The Whole Story
Let's see, for the whole story of this lifetime I guess I should start at the beginning...
I was born in Auburn, Maine on May 25, 1956. I loved school and studying (still do:)
...I remember being devastated when I got a C in penmanship in the first grade.
I decided then I would always do the best I could, always.
I began my working "career" when I was a freshman in high school.
I was called to the principal's office one day and remember sitting
there wondering what I had done wrong now.
I hadn't been talking in class, well, not much.
I was relieved when he explained, due to
my excellent math scores,
I was being offered a bookkeeping
position at a local clothing store
I loved that job, right down from
my Uncle John's Barber Shop across from the courthouse in Auburn, Maine.
When I was 16 I had to take a month off from school due to a shingles in my optic nerve.
I took a job in a local gas station at the end of the street I lived on and I remember
watching gas prices go from 39 cents/gallon to 79 cents/gallon with my one good eye. It was 1972 and I was wearing an eye patch and in terrible pain. I nearly lost the sight in my right eye completely due to shingles virus. I grew up with a challenged immune system. I remember the physician taking photos of me and asking my mother's permission to put them in some medical journal. This was my first lesson in how the human body can heal itself when given the chance. After a plasma transfusion I regained my sight completely. Western medicine does have many safe and remarkable techniques to heal. It is the long term pharmaceuticals I discourage.
Then I worked at a bank, I guess everybody who works in a bank starts in bookkeeping. My father worked in the bookkeeping department of a bank before I was born. By the time I graduated from high school they trained me as a loan officer. I opted to go to college instead to become a doctor. After a year of school at the University of Maine in Orono I met the man who became my first husband and the father of my 2 wonderful sons. We lived in Arizona for a year during which I was an inventory control specialist at Pickett Industries. Are you old enough to remember slide rules? I also worked at Samsonite Luggage company. The desert was wonderful but the Mexican border was volatile and not the place to raise children so we traveled back to Maine where I helped build my first home in 1976, a 24x32 'chalet kit' costing $ 4799.
My father-in-law taught me how to hold a hammer, how to design and run electrical circuits and how to plumb a house. While we built this home I worked at a Case Tractor dealer where I learned how to drive a front end loader when the fork lift wasn't working.
I spent 16 wonderful years in that house, raising Irish Setters for show and profit (haha). We had our first son, Joshua, in 1979 and then along came Jason in 1981. When they were very young I became a certified aerobics instructor and taught exercise classes at the YWCA in Bangor, Maine. I invented a class for the local-lunch-time ladies and called it "gut busters." The exercises I thought I made up in 1982 I am now re-teaching as Pilates moves. My children went everywhere with me, we did volunteer work with elderly people, cared for abused children and worked with pregnant teens.
When Jason was ready to start school a friend of mine asked me for help. She and her husband had invested some money in a spa retail store which had 'gone under' and they had 3 hot tubs they wanted to sell. I got a booth at the Bangor Home Show sold all three tubs and took orders for 4 more; Mainely Tubs was born. I did my own bookkeeping, sales, inventory, wrote my own computer programs to keep track of customers, did service and installations. I even wrote and appeared in my own commercials.
After many years of owning and operating 2 retail stores and raising 2 children my marriage began to fall apart and so did I. Determined to survive and be the best I could be I married a man 12 years younger than I was...the psychiatrist said it was to improve my self image. I think it had more to do with the fact I needed someone to help me build another home and run my retail stores and I liked his company.
I learned a lot about building from my second husband, the contractor, and eventually moved to the Florida Keys. I got my real estate license, ran my own property management business, learned how to do boat detailing and make teak and fiberglass look beautiful.
Things "weren't right" with that marriage and I was beginning to realize I didn't like the excessive sun exposure I was getting or the exposure to harmful chemicals-besides-have you ever worked with fiberglass? YUCK !
