You know, we all had a lot in common when we were working. We devoted our careers to communications excellence. We walked the hallowed halls of academia. We exchanged our experiences and knowledge through ACE. And we shared some laughs and a few tears with each other, forming bonds that lasted throughout our careers.
Now that we’re retired, what holds us together as a group? It’s not the work, it’s not the campus loyalty, it’s not the awards or the presentations or even the committees. (Don’t you just love life without committees?)
Judging by your responses to my request for updates on your post-retirement activities, it’s a thirst for learning and adventure and helping. It’s the joy of living. Just read on to catch up with Anita Povich, Ellen Mauer, John Wozniak, Elaine Edwards, Ken Kingsley and Judy Winn. Gary Beall and Bob Kern responded directly to the listserv so you’ve already enjoyed their updates. If you haven’t figured out what to do with your retirement yet, these folks have some great ideas.
As for ACE business, I’ll be heading to New Orleans Oct. 3-5 for the fall board meeting. President Steve Miller decided to host us at the site for next year’s summer meeting so we can see the hotel and get a feel for the Big Easy. I’ll share any pertinent news with you after the meeting.
Bob Sams has just been approved by the ACE Board of Directors as our newest ACE Life Member. Congratulations!
Bob writes, “Judy and I moved from California to Oregon last summer and have been enjoying retirement immensely. In June, Judy and I went to England (south coast) and were joined by both of our kids, Ben and Cara, and by Ben’s spouse Amy. We did castles and museums and gardens and, not least importantly, pubs.
“Both of our kids are employed in Portland, and Ben and Amy will finish their move up here from Phoenix over Labor Day. You know you’re ‘grown up’ when your kids manage to buy a house!
“We’re both well and planning more travels for next year. I’m planning where to go fishing next!”
Elaine Edwards: Your ACE Innkeeper
Owning my own business always a dream, its roots coming from growing up on an Iowa family farm. My love of home, baking, entertaining, and gardening, together with my husband’s passions of old Victorian homes and all the maintenance that comes with them, led us down the path of seeking the life of innkeeping.
After extensive research and online searching for nearly three years, we located the perfect B&B…it met all of the criteria on my checklist: good reputation, financially viable, in a tourist location with seasonal attractions, well-maintained and turnkey. Lanesboro, Minnesota is the B&B capital of Minnesota, with several small inns, professional theater, fantastic restaurants, art galleries, bike trails, and river activities.
Our goal at the Habberstad House Bed and Breakfast is to provide our guests with a most relaxing retreat. With that, we strive to present a quiet atmosphere with minimal décor in the rooms to not distract. Comfort, cleanliness and a good breakfast are a must. The landscaped gardens and the beautiful bubbling fountain provide an escape from bright city lights and street sounds for our guests.
I use my communications background each and every day. Websites, blogs, social media platforms, marketing plans, promotional items, printed marketing materials plus excellent service and customer relationship management are all part of daily work here. My 28 plus years of work at Iowa State University and Kansas State University provided me a solid foundation for this next phase of life.
Our guests travel here from all over the globe. And, best of all, because of the tourist attractions in our community with the arts, extensive bike trails, and river sports, we have hosted or had visits from many intriguing guests, including former colleagues and ACE friends.
Mark and I would love to host ACE retired colleagues at our B&B. We were happy to provide a gift certificate at the 2016 ACE Development Fund auction towards a stay at our home.
I published another short story, 'Last Waltz in Hilo,' in June.
I explored as many Southern California beaches as I could this summer with three grandkids. After all those years in Hawaii, I still feel like an island girl with my keikis! (kids)
Now I'm editing my poetry, getting ready to send the collection off to a contest. This is hard work because I laugh and cry at all those memories. Most humorous -- my attempts to write poems in Spanish while living in Mexico!
My ACE memories are alive and still vivid. Especially my first meeting at Purdue University, where I met Hadley Read and the incorrigible group of Illinoisans (who shall remain nameless, Alice Vernon), along with the rascally international folks (who shall remain nameless, Bob Kern).
Fond aloha to our special group.
Walking the Camino
I wish you sunshine, a little rain, inviting clouds as you walk the plain. Blisters? One or two, and well-worn comfy hiking boots that jump on your feet in early morn. I wish you peace as your thoughts lead the way, soothing you through another day, a stop for water, to wipe your brow as yellow sun shows you how to warm up. As if you needed warmth from the inside out. Is that what this is about? I wish you breezes to cool your back as the day warms up, and you want to move fast, knowing what lies ahead, when finally you rest your sleepy ole head and dream about your collection for that day--- A farmer’s face, a young girl’s wave, a special stone reminding you of rocks in Maine, socks slipping down, things creeping up, like vines that circle your waist urging you to stay, just stop, lean back, you want to sit and daydream, no? That isn’t what this is all about. It’s the landscape in your mind, isn’t it? Come here, go there, you have no cares at all, at all, but to keep moving, That’s right. Keep moving, keep collecting, keep warming up, keep cooling down. It’s true. The Camino walks you.
