Friday, February 20, 2009

And that leaves Anne....

What can I say about Anne? She was christened Anna after a great-aunt but likes the plainer, more-straightforward name Anne or as many friends call her, Annie. When she was little Dad called Pam and her Sam and George. (I imagine he was hoping for another boy after 3 daughters. Bet he was mighty glad when Tom finally came along 7 years later.)

Anne grew up to be a very independent person but she got off to a rough start. She dropped out of school but later got her GED. She had a few minor run-ins with the authorities and lived with foster parents for a short while. She’s never taken any crap off anyone and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself or her friends. She became a single mom at 19 and always put her son first. She wasn’t afraid to ask for help, appreciated it when she got it, and that’s made her more sympathetic with people now who are in a bad situation.

Anne’s had 2 lousy marriages (her words, not mine), but gained a wonderful daughter, Ashley, in return. She’s been in a committed relationship with Gary for the past 18 years. He’s a deputy sheriff. (I think they're both too darned independent to ever get married!) She now has her 2 great kids and their families she's very proud of. When her son Ron was little, she would sometimes need help from the Multi-purpose Center, which is home of the local food bank, clothing room, place for energy assistance, WIC, etc. and in turn she volunteered her time occasionally. Because of her love for kids, she and Gary used to do foster and crisis care and some of the kids they helped still keep in touch with her.

Anne has had many different jobs over the years but in 1998 she started working part time at the Multi-purpose Center. In September 2002 she was named Assistant Director and in October 2004 she was named Director when her boss retired. The Center is the home for local food drives, Christmas toy donations, collection and distribution of Thanksgiving dinners (over 75 families were fed last year, I think), child safety seat training, handyman service, and a community resale shop. It’s a very necessary part of our community with more people using its services all the time. Anne likes her job most days but is extremely busy from October through December with energy assistance, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She runs the Center with the help of a couple part time workers and lots of volunteers. She tells me she’s getting tired of having her photo in the paper all the time after being presented with donations but I’m very proud of the work she does. I often tell her she's darn near perfect - she just needs to quit smoking.

In 2007 at age 50, Anne became a first-time homeowner. She bought a small, older house in our hometown and during remodeling found it was FULL of termite damage. She ended up having to tear out entire walls, ceilings, and floors and re-do them. Luckily, her son Ron is a wonderfully talented guy and he was out of work at the time. He did almost all the work for her with help from her and others. They put in an entirely new bathroom, kitchen, and living room, new windows, doors and siding, new floors and carpets, new drywall, ceilings, paint and trim. He tiled the bathroom floor and kitchen counter. Anne lived in the middle of this mess for months doing without a stove and other amenities for weeks. Without Ron’s help there is no way she would have been able to afford it and now she has a very nice little home. She loves what he did with the house and loves him for all his hard work. I think she and her cat are finally settled in.

Anne lives ½ block from her daughter Ashley, son-in-law Jason, and their twin sons who just turned 1. Anne loves being so close and likes to baby-sit often. Ron and his wife Bobbi have a son and daughter and live in a small town about 15 miles away. His daughter likes sports and girly things and is growing prettier every day. I think his boy is going to grow up to be talented like his dad.
BTW, I was nice and used the Glamour Shot photo. Does that earn me brownie points? LOL

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