We have all sorts of ideas for our next decade! Here goes:
From Christine Whitehead: “I don’t write much but have a few minutes! Well, as for me, I plan to keep practicing divorce law in Hartford, CT because I’m never bored doing it and goofy as it sounds, I DO feel that people are helped as a result. My colleagues, both bench and bar, are wonderful for the most part and it is a challenge every day. I also just wrote my first novel, TELL ME WHEN IT HURTS, and my main character is a Smith grad and a few scenes are at Smith. It’s been fun hearing reactions, mostly very positive. I self-published, sell on Amazon, and am seeking a literary agent for wider distribution possibilities. I see the 60’s as a time of new beginnings: hobbies, more travel, a new horse, more time with family and dogs and friends, more time in NYC, more of the want to’s! Hope all is well with you and thanks for doing this job!”
From Nancy Ashton: “Too busy to think about hopes/changes etc, and can’t even recall if I’ve shared this news with you that can go in. At my age, single “parenthood” again, as I take care of a now-17 year old girl from Afghanistan who is in the US for the next 6 years to finish her high school and then college education. She is a dear, very conscientious, motivated, dedicated to getting a good education and returning to “help fix my country”, as she says. I am more frazzled and tired than usual!”
From Cheryl Suchors: “I’m turning 59 in a few days. But I’ve recently started a blog called TOP of My Mind in which I ruminate mostly about feminist, ecological and societal topics and that I update every Tuesday (www.theologicalopportunitiesprogram.org) This organization, TOP, is one of the oldest feminist organizations around (36 yo now) and a great delight to me. Please everyone, check out its website, and the blog and post comments on the topics! I’d also like to know of other classmates’ blogs. (Maybe Mary can post them all?) I’m totally into Facebook and this blogging thing; it invigorates me to be part of the new social media. I’ve reconnected with a woman I hadn’t seen since third grade, another friend whom I hadn’t been in touch with for 30 years, and am finding friends from my large high school classes whom I never knew at all! Best, Cheryl”
From Wendy Horgan: “Great questions. I’m almost looking forward to this milestone and theexpectation that there should be some new thinking on hopes and changes. Let me get back to you – hopefully before the 15th.”
From Diane St. Cyr Francis: “My biggest news is that I retired after 34 years of teaching high school chemistry. I now am doing things I never had time for before. I have become Treasurer of our Congregational Christian Church, and I take classes in aerobic dancing and piano. On Tuesdays I drive to Nashua, NH to take my elderly Dad out for lunch and ice cream. Our younger daughter, Hillary, will be married on August 21, 2010 in Alexandria, VA. I am enjoying planning for this joyous event. Our older daughter, Anne, will serve as Maid of Honor. Life is good!!”
From Patricia Hager: “As I approach the turn to 60, I hope to find ways of deepening my focus on sustained engagement with reading, with family, with friends, and with wilderness when I can make my way there. I loved my career in education, but I think many of us find ourselves diminished by the steepened pace of work and communication. While the internet makes thrilling resources available and allows for certain kind of connection with, I find that it can damage my capacity for concentration and my awareness of each day’s pleasure. I sometimes think about the gift of quiet, sustained study we enjoyed, at least on our good days, at Smith.
I think often about how lucky I am to enjoy physical strength,the thirty-seventh year of marriage, two daughters thriving in their college experiences, and family, including young nieces, nearby. I retiredasAcademicDeanatConcordAcademyin2007andamworkingpart-time as Director of Studies atBeaconAcademyinBoston.”
From Anne Walker Cleveland: “I will welcome my 60th with a complete change in my career. As of Aug. 1, I became the executive director of the Charleston Library Society, the 3rd oldest library in the U.S. It is one of 16 surviving membership libraries in the country, and in addition to serving as a library and research center, it houses some amazing treasures. Among the collection are John Locke’s handwritten Fundamental Constitution for Carolina, DuBose Heyward’s original manuscript for Porgy, Redoute’s Roses, letters from George Washington, all the newspapers in SC beginning in 1732, and even doodles made by John Paul Jones. The list goes on and on, and I’m having a ball.”