- July 2012, Anita Povich
Ken Kingsley: Down Mexico Way
We have a winter home in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico (a six-hour drive south of Tucson, AZ, on the Sea of Cortez) where we avoid the winter rain and chilly temps this part of Oregon is known for. We drive down in October, fly home for a month to have Christmas with family, and drive back to Oregon in late April. It rarely rains in the State of Sonora in the winter, and temps range from the low 70s to low 80s. While there, we work with children and families through an organization called Castaway Kids. We sponsor a high school girl (uniforms, books, etc.), and help on projects to make life less of a struggle for families in need. We also kayak, fish and boat in the Sea of Cortez, and do a lot of bicycling, hiking, and enjoying the Mexican culture. San Carlos is a town of around 8,000 with us retired gringos (U.S. and Canadian) outnumbering the locals during the winter months. We're 15 miles from the port city of Guaymas. A highlight this past winter was a wonderful train trip to Mexico's Copper Canyon, where I rode the world’s longest zip line (1.6 miles in 1 minute and 20 seconds). Copper Canyon is deeper and four times as long as the Grand Canyon, but doesn't have the brilliant colors the Grand Canyon does. There's a lot to do in Mexico, and it's much safer for gringos than the media would have you believe. Google "San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico" if you want to learn more about that area.
Judy Winn: Service and Family
Retirement has been a happy mix of fun times and travels with our grandsons, traveling with my husband, Ron, new creative ventures, and a continuation of my volunteer work as a CASA (court-appointed special advocate) working with children in the foster care system.
Our grandsons are now 16, 10 and 8. To say they are the joy of our lives is an understatement. They've always enjoyed spending time with my husband and me and we relish that. We have sleep-overs as often as possible and also take them on at least one trip each year. We're very lucky that all three of them live here and we can see them often.
Since I retired in 2011, Ron and I have had a trip to Spain and France, a cruise up the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg (on which we celebrated our 47th anniversary), a trip to Glacier National Park and many other national parks in Utah and Colorado, and a trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas (our favorite place).
Last year I began taking watercolor classes and discovered a real love for this art form. I'm continuing with classes and painting as much as possible.
I've been a CASA volunteer since 2001. Since then I've had about 16 cases and advocated for more than 25 children. Being a CASA is the most difficult, heartbreaking, exhilarating and rewarding thing I've ever done. These children desperately need adults in their lives who are looking out for their best interests. When you can see a child through to a good future, it means everything.
I also sing with the Brazos Valley Chorale and my church choir, serve on a city commission, and am active at church and in other spiritual activities.
In May, we had devastating floods here in Bryan and our home was one that was flooded. After more than two months of hard work, we are back home and mostly recovered. The experience was horrendous, and it's made us extremely sympathetic to others who have experienced flooding. Our hearts are with the people of Louisiana right now.
John Wozniak: Helping Flood Victims
I'm reminded of the yearly school essay "What I did on my summer vacation.” In school, I always tried to think of the most exciting bits of summer to write about. My plan this summer was to be on the motorcycle in Colorado, Montana and Idaho.
Change of plans - I decided that the recovery from a 1000-year flood event was a more worthwhile use of my time. If you haven't heard, Baton Rouge flooded after 15 to 25 inches of rain dumped on us in a 3-day period. We flooded like never before. The number of homes affected rapidly went from 10,000 to 20,000 to 40,000 to 50,000 and was still climbing when I stopped looking at the news.
Streets were flooded everywhere. The interstates were shut down for 5-7 days. Volunteers formed a Cajun Navy and assisted National Guard, first responders and neighbors in the evacuation of almost 100,000 people. The Red Cross, churches, Salvation Army and groups mobilized to feed, shelter and clothe the masses.
I joined the ranks of a city of volunteers who gave shelter, shared food and drink, transported material, washed untold loads of clothes and gave a shoulder to cry on. We are in the process of removing all contents from the affected houses, ripping out the walls, insulation, carpet and floors. It stinks. Mold is everywhere. No one complains. Everyone volunteers. Everyone is either affected or feels guilty because they were spared. I cannot do enough, fast enough. I have driven 500 miles with a jeep full of tools in a week, yet I haven't been more than six miles from my house. I have ripped up carpeting, wood flooring, trim, sheetrock, cabinets, sinks, toilets, and lifetimes of destroyed possessions. An inch, a foot or 10 feet of water affects all the same way. It's devastating.
We have been forgotten by the national media that refused to leave town last month. We are resilient, we are strong, we will get through this.
This is not what I planned to do on my first summer of retirement, yet, I would be nowhere else right now.
You can help. Please donate to our recovery efforts.
Ellen Mauer: Author of "Snicklefritz"
As you may know, I spent the last 10 years writing this book: snicklefritzbook.com - now available here on Amazon. I also enjoyed adding a screened porch to our northern Wisconsin cottage in May.
And all of Wisconsin ACE was saddened with the death of Wolfgang Hoffmann this summer. If you remember Wolfgang and would like to write/send a card to his widow, her address is:
Katherine Hoffmann 7834 Flynn Drive Verona, WI 53593
Janet Rodekohr: The Painter’s Eye
When I retired, I took some watercolor classes and fell in love with the medium. It’s just another form of expression, not unlike the writing and speaking all of us did in our work. But it’s lots more fun.
I just received word that my painting, Skippy, has been accepted in the Georgia Watercolor Society’s member exhibit. It will hang at a gallery in Atlanta in October and November.
I also just built my own website using Weebly. If you’d like to see more my work, click here.
October 2-5 — ACE Board of Directors meeting, New Orleans 2017—New Orleans, June 12-16 2018—ACE meeting with Ag Media Summit in July