I spent my childhood catching fireflies on a warm summer nights. Wearing saddle shoes. Wearing a dress to school even when I didn’t want to. Walking to school even on the coldest of days of Northern Illinois winters. Playing with friends at a nearby park district park without my parents hovering over us. Riding my bike somewhere – anywhere – until the streetlights came on. But I also spent my childhood as an only child.
HI, I’M BECKY
Although I was given the name Rebecca at birth, I usually go by my nickname, Becky, or even Beka, instead. I am a baby-boomer. Yes, that means that I am 60+ years young, or rather, at the beginning of March 2018, I embarked on my sixtieth journey around the sun. I have been married, divorced, and married a second time. I have raised two sons and developed good relationships with my two step-daughters.
My life has been, and will always be, a vast kaleidoscope of interests, ideas, and opinions. When I was a kid, my mother encouraged me to explore my interests.
Early Music and Crafting Training –
In first grade, I spent Saturday mornings at Choir School. It sounds horrible now, but then, it was something I looked forward to. Choir School was run by our church, and we were involved from kindergarten through the year we were confirmed. After confirmation, we could continue to be involved, but as counselors. Choir School consisted of confirmation/religious studies, music theory, youth choir practice, and arts and crafts hour which fostered my love of crafts and the interest in trying new things.
At the suggestion of an aunt, my mother got me involved in 4-H rather than Girl Scouts. I had always thought that 4-H was a “farming and agriculture” organization, but there were city clubs as well. 4-H had me looking at things that interested me and focusing on them for six months or a year. During the year, the club leader expected us to make a presentation for each skill we chose to persue; then, at the end of the summer we entered a specific product or project for judging in the county fair. I learned how to cook and bake (and the idea of baking to perfection for a blue ribbon at the county fair), but I also learned how to sew, crochet, knit, and make candles, among other things.
I began piano lessons in third grade, and when the school district instituted a program they called Music in our Schools, I took up the violin (in fifth grade). I played in orchestra through college and now again with the Spring Hill Orchestra. In addition to singing with the church choir, I sang with school choirs as well.
Becky, the Teacher –
Raising two children and teaching/directing theater nurtured many of my interests further: gardening, taekwondo, hiking, camping, swimming.
As a high school teacher, I not only taught writing, reading and analyzing literature, but I worked to inspire and motivate my students to be the best that they could be. I allowed creativity, exploration, and ideas of new insight. I worked to encourage my students to be life long learners.
I retired in June of 2014 and began to call myself a writer with time to return to exploring my musical talents and my interest in crafts.
My family consists of a loving husband, two adult boys (the oldest one married in 2013 & the youngest getting married 2018), two step-daughters (the oldest one married in 2019), and 7 grandchildren between the ages of 4 and 18.
In 2016, my husband became medically retired from his job as an over-the-road truck driver; and in 2019, his kidney failure due to diabetes labeled him as disabled. He now works in our wood shop creating spectacular items out of wood.
In September 2017, we opened our door for our youngest daughter (my step-daughter) to move in with us. She had been living with her mother in New York, but decided she wanted to begin a new chapter in her life in a new place. Now, she has graduated from what we called a two year “Life 201” course designed to improve (actually develop) her self-image, determine her goals, and develop life skills she had never learned, or been taught.
We are also kept company by The Spice Brothers (Pepper, a German Short-haired pointer mixed with black lab and Nutmeg, a Plott Hound mixed with Pitbull). Pepper loves to play fetch with the squeeky ball, but has a terrible habit of following his nose where ever it might take him if he is not on the porch, deck, or on a leash. He is also temperamental, arrogant, and always in need of attention.
On the other hand, Nutmeg is easy-going and always happy to see us. Nutmeg gets so excited, however, he jumps, and because of the height he gets and his coloring, we have had people mistake him for a kangaroo. He is also the shop dog because he is the one who will not leave the yard.
LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
I was born in Northern Illinois and for the first 28 years of my life called Rockford, Illinois home.
In 1986, I moved to nearby Cherry Valley Township and lived there for 29 years. Forest preserves, parks, and corn fields surrounded our neighborhood, and if I had to go anywhere, I needed to add 7 minutes of travel time to just get to the edge of the city. It was a peaceful neighborhood and my sons had lots of friends to play with. During the summer, if the group of kids wasn’t next door or across the street, they were down the road a piece or in the back easement where one neighbor had set up a ball diamond and supervised the games of soft ball or kick ball.
In September 2015, I left my “home town” area and traveled to Middle Tennessee with my husband and our fur babies to our forever home.
I am still out in the middle of nowhere – a 15 minute drive from the edge of the nearest town. Beyond my backyard lies a cow pasture; next door lives a horse; and down on the corner exists a small hobby farm with cows, goats, chickens, sheep, and peacocks. Across the street, well, across the street I’m not sure what exists, but there are a few driveways that lead far back into the brush and trees.
I am the multi-faceted creative that is driven to explore the wide variety of opportunities, experiences, and adventures that come my way. I am a life-long learner in search of ways to encourage others to become life-long learners. I write, in my fiction and my poetry, to challenge, question, and motivate people to rise and be who they were meant to be.