is of our family two years ago at the 75th anniversary party
for the purchase of our farm by Dick's grandparents. Our oldest
daughter, Lori, is married to Rich Gajdzik and has two boys, Richie 17
and Andrew 14. Our second daughter, Kristi, is married to Jack
Crisham and their two daughters are Katherine, 15 and Claire,
12. Lori lives in Crystal Lake IL and Kristi lives in Oregon IL so
the farm is a popular meeting place in the middle! The second
photo is Dick and I getting ready to snorkle at the Great Barrier Reef
We have been
very involved with our kids and grandkids activities as they have grown
up. We will have three grandkids in high school this year, and one in
jr high, so we enjoy our time with them when we can. Like all
grandparents, we think they are all very special and we are proud of
all of them!
When Dick and I got married, I didn't even have a
driver's license, so it still is amazing to think that I am driving the
largest piece of farm equipment that we have every fall for
harvest! I am not actively engaged in farming too much more than
that, except as bill-payer and record-keeper. We have a son-in-law who
farms with us and one part time employee. We have a couple
more who help out in the fall for harvest. I have also worked as
a real estate broker and in retail over the years.
busy with a variety of things.One of my biggest joys is gardening,
which I discovered rather late in life. It is therapeutic for me, and I
don't even mind weeding all that much. My first real
gardening effort was designing the area in our yard that had once been
a cattle building. When we tore it down after quitting that part of
our farm operation, I sat down and sketched out what I wanted our yard
to look like.With only a few changes, it has worked out great! I have
recently been taking classes at MCC in floral design and am enjoying
that very much.
Another major interest for me for the past 6+
years has been my involvement with BraveHearts, a therapeutic riding
facility just down the road from where we live. It is the most amazing
place and what they have accomplished there is nothing short of
life-changing for many people. They serve riders with all sorts of
disabilities with both therapeutic riding and hippotherapy, and have
the largest and one of the most recognized veterans programs in the
country. More than 6 VA facilities bring riders to BraveHearts and
I love working with all of the riders there. Not being a "horse person"
has made it a bit more challenging for me, but I can groom and tack
even the largest horses there, and we have some very BIG
horses! I was very honored to be named the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. If you are interested in finding out more about this
fabulous place, check the website at braveheartsriding.org.
and I enjoy traveling although most of our trips have been to AZ in
recent years. We have been to all 50 states, and have been to the
Netherlands and to Australia and New Zealand for our 45th anniversary a
few years ago. Most of the states we have driven to, as we both
enjoy hopping in the car and taking off!
I am fortunate
to still have both of my parents, although my mom is now residing in an
Alzheimers care facility. My dad will turn 90 in Sept. Dick's
mother is 89 and doing pretty well at her assisted living facility near
here. My parents, 4 brothers and one sister all live in AZ. I
have another brother in NC and my sister, Carol, now lives in the
second home on our farm since she retired after living in CA for more
than 30 years.