From Ellen Kanner: “Dear Classmates, First the family news. Our son, Gregg Donovan, married the delightful Haylee Seltzer at the New York Botanical Gardens last Dec. 5th (2009). Now both of our children are happily married. Brian and I are using this quieter time in our lives in different ways. He wrote a biography that was published and I continue to work full-time in my clinical psychology practice. I am able to devote the time once allocated to children to a few hobbies, primarily knitting and taking piano lessons. Also, I am working hard to get technologically more up to date. I have pursued lessons to that end, as well. Regarding turning 60. I accept that I no longer look young nor can do many of the things much younger folks do. I no longer do much figure skating–the jumping is tough on my knees. I don’t wish to permanently injure myself by not respecting my aging process. That being said I work hard to eat healthfully, weigh the same as I did at Smith, and go to the gym regularly. I want to be vigorous enough to work in my garden, get around to the many attractions in New York City and to travel the globe with my darling husband. As I age I find that the life of the mind balances out the loss of youth in my body. Best to all, Ellen”
News: from Beth Ann Friedman last August: “This year I was again moved to make a positive difference in the fight against AIDS and signed up to bike a one day 125 mile charity ride from Boston to P-Town.” Beth reports that she’s now on Facebook, for those of you who are curious about how it went!
From Judith Halsey; “Thank you so much for always asking us interesting questions. I can respond this time with a visual image, the attached photo. Marcy Friedman got four of us, former hall-mates in Parsons House, together in May 2009. The occasion was Cathy Adachi’s son Jisho’s graduation from Pratt. Here we are in front of the Brooklyn Museum. We are, from left to right, Judy Halsey, Cathy Adachi, Marcy Friedman, and Martha Schwarz Shaw. (If you want more details, you can bug Marcy!”
From Maggie MacDonald: “I am writing to you from Texas where I am for the week. Spent last weekend in Houston with our son, David, who was sworn in as an attorney in Texas. He is working in the District Attorney’s office. We are so proud! Had a lovely dinner in Austin with our class president, Melissa Hieid. It was great catching up and hearing about Smithies. We are entering our 3rd year back in Clifton Park, NY. Peter’s job with Toshiba is great, and I am back playing tennis and have been in 2 writing groups for the past 1 1/2 years. Our youngest son, Thomas is in his 2nd year at NYU getting a Phd. in Political Science. We get to city with some frequency and hope you & I can get together in the future.
As for turning 60, it seemed like it suddenly appeared. I have thought of myself as mid 50’s for a long time and now I will not be in the 50’s at all anymore. 60? I like to think of it as the new 40…. My goals are to improve my health and I am grateful for what I have ( loving family & friends and my needs met). I hope to continue to grow spiritually and creatively and to be of service. Since I haven’t practiced counseling, I do more volunteering with 12 step groups. I also continue to work on political campaigns that interest me. We love to travel and hope to do more of that . I am also thinking of taking on a community service commitment, and live in a vibrant area so there are many choices.”
From Kim Albright: “Hopes for my 60s – good health and grandchildren! :)”
From Pat Younger Smith: “News: Our son Andy is now a freshman at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA. He took a two-year gap period after graduating from high school in 2007. The period was one of maturing and floundering around a bit, but in hindsight it was the best thing for him. He’s motivated now and at college because he wants to be. As I look back on my own college experience, I would have benefited from a gap year myself. I encourage parents to consider it as a real option for their college-bound offspring.
In my case, I’ll be turning 60 in 2011, but it’s still just around the corner. I expect to be working for at least five to six more years (assuming Uncle Sam doesn’t go totally bankrupt!), and more probably eight plus. I want David and I to travel as much as possible during that period, and we do have a tour booked for Italy in September that I’m looking forward to. Taking care of myself in terms of diet and exercise is a priority, and I recognize that it’s important to keep my mind challenged and engaged. I’m enriched by singing in the church choir and belonging to the church book club. We enjoy our theatre subscription, but I want to take advantage of other DC area cultural events. I’ve become a slave to my gardens and hope to contract some of the garden care to a new service company so that I can be more free to enjoy the area’s offerings spring through fall.”
From Sue Begg: “In my 60th year I will finally be achieving a life goal of sailing as a navigator aboard ocean-going vessels. I passed my Coast Guard 2nd Mate exam after 10 years of sailing. For me that means no more trudging up and down 12 decks shaking ABC fire extinguishers for my overtime pay. Instead I will get to sit in the “chart room” with a hot cup of fresh coffee and correct charts and plot the courses the ship will be sailing. After the Captain I will be the first to know to where to we are sailing. In my ashore life I hope to solidify a relationship with my girlfriend of the past 2 years. She is working on a Masters in Marine Policy at U. Delaware down in Lewes where Evelyn Maumeyer works. It has been such a pleasure to see Evelyn when I visit Lewes.”
Keep the news and reflections coming!
Mary Lindley Burton