So I took a job a 5 diamond resort and after 3 years found myself as the supervisor of the front office making $8/hour with 30+ girls under me. I was working over 70 hours/week and nearly drank myself to death. I left the resort (not blaming them for my problems but they did have the highest rate of psychiatric care and alcoholism amongst their employees in the islands.) I headed to Hollywood, FL with a lunatic and really hit rock bottom. One day I literally found myself in a gutter, addicted to drugs I had never heard of ...ok, Diane, time to start all over again, which I did with the help of friends, a few visits to a Catholic church for inspiration and a book that changed my life, recommended to me by a friend who said it had changed his life. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I couldn't afford the $5.95 to buy it so I borrowed a copy and wore it out. I have since replaced that one and have a couple of copies of my own I share with many. During this healing period of time I started doing home health care for a couple of dear elderly ladies who turned into good friends and built up another property management business.
Even though Paramahansa Yogananda died in 1952, he lived in my heart and saved my life and remains one of my favorite "masters." I took his courses in Self-Realization, joined his fellowship and was making plans to move to an ashram and dedicate my life to helping others when I met Larry Seidman aka Fiddlin' Red. Within a few hours we were beginning to realize how strong our soul connection was and when he left the Keys to go on the road we got to know each other long distance. He had some property and wanted to hire me to build a house for him. Ashram or mountains of northern Georgia?
I found my answer in the the Bhagavad Gita. I asked it what to do and opened it to see what message it had for me. I opened to the chapter about partners, "If you are given the gift of a partner in life, accept it." So, I accepted the invitation to visit Red's property, he sent me a plane ticket, I flew to Atlanta, fell in love with him and his land and I thought we were going to live happily ever after.
Fiddlin' Red and I spent 9 years together, loving and laughing, traveling and working, Red playing music and I acting as his number one groupie, soulmate and partner in life. We wanted to secure our retirement so I turned my part time job with a disabled veteran into a full time job, creating a home for this wonderful disabled man. We were able to really "finish" our home in the mountains and we bought a rental home on the Suwannee for investment and income.
Then I lost my position with Mike in May of 2007, I had been with him for 9 years, almost to the day. Then I lost my husband to a heart attack in November of 2007, I had been with him almost 9 years to the day. I am so glad I was able to be with my husband for the last 6 months of his life almost full time. I miss him and the music he made. He was the best musician/entertainer I'd ever seen and always had a smile on his face. He used to tell me all the time I helped put that smile there.
I was fortunate to be able to "grieve properly," if there is such a thing. I was able to take care of as much "business" as possible immediately and then spend the holidays with family in New England. I recommend anyone suffering a loss get away from where they will be creating a new life of their own. It helps to look at yourself in a new light when you lose a partner, a job, a parent, etc. I guess, because you are a different person after a loss.
I am still alive and I have a lot of work to do. The best way to spread my story is to tell it on the Internet.
I am now married to the most wonderful man, the man of my dreams, so to speak. He is calm, understanding, full of life and makes me laugh everyday. Laughter is an important part of our lives.
I am learning the circle of the lifetimes within this lifetime are miraculous and everything happens for a reason. I believe The Universe doesn't make mistakes.
Oh, almost forgot about the brown recluse spider bite. When the room is spinning, you have difficulty breathing, your mouth tastes like metal and your legs are twitching uncontrollably, you begin to reflect even a little more about your life. If I am going to make a difference, make a "good footprint," I need to get busy.
My path has not been a boring one, that is for sure. The masters say we choose our birth time, therefore we choose our charts and our paths. I believe our lives are definitely what we make them.
Right now I am enjoying this portion of my path part of the year in Florida and part of the year in Maine. Hmmmm, became a snowbird without even trying;) Swimming in the springs in of Florida in the winter and the pond in Maine at Camp Etna in the summer is a wonderful way to divide my time. I am able to travel and spread my ideas helping people on the way.
I also have dreams of an Intentional Living Community on the land in Georgia ....most of my other dreams have come to fruition so we shall see.
I wonder what will happen to shape my future today...