In the beginning…

Chapter 1:

As a simple housewife from a relatively small town in the panhandle of Florida; never did I think my life would go in the direction it has. Traveling around the globe, landing in Eastern Ukraine, the path that God has taken me on, has been more like a roll-a-coaster, but isn’t that the way it usually is, a road filled with sharp unexpected curves, pot holes, steep hills, and abrupt stops and starts. Stepping out of the confines of the boat on to the water, has been the hardest call of my life, but one that I knew I had to make, because without faith, there is no pleasing God.

As a small child, from a very small town (population 700), my sisters and mom would frolic at the beach on the weekends, ride bikes with friends, and have picnics in the park… we didn’t have a care in the world.  Making tree forts, riding my pink bike with the ‘banana seat’, roller skating, fishing at the local docks and playing with friends was my circle of existence.   Life had few cares, and not many surprises.  I watched my mother struggle to take care of us 3 girls.  Dad had left us when I was just 4; and basically ‘never’ looked back.  It was unheard of in the early 1960’s to just divorce your spouse, let alone, leave 3 young children.  Mom didn’t see it coming, and had to make some hard and fast decisions.  We had one week to pack and leave our home, where upon, we moved in with my grandparents.  In those days, employment opportunities were slim without any training, so mom went to secretarial school, while grandma and grandpa watched us.  For me, as a child, not understanding the impact of the situation, it was great.  We drove around the neighborhood in grandpa’s golf cart, and enjoyed the tree swing in the back yard.  After 6 months of training, mom was able to ascertain a job at a local sheet metal company, where she was the only female, doing everything from receptionist, to bookkeeping, and receiving.  We moved to a rental house, where for another 6 months, she worked to save money to purchase a house for us.  An amazing role model of hard work, she was a display of her Welch/German heritage.  Mom was up by 5 a.m. to exercise, then prepare breakfast for us, see us off to school, work all day and then prepare dinner, tend to the yard, laundry, house chores; she was my role model for a very sound ‘work ethic’.  Day in and day out I saw this example, heard her say, ‘ya just gotta put one foot in front of the other, and keep doing the right thing…no one is going to do it for you.’  Though I didn’t realize it, we were living just that…my father walked out on us, and mom was doing just what she said.  She didn’t expect anyone to ‘fix’ our situation but she, herself.  And in 6 months, we did move to that house, and I subsequently lived there for the next 13 years, moving out to go to college, when I turned 18.

Because, I was raised by a strong single mother, that work ethic and sense of duty, integrity, honestly, and loyalty was instilled at a young age, and has stayed with me to today.  When I say, I will ‘do something’, unless I’m dead, pretty much, it will happen.  I’m like a golden retriever, they are loyal to no end to their masters.  Though I appreciate all those qualities, those attributes resonated in the back of my mind, prompting me to never give up on anything, regardless of the consequences.  Good or bad, I wanted to see something through to the finish.  But, you see, not all things you commit to have a positive result. 

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