I was born the middle of three girls on June 4, 1943 in Philadelphia. My dad was an accountant with the Philadelphia Electric Company and my mom stayed home to raise us. In eighth grade, my Spanish teacher inspired me to become a Spanish and French teacher; I later graduated from Radford University in Virginia in 1965 and began my teaching career in Alexandria, VA. It was there that I met my husband, Jack, who was the principal of the middle school. In 1989 we move to Florida where I started teaching at Lemon Bay High School in Englewood. After 12 years there, I retired in 2001. I lost my husband two years later and was really at loose ends for a while.
Now I spend my days volunteering in the office at Congregational United Church of Christ in Punta Gorda. I also am known as the “Betty Crocker” of Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte because I bake four to five cakes each week and give them away. I also love to read, especially James Patterson and Danielle Steele.
I began practicing yoga one and a half years ago when the Sanctuary held an open house. My best friend, Susan Cheney, invited me to attend, promising we would go out to lunch afterwards—that was the reason I went, for the lunch. We took a sample chair class, but by the time we got to the sandwich shop it was closed. So no lunch, and I wasn’t really sure about yoga.
I started with chair yoga, and if it weren’t for Susan dragging me there, I probably would have quit. Then I took an intro class with Margit Bannon and everything changed. She was such an inspiration and so understanding of my “issues” that I just kept with it. When I wanted to quit, she wouldn’t let me. I graduated to level I, but depended on her guidance so much that I was afraid to try other instructors. One time she was on vacation and I had no choice. I wanted to go to class. Since then I have found that all of the instructors are just as caring, concerned, and patient as she is.
When I started practicing yoga I had problems with balance and strength. I have scoliosis and my posture was becoming worse over the years. In the year since I have been practicing, I am stronger and steadier. My cholesterol has dropped from 300, HDL cholesterol is over 100, and I am no longer pre-diabetic. My posture has improved greatly! I am also calmer and more relaxed and in control of my life.
Due to a recurring back injury, I still have problems with some of the postures. I also have arthritis in my right knee and need to keep it wrapped during practice. It does hamper some of the postures I try, but I try to adapt whenever I can.
My favorite yoga poses are bridge pose, reclined leg stretches, and of course, savasana. The instructors, the peace I feel, and my improving health and well-being keep me coming back four days a week. Every one of the instructors inspires me to do better each day and to give myself credit for what I can do now that I couldn’t do before.
My favorite quote is one from a meditation class with Jennifer:
“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but
Surely, we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
—W. Somerset Maugham