in my life since I started my Real Estate career has given me enormous JOY. She is the consummate encourager, cheerleader and listening ear. Whatever success I have had in this business is in large part due to her keeping me on track, telling me I can do it and telling me to keep on loving and serving my clients. I for sure can see lots of emotion at 6 PM on Wednesday evening.


As I watched Madame Secretary tonight and the last scene she and her husband sat on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking across to the Washington Monument I decided I need a LAST time in DC. I hope I can do it with Barry and we can look up at those strong, white buildings that represent FREEDOM on so many levels. I want my last look at our nation’s capitol and to remember all the times we spent enjoying it over these many years.


There will be other lasts in the next three weeks, but for now this just gives you a taste of my life. We’re excited about our future and blessed beyond words to be able to be closer to our kids and grandsons, but even with a life that has been all about LEAVING and STARTING OVER…those LASTS still get to me. Thanks for letting me share.

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Houses…Homes and Transitions

It’s MAY! In 20 days the house we have called home for the past 7 1/2 years will belong to someone else. It’s not our first rodeo! This house was the 29th address we have had since we married almost 44 years ago. But it is the longest we’ve ever had the same address in our married lives. It’s the longest I’ve personally had the same address in my ENTIRE life. So I guess it’s fair to say that change is the one constant in my life. It seems like it always has been.


While we were going through things to give away, throw away or pack away for this move I found a picture of the house I went to from the hospital when I was born. It was a simple house. My parents bought it after the war and I think it had been part of a barracks at one time. From what they told us, they had it moved on to the land my Grandma Fishback gave them…..next door to her house. She said they needed a proper house before they got married. They ended up being engaged for 5 years. Knowing my father I’m sure he and his buddies did most of the work to make it a real, proper home before they got married. That white house next door to my beloved Grandma Fishback was my first home. I lived there until I was almost 7 and we moved to Montreal. My little sister also come home to that same house.¬† The memories created there are few as I was so young, but they are vivid. Playing outside with my dog, Lassie. Lassie was a MALE Collie, but I’d only agree to call HIM Lassie. Eating fruit from my grandmother’s fruit trees. Smelling lilacs in the summer. To this day lilacs remind me of my childhood and my Grandma Fishback. Having my cousins come and visit. Going to school with my Grandmother who was my first and part of second grade teacher in a one room schoolhouse not far from where we lived.


Then we moved…and from that moment to his it seems I just keep moving. Starting over. Packing up our earthly possessions and figuring out where to put them in the next location. So you can tell that I’m not very attached to HOUSES…..but HOMES, well that’s another story.

To me my memories are about the HOMES….which to me is the people, the memories, the pictures, the experiences. I can never remember the years we lived in a particular house, or even the address, but I CAN remember the ages of our children in each place and I CAN see the faces of our neighbors and friends who came and went. I may not remember what color the carpet was or what my furniture looked like, but I do remember who sat at our tables for meals or slept in our guest rooms for visits. THOSE are the memories of HOMES.

So now we are staying for 6 weeks with dear friends. Back when we lived in Panama and the children were toddlers through pre-schoolers, a young college student named Mark Inch came to volunteer helping me with the youth ministry at our Army Chapel. Mark lived with us for two summers. He and Barry share the same birthday, 10 years apart. He is family. Fast forward to when we lived in Gainesville, VA soon after Barry retired. Our kids were grown and gone by then so I do remember those years…2002-2004. Mark and his wife and 4 kids bought a house in our neighborhood, but it wasn’t ready so they stayed several weeks with us. We had a small townhouse, but we all managed to make it work and have some great times around the dining room table both eating and playing many games of Phase 10! A lot of ‘life’ has happened between 2004 and now. Mark lost his first wife to cancer, their children are grown and gone and God led he and his lovely new wife, Bette together. Now they live in a beautiful big house in Alexandria that is our temporary HOME. I guess I should count this as MOVE 30 and our move to FL as MOVE 31!!!

We have a new house in Florida….but it will soon be our retirement HOME. A place for more memories, more meals, more guests, more times with children and grandchildren and more laughter and more tears, and maybe even a bit of time to relax a bit…. Life does go on…..as we look back and forth…..and embrace this new journey. Please come visit us in our new HOME.



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