Ann did not grow up in one place because her father was in the navy. We moved so often I was the “new girl” in nine different schools before I graduated high school. I am by nature, very shy. Always being the “new kid” helped me learn how to make friends, but I also learned how to be happy alone. I loved to read, so the friends that followed me from place to place were the ones I found in stories.
I was five years old when our family left Jacksonville, Florida. My father was assigned to the military base in Charleston, S.C. We were in Charleston for eight years, but we lived in three different houses and I went to four different schools during those years. All of us liked to fish. We spent many days sitting on the sides of bridges while we fished until our shoulders and legs were tanned a deep copper. I remember climbing over rubble at Ft. Sumter where my imagination ran wild thinking of cannon fire and shouting soldiers. We walked along beaches while Dad told us tales of pirates. He insisted we were walking over treasure that pirates had buried in the sand beneath our feet. I think I get my imagination from my father.
When Dad was transferred to Groton, Connecticut, my brother Mike and I played in snow for the first time while Dad helped weld together the first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus. In Yorktown, Va., we waited until the tide went out so that we could find lead musket balls left over from colonial battles. No matter where we lived, I learned that life was a grand adventure and every day is a gift of unlimited possibilities.
There were only a few certainties in my uncertain life. I knew I was responsible for packing my own stuff. I was also responsible for keeping up in school and at home. I learned at an early age that good people can be found everywhere. I realized that a home does not depend on the house you put it in. These were all priceless lessons to learn at an early age.
I graduated from Florida State University, and served as a teacher with the Peace Corps in Liberia, West Africa. This is where I met and married Jim, another Peace Corps volunteer. We returned home and settled in Evansville, Indiana where it made me so happy to live in one house for more than thirty years.
Over the years, I have been a middle-grade reading teacher, a youth minister, and a college counselor. Through it all, I have been a writer and now I am adding podcaster to that.
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Podcast: Speeding Past 80
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