Barbara Morgan Herron here. Since the deadline for class news was between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, I asked classmates what they are thankful for in 2012 and what they are looking forward to in 2013. Kristina Campbell Joyce is thankful for being blessed with achievements, family and dear friends. “I know from personal and my friends’ experiences, the impact of losing a parent, spouse, sibling, grandmother, aunt, friend, leader and so on. Since the negative in life does occur, I am thankful for the positive paths we are forming to deal with those so we might have a peaceful, healthy earth from the grassroots up.”
Babs Cummings Stacks is especially thankful for close relationships. “Returning to Hood in June reminded me once again that lifelong roots were planted 45 years ago. The friendships, the values have remained. I am hopeful that such strength will continue to bond us!” She recently had dinner with Linda Carlson. Susan Wadia-Ells, founding director of the nonprofit National Breast Cancer Prevention Project, just published Birth Control Drugs: Learn the Terrible Truth, volume one of the Busting Breast Cancer: 7 Simple Steps e-book series. The series focuses on seven lifestyle habits that can help prevent this terrible disease. Check it out at amazon.com. Sue is based in Manchester, Mass. Nancy Esau Jeschke has much for which to be thankful, having had heart bypass surgery and a cancerous tumor removed from her tongue. “I taught for 40 years and had a sign that read ‘attitude is the paintbrush that colors the mind.’ I truly believe that how we view what happens to us in life can make our lives positive or not. I have always preferred the positive.”
Cynthia Newby cannot forget what happened during our first semester at Hood, on Nov. 22, 1963. “I am looking forward, but with a twinge of apprehension, to a peaceful presidency for Obama’s second term in office, with the joint political will to tackle our very real problems without violence in our country.” Patricia Rosner Kearns had a great Thanksgiving with all the Kearns kids and grandkids—and sprained her ankle right after they left. Pat welcomed her second grandson in August. Her mom is doing well in Connecticut, but she lost her dad two years ago. She still works as director of development for the D.C. area at the American Diabetes Association and is looking forward to more vacation time in 2013. At press time, Diane Smail Robertson was awaiting the arrival of her second granddaughter. “Isn’t it great how your heart just expands with love to make room for all the ‘dear ones’ in your life? Re: 2013: As crazy as it sounds, I am just looking forward to celebrating the joys that God brings into my life. I don’t know if it is a result of growing older or not, but I’ve come to recognize that those quiet daily happinesses are what really matter most to me!” Debbie Smith Aldrich is thankful for her wonderful kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and two wonderful cat buddies. “I’m thankful for a wonderful childhood, Hood College education, great marriage and years of experience that have made me what I am today. Sounds corny, but it is the truth! Looking forward, I’m blessed with the ability to find fun and friendships throughout the year, hopefully some travel and lots of laughing.”
Cynde Swanson Lawson is most thankful for her husband and two sons Shandy and Tory as well as her job as a crisis counselor, and travel. Her most recent trip was to Scandinavia in June. “I am most looking forward to the publication of Shandy’s young adult novel, The Loop in April.” Johanna Van Wert Thompson and Michael spent Thanksgiving week at the Outer Banks of North Carolina with their three children and eight grandchildren (ages 2-14). They still live in Williamsburg, Va., and would welcome visitors from Hood. They enjoyed a family cruise to Bermuda in June, a trip to Alaska in September, met Joan Peschel Young and Bob for lunch, and enjoyed an overnight visit with Sally Raube Chandler and Jim while traveling in New England. Gail Witham Pohl looks forward to Skyping with her daughter’s family (including 8 of her 16 grandchildren), who are serving as missionaries in Uganda. Gail was having cataract surgery in January, and was looking forward to improved vision and spending lots of time with her other grandchildren.
Barb Wood Spellman recently enjoyed a four-day visit with Ginny Price Bracken in North Carolina, and spent an afternoon and evening with Sue Bracken, who lives nearby. Husband John retired in August after 43 years of practicing dentistry, and on Sept. 22 their youngest son got married in their yard. “I am thankful that it didn’t rain during the wedding ceremony and that we are healthy enough to enjoy our new unstructured life.” Barb looks forward to lots of travel. Jayne Winters Mathews is thankful that she can still get up every morning, go to work and actually enjoy what she is doing. She is one of those people who “failed” retirement and feels much better doing something worthwhile. “I work with nonprofits and get involved in most of the problems that face people today. I look forward to better times in 2013, and having gone to a woman’s college, I’m thankful that women play a much larger role than ever before in everything and look forward to a female president soon. Anyone who is down this way, the Carolina Coast, stop by, we’re always here.”
I, Barbara Morgan Herron, hope to retire before summer. Keeping busy won’t be a problem. Almost every weekend between Labor Day and Thanksgiving I was painting sets, combing thrift stores for costumes, appearing on set as an extra and otherwise helping my husband on his latest film project. I have a long list of house, garden and sewing projects, too. Happy 2013 to all!
Barbara Morgan Herron
Judith Lehman Ballinger