When I was just a young girl, I had three dreams in life: to teach, dance, and work with animals.
In 1976, I fell in love with my first-grade teacher, Miss Logan, a dead ringer for Farrah Faucet. She wore black velvet pantsuits, stiletto high heels, blue eye shadow, and watermelon lip gloss. On weekends, I would neatly arrange my stuffed animals on my bed and teach them everything I learned in school that week, pretending to be Miss Logan. She was beautiful inside and out, dressed to the nines, kind, loving, adored by her students, and always had a drawer full of Oreo cookies for us kids. She is the reason I graduated college with a Master’s in Education degree and ended up teaching elementary school for six years. I hope I made her proud.
Being the middle child of three girls, I always sought attention. Mom had this old album called Whipped Cream and Other Delights, featuring a sexy brunette sitting on the floor covered in what looked like a whipped cream wedding gown. It was sultry and seductive, and I loved it. One particular song on the album was done ala 1950’s burlesque style. I listened to it over and over until I learned every single bump & grind, and then choreographed a routine for my kid sister and me to dance. We came out of the bathtub wrapped in towels, danced down the hallway like it was a catwalk, then jumped up on the beds and performed our own little burlesque number to Herb Alpert’s Love Potion #9. Believe it or not, 30 years after my tantalizing childhood boudoir routine, I quit the teaching profession to open a dance studio. During my 13-year success, I created a dance troupe and variety show, which included our very own rock-n-roll band, comedians, emcee, and drag queens. I did all the choreography, costuming, coaching, writing, directing and producing of our shows. We performed all over the country, including Las Vegas, and had the biggest sell-out show in Buffalo, NY, accomplishing yet another dream of mine. And I even let my kid sister dance with us.
Since childhood, I’ve been obsessed with animals. Mom always allowed pets in our house, and as far back as I can remember, we always had a dog, a cat, fish, and hamsters. I fell in love with Dr. Jane Goodall at a young age. Her story of living in the African jungle studying chimpanzees really rang my bell. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I wanted to help animals in need. One of my biggest regrets in life was not declaring an animal related major in college. I made sure to incorporate Dr. Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Humane Education program into my curriculum during my career as an educator. This brought Jane to my school to meet the students and me, which was a dream come true. The world is a better place with her in it.
So this is where my Country Honk Farm story begins. With my 50th birthday not far away, I find myself transitioning into the next stage of life…retirement. So far I have had quite an amazing journey, filled with world travel and incredible experiences. I am ready to trade my high heels for cowboy boots and purge my closet of all age inappropriate/ill-fitting clothing (especially push up and underwire bras!). I am beginning to accept my middle-aged body and stop killing myself to be a size 4. I am exploring new hobbies, like sewing, knitting, raising fiber animals, baking, gardening, photography, writing, and animal rescue. My new dream only consists of attaining peace, tranquility, and solitude for the remainder of my life. Funny how things change as we age.
“Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind…ain’t life unkind?” -Rolling Stones