1 – What has retirement allowed you to pursue that career/child-rearing prohibited? Those still working, should speculate