Five years ago I started my retirement countdown, partly, to let students, teachers and staff know that I was approaching retirement. Mostly, it was to give me a little encouragement that I wouldn't work forever and to remind myself to make the most of each and every day I had left at MPCHS. I can't believe this is my final year. When I return after the Christmas break this Thursday, I'll have only 94 days left. I have found myself embracing each day with the students, trying to make as many memories as I can to treasure in the years to come. Things that used to annoy me bother me not at all. I'm taking extra time and care in conversations with the kids. I want to remember them all and hopefully, leave a lasting impression on them too. I have so many wonderful memories of former students from the past 20 years. Some of those students drop by my home when they are in town during the holidays. It warms my heart to see them and see how they've grown and matured into fine men and women. Some, I see when I'm shopping or running errands and they take the time to chat. They have been a big part of my life and will be in my heart and prayers forever.
As one phase of life is behind me, I will embrace the new phase to come. I will have far more time to spend with my friends, who have put up with my schedule and helped me in so many ways. I can return some of the favors they've done for me. I can give my business a lot more attention than I've been able to these past 9 years. My calendar will be wide open to book more speaking engagements and quilt classes to teach. There will be more time for Randy and my family. I will be the one to adapt to their schedules now. I owe them all the attention they've given me over the years. God willing, there is still a lot of life to live.
I've worked for 3 different school districts since 1979. If I had a dollar for every time during those years that I said, "I wish I was home quilting.", I would have a sizeable nest egg now. I can hardly believe that in 5 month's time, I will be able to quilt everyday if I want! Woohoo! That is a dream come true. I've been stock piling fabrics for years for this time in my life. I will enjoy cutting, sewing, and quilting to my heart's content. I may not live long enough to use up all my fabric, but I'll sure have a wonderful time playing with it everyday.
As in every year I've lived, this year was full of joys and sorrow, work and play, friends and family, hardships and unexpected rewards. I hope that each and everyone of you had a wonderful 2017. Now it's time to look forward to a new year. I want to live it to the fullest, whether it's a good or bad year. Only God knows which and each day of life is a gift from him. I wish you all a blessed New Year in 2018. I hope it's a year full of life's riches and lots of gorgeous quilts!
This year you will most likely find me here in my studio enjoying whatever 2018 has in store for me...