Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tagged for Seven

Wow..Seven things to know about me. Off the top of my head:

1. I was a ranked tennis player on the junior circuit growing up.
My mother believed we should try everything growing up. I was fortunate enough to have tennis, horse back riding, ice-skating, swimming, almost anything I wanted to try, but it was at tennis that I seemed to do pretty well in. When we moved to Haddonfield, NJ, my parents joined a tennis club. Mom was patiently hitting balls to me, helping us learn the game of fairness and being graceful in winning and losing. She took my friends and I around to different tournaments throughout PA, NJ, and Delaware, not so much to get a ranking but to meet new people It was so much fun. Later, I was lucky enough to be ranked #5 in my age group and go on to play college tennis at Lynchburg College. After graduating college I was an assistant coach at Haddonfield High School. There my team went on to win the state group 2 championships a few times.

2. I was an exchange teacher in Australia.
Hands Across the Water is a program started by the local EIRC chapter in New Jersey. I was lucky enough to be picked to go to Australia five years ago. Leaving from Philadelphia, I traveled to Los Angeles and then to Sydney where we spent an overnight learning about the program. After that I flew to the Gold Coast and found myself met by the nicest family in the world, Ross and Julie Woolfe and their four children. These lovely people took javascript:void(0)me into their home for two weeks, taking me all around the area, Astonsville, and to their schools, Evanshead, where I got to teach for the two weeks. They were so wonderful.I even got to fly in a friend's plane to a nature center where I could hold a koala and see all sorts of Oz animals. After that I left the family and traveled to Cairns where I went scuba diving, snorkeling, and white water rafting. Then to Darwin to see the crocs, to the outback, Ayers Rock to hike and go hot air ballooning and stayed at a really cool hotel. After that it was down to Melbourne for some tennis, penquins and lots of wine, and then back to Sydney for a wonderful end to my month. Lots of stories to fill in at each comma and period here...lots.

3. I have a hard time finishing things I start.
Nothing new here. I am sure I have ADD. I love to start things, but there are times, and craft kits, and diets, and projects, that are unfinished all over. This is something that drives me nuts. Although when I do finish something I have to remind myself of this poem I wrote:

Events come and go
And we are extremely lucky if the event supersedes the anticipation.
The inevitable let down should be but a brief moment
For what is life to look forwards, anxiously, to that which will occur.
And to look back fondly, on that which has already happened.

4. I have an amazing sense of direction.
It doesn't matter where I am, I have already been there. Or so it seems. Many times I will be so lost but just keep driving or turn down a street and I am there. My mom hates this as she always says, "Just ask". I feel a fun and thrill in finding something myself. Yes, I bought a GPS, but I don't really believe it all he time.So far I have been on four continents and I always seem to find my way back to my corner of the earth.

5. I was a nanny in Europe for a summer.

Our neighbors behind us left the US for England, but would come back periodically to see the old neighborhood. Dave, the dad,was the owner, producer and head honcho of a discount record company in England called PYE records. One April he came back and asked me if I'd like to be a nanny to his three children for the upcoming summer.Sounded good to me. I didn't want to go back to being a counselor at camp again so this was a great alternative. So, in June I packed my trunk (yes, a trunk), tennis racket and spirit and flew to Heathrow Airport. For the first month I lived with the family outside of London, being more a houseguest than a nanny as the kids were in school and I was able to explore to my heart's content. Once in a while I would have to go on the set of a movie or tv show as the daughter of the house was an actress and needed someone over 18 to be with her. I even made it to center court Wimbledon while I was there.

After school was out, Wendy, Patti (the two daughters), Dave and I drove from England to Paris. Pat and David Jr flew as the baby was too little to make the trip in the car. The first night we spent i Paris.Then to Switzerland, over the Alps and headed for the villa in Forte di Marmi, Italy. This was to be our home for the rest of the summer. It was amazing. I was able to travel from there all over Italy, to Yugoslavia, and to Elba on a yacht. The villa had everything...a butler, maid, was across from the was a summer of incredible memories.

Dave has since died, yet I will always remember the quote at his funeral: He burned the candle at both ends, but oh, what a glow. It certainly reflected to me.

6. I caused the great Chinese Checker Marble Caper at the Pennsulia House in SeaBright, NJ
7. I was named Humanitarian of the Year for my district.


loonyhiker said...

I hope you write more about this Chinese Checker Marble Caper! This sounded so interesting especially your trip to Australia.

Anonymous said...

We've shared our Australia experiences on Plurk, but I didn't know you were also a GPS unit, like myself! My family says its not really a vacation until someone asks Mari for directions. Doesn't matter where I am, but I always get asked, and to the surprise of my family, I can always respond! Like Pat, I want to hear more about the Chinese Checker Marble Caper!