Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Influences Part 2: The Later Years

Influences spring from all sources, especially as one gets older. The scope of influences continually broadens as the aging process takes a child out of the home and into the world. School, the work force, the ever-expanding social network allows for a plethora of people, places, and events to influence a person. Once my life began outside of the home in earnest the influences began happening at a rapid pace and became increasingly difficult to keep track!
The men in my family, my father and two brothers, certainly were and are enormous influences on me. I constantly find a deep connection with my father that showcases how similar we are. His guidance, support, enthusiasm, and provided opportunities have fostered a safe environment for me to spread my wings and fly while knowing that I always had a support system in place. My brothers, older by nine and five years respectively, influenced everything in my life from music choices (they could not stomach a sister who enjoyed listening solely to Olivia Newton John and Michael Jackson so I was exposed to Meatloaf, The Who, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, The Doors, The Doobie Brothers, and Bruce Springsteen among many others) to familial relationships. They continue to be a great source of love and comfort to me and we are still a tight-knit family.
Teachers certainly have held a huge place in my life. I was blessed with some very charismatic, knowledgeable, and dynamic teachers who not only inspired me as a student, but coaxed me into the field of education simply by their wonderfulness! From grade school through high school and again at the college level I made strong relationships with my teachers and realized the best career choice for me directly out of college was teaching at the secondary level (grades 8-12) in a public school setting. Those years were completely rewarding. In addition to my teachers being influences, my students were also impacting in shaping the me I became.
Once I became a mother my job shifted back into the home. My life, although not sheltered, left me seeing fewer people on a day to day basis. My eldest son influenced me tremendously in his first four years. Together we trudged through the mother son relationship and formed a bond so tight that I trust it will never be broken. His brother and sister arrived in later years and they, too, color my world with their own unique flair.
Me with 3 influential people in my life
With Buzz Cutler of Rowdy.com and my husband
Once home and dealing with children all day long, I started to find new sources for influences. The biggest untapped area for me was the internet! When I was introduced to the NASCAR Fan Social Networking site called Rowdy.com I found a warm, welcoming online home. My desire to write came full circle at this site and I became a daily blogger. Influences at the site include Buzz Cutler who supported my efforts from day one and the many "Rowdizens" who I interact.
One of those "Rowdizens" is a man who calls himself Art Tidesco. I will credit him with being an enormous influence on me and my writing because he was the one to plant the seed and cultivate the idea of me writing...every day. I was a once-in-a-while poster who only wrote when I got around to it and thought I had something brilliant to say. Art impressed upon me that the only way to get better and hone my craft was to challenge myself and to write, daily. I balked at first, but reluctantly took the gauntlet and ran! I wrote daily from February 2009 up until my daughter was born last October. The posts were well-received, I garnered a larger readership, and found I not only enjoyed my daily writing, but thrived on it! It took nearly another year after my daughter's birth to realize I wanted more for my writing. This blog was born on my middle son's birthday, September 13th of this year. Thanks to Art's influences, prodding, and support, this blog came to fruition and I am forever grateful. Thank you, Art!
Finally, the single most influential person in my "later" life came into my life at age fourteen. My husband has shaped the woman I am, the way I see the world, and the life I lead. We have grown together, supported one another, faced adversity (a lot), and shared amazing successes, not the least of which are our three beautiful children! We are friends first and foremost and also share a passionate marriage. We are a team and he is, was, and will always be the ultimate influence on my life.
Who are the people, places, and events that influence you in your later years? I'm reading if you are writing...


  1. Gerhard Richter got me in tune with the idea of the daily practice of life in all it's glory, which includes blogging :-)

  2. Love the family photo. That's the best one yet. Rosie is grinning from ear to ear!!!! What a doll. That Art guy is one of the coolest ambassadors from across the pond. I miss him on Rowdy.

    I set up my blog account and have yet to find the inspiration or time to write. I've been researching Christmas gifts. researching cam corders for making short films, setting up PAY PAL & Ebay accounts to start ridding myself of all the clutter I live in and working my 2 jobs. The hamster wheel is on warp speed. Hope my warp drive doesn't burn up. =)

  3. Well, I think you know - I went over that a bit in an old post of mine.

    First, thanks to ART! Pushed Chief to the ledge and made her jump. And look, now she's flying!

    Ryan is a fantastic guy. It's always good to hear from huim, although I haven't much lately. That is my fault, so "Hi Racer 187!"

    And yes, I still wear my Daimler polo all over.

  4. I have to say, two people that affected me highly were K-P high school choir teacher and Professor Ondrick, college choir teacher. Believe it or not, Professor Ondrick was my K-P of my later years. Both of them left such a deep positive mark on my soul... I will never forget the time shared with these two people - looking back I can say it was almost like security in an insecure world. Ironically and unfortunately, both of these special people have passed away WAY before their time and way before I was ready to let them go, from my world.

  5. Nice blog Chief, the person that got me to write was a member at my previous cyber home. He went by LewTroop and he lived in Argentina. He was a very interesting man to talk to. His father was on the panel of D-Day, WW11. He got me to write and I'm glad I took his advice. I haven't heard from him in three months, time to email him.

  6. Thank you all for your comments!

    Art, I guess we BOTH have Gerhard Richter to thank! But I still thank YOU!

    Wandisville, we do the best we can with what we've got at any given moment. I think you are doing spectacularly! I'm a fan :-)

    J.D., you really think I'm "flying"?! AWESOME! Racer 187 thinks you're quite a fantastic guy, too! You must look smashing in your Daimler red polo shirt!!!

    Foffie, K-P was certainly one of the teachers who inspired and influenced me. She and Professor Ondrick were put here for a reason...and taken from us too soon...I try to believe it was to "pay it forward" to younger generations.

    Ice Man, it sounds like LewTroop is someone I'd like to know if he was the one who prompted you to blog/social network. And his father was a war hero! Send him that email...and tell him I say hi! :-)