I was born in Lebanon, Missouri. (You’ll pardon me if I don’t tell you the year this great event transpired.) I only lived there the first six months of my life before moving to Bedford, Indiana, where I grew up and where I
coerced convinced my husband to move after I finished my residency.
My mother was a nurse in the hospital here in Bedford for many years, and my father was a research forester with the Hoosier National Forest, which is headquartered in Bedford.
I specialize in family practice and have been in private practice now for 30 years. I formerly also did obstetrics, but I had to give up OB a few years ago because of escalating malpractice insurance costs.
In addition to my work, I also helped herd a household of three boys (four if you count my husband), two cats, and four turtles. From time to time I’ve had a daughter thrown in the mix through an international student exchange program. Between all these and the little sleep I manage to catch hither and yon, I stay out of trouble for the most part — which means I lead a pretty boring life, I guess.
For the past 36 years I’ve been married to a wonderful husband whose name is John Douglas. (Half the people who know him call him John, the other half Douglas; I sometimes call him other names, but we won’t mention those here.) He is a composer and violin teacher. I’m very devoted to my husband and would never leave him for any reason — unless, of course, Jamie Fraser came calling one day.
We have three sons: Ben (30) who lives in Lafayett, Indiana, and currently is engaged to Nyssa Boyd; Jonathan (27), who married Annie Leonard last October and now lives in Kirkland, Washington; and Stephen (25) who works for web-development company in Manila, Philippines. Now you can start pitying me. Have you ever noticed that TV mothers of three sons tend to die? Witness the old 1960s show “My Three Sons” and all three mothers of the Cartwright boys of the “Bonanza” series. (Wonder what that means for me?)
For several years we hosted foreign exchange students from Spain, Germany, Japan, Finland, and Russia. Two of our daughters (Inge from Spain and Anna from Russia) and now attorneys. Anna now lives in Israel. Our Japanese daughter, Ryoko, is a homemaker in Tokyo. We have lost touch with our German and Finnish daughters, but it’s nice sometimes to think about how we have family all over the globe. It makes the world seem much smaller.
Dancing. My favorite hobby is dancing — ballet, tap, and ballroom. I actually came to the dance scene rather late when a friend and I decided we needed to spice up our dreary lives. We decided that what we needed to do was either to have affairs or take tap-dancing lessons. Since neither of us knew any men we’d ever consider inviting to our bedroom, we opted for the dancing lessons. I began tap lessons 14 years ago and have expanded into ballroom and ballet since.
My husband always told me he would never take ballroom dancing lessons with me, so while he was out of state one week visiting his mother in Alabama I signed us up for lessons. I didn’t know whether he would go with me or not, but he agreed to take with me for the eight weeks I’d signed up for. After that I guess my lower lip managed to convince him to keep taking lessons with me, since he knows he’ll have to live with me whether we take dancing lessons or not — and as I keep reminding him, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” He listens well ... though he does remind me from time to time that he was never given the option of taking dance lessons or having an affair.
Collecting things. I do have one rather unusual hobby: collecting armadillos. I have well over 400 different little armadillos about the house (not lives ones, mind) and almost half as many at my office. There’s a story behind that which maybe I’ll post here one of these days, but for now just let it be said that I think armadillos are so ugly they’re cute ... much like my husband. If you want to see some armadillos, you can go to my collection of armadillo GIFs & JPEGs by clicking on the jumping armadillo.
I also collect Barbie dolls, a much more “normal” avocation. At least it would be if I were younger. Maybe the reason I collect Barbies is because I never had a Barbie doll when I was a little girl. My favorite doll is “Dr. Barbie.” After a hard day at the clinic she merely turns her coat inside out and is immediately transformed into a gorgeous lady. Would that it were so easy!
Spectator sports. Although I have been accused of being a “sports hater” by our local newspaper (that was because I wanted to emphasize the importance of academics while I was on the school board a few years ago), I enjoy watching baseball, hockey, and gridiron football. And being a Hoosier I’d be strange if I weren’t also something of a basketball fanatic.
Reading & Writing: A number of years ago I got hooked on romance novels. Funny thing, that, considering I used to make fun of people who read such “trash.” But when you live in a town like Bedford, it’s nice to escape to Regency England or some other exotic locale and experience the thrill of romance vicariously. You can visit some of my favorite authors’ websites from the links below. And now that my sons grown and I had to give up obstetrics, I lately acquired a taste for writing. Though skeptically optimistic about eventual publication, I have been working off and on for some time on a Romance novel. A friend and I also are collaborating on a book about hiking Mt. LeConte in Tennessee — after more than 10 years of hiking to the top, we felt the need to try an enlighten other women about the adventure.
Zumba: A few years ago a friend and I started leading Zumba classes. After participating in classes for nine months, we broke out of our comfort zone and got certified to lead others in the Latin-inspired aerobic exercise.
Television viewing: Between reading, dancing, leading Zumba, and working, I don’t watch nearly the amount of televsion I did in the past, but I still have a few favorite shows I try never to miss. I link to them in the list of obligatory Links below.