I guess everyone does have an individual story that is important to who we are today. We are the sum of all our experiences.
Mine began in Greensboro NC where I was born, in a snowstorm. I think it snowed more back then. Greensboro was a nice place to grow up. Maybe it was the times, but I spent many Summers on my bike. I would leave the house early and be gone all day. I wish we still had those days.
My father worked at an insurance company that was close enough for him to walk to work. And he did on nice days. This company had a swimming lake, and later a real pool, a restaurant for the employees that was subsidized by the company, tennis courts and picnic tables scattered around. No wonder he spent his career with this company!
I would spend days at the lake or pool and I learned to play tennis on this courts. We would have tournaments and I even won a trophy or two. My tennis career ended shortly after I played the top local player and he mopped the court with me.
I also grew up in the Scouting program, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout when I was 16. This was back before all the mess that came about later. I always thought I would be an adult leader with this organization, but I won't go near it now. Sad.
I had several mentors growing up. I was lucky to get a very good advisor in College that helped me get started in a career in Textiles! Yes, I started in a blue collar industry to the chagrin of my parents. My older brother became a lawyer. I guess I was supposed to be the Doctor.
I was in the textile business with my own manufacturing company for 15 years or so. That all ended when production went over seas. I loved the business of manufacturing and running a plant 3 shifts 6 days a week. When that ended with the sale of the business, I really didn't know what to do with myself. I was too young to retire. So like many, I looked around at things that might interest me and found Real Estate. How hard could that be?
During all this time I found that I loved to travel. In my business I traveled to Canada, Mexico, all over the US, and to Europe. We also dhdbusiness all over the world. Now that I am retired from Textiles, I can take my wife Cathy to places I have been that she did not get a chance to see.
One of my other passions is photography. Sometimes I get to combine the two. Before Covid, my photography club went on many day trips, weekend trips, and once a year we had a big trip to places like Nova Scotia, Michigan, Colorado, Utah, etc. These are mostly retirees in the club and we really have good times on these trips.
If I had been asked about life-altering experiences 5 years ago I would have mentioned the normal one. Getting married, first job in NY, kids. Now, unfortunately I have several to add. 4 Years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I went through courses of chemo and radiation treatments. I ended up losing 35 pounds and nearly dying, but I survived the ordeal and the doctors have essentially declared me cured. However, just as I was recovering and getting back on my feet, my wife was diagnosed with cancer. Back to chemo treatments and surgeries. She is in remission and we decided life may be short, so we are now getting out and doing things now instead of waiting to later.
Who knows what the future holds. I am hoping for grand kids sooner rather than later. I still have a second daughter that I need to see get married. And I am looking forward to traveling to Scandinavia later this year and Australia and New Zealand soon after. At this point, no actually much sooner, I usually say, "Enough about me, what about you?"