15 December 2016
I live at Lake Monticello, which I previously called home over 35 years ago.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna?
I first moved to Fluvanna in 1977, and returned to live here in 2011, with many places and states in between (32 addresses in my life, so far, in fact!).
What brought you here?
I came to Central Virginia as a young 17-year-old to attend the University of Virginia (go Hoos!), and my parents followed me to the area to build a home two years later. It made it easier to go home to do laundry.
Tell us about your Thanksgiving and how you plan to spend your Christmas.
Thanksgiving was wonderful as I had both of my children (from Vermont and Delaware), their spouses, and my granddaughter here to share the holiday with us. We were even able to gather for some family portraits. My honey and I will probably spend Christmas a bit more quietly, with nature walks, time by the fire, and time to slow down and reflect.
What word or phrase do you use too much
“Indeed.” I am not sure why, but it seems to be my overused word currently, and as an English literature major, I am sure I could come up with a more lyrical word. Now that you have made me own up to it, I will have to work on that – stay tuned. (Probably the actual most frequent phrase is “Stop that!” to my four crazy cats!)
Tell us about a way you have changed over the years.
There’s more of me than there used to be...but you probably mean something deeper. I think I have learned to speak up more often, and to say no. Occasionally I have to admit I can’t quite do it all, all of the time. I like to think I’ve always had a pretty good perspective on what’s truly important in life, thanks to the example of my wonderful parents.
What pivotal decision helped to shape your life?
One important influence came from my decision to volunteer with Madison House, the student-led volunteer service organization at the University of Virginia, which helped to grow my desire to work and volunteer in service-oriented positions. The focus on leadership, community and giving back are key components in how I try to live my life.
What prompted you to work in the nonprofit sector?
My time at Madison House as well as growing up in a military family were both influential as I saw the impact of service to others. My first job was with Monticello Area Community Action Agency (MACAA) as a youth employment counselor, so it’s great to be back in the area to see their continued work in our region.
Are you glad you did?
Yes, it’s not always easy – you want to solve every problem, which isn’t always possible, and funding is often challenging, but I can’t imagine my life any differently.
How do you best connect with people in the community?
Get out there and smile! I most often connect these days through some of my volunteer passions – serving with the Fluvanna SPCA on behalf of our furry friends (my four rescue kitties approve), as a book buddy to some of our elementary school children (7-year-old boys tell fun stories), through Lake Monticello groups like the Photography Club, and by getting out and about – just exploring and meeting others in our county.
How do you describe Fluvanna to people who have never been here?
I usually start with the natural beauty and wonderful mix of rural and community influences that still retains many of the small-town characteristics I first loved about living here. I tend to mention that we only have one traffic signal currently, although it was quite the controversy at the time! I also share that I love the sense of community, diversity, and the feel I get from shopping at local establishments like E.W. Thomas, where I always come away with a smile…and some yummy things to eat!
Describe a dream you have for Fluvanna’s future.
I’d love to see Fluvanna retain the core values that make it so special, and continue to grow that sense of community – supporting your neighbors and valuing the natural resources we have in our region, setting an example we can all be proud of in our lives.
I’m not quite as “Pollyanna” as I sound, but I do try to see the best in people and the world around us…with a few good laughs thrown in to make it all the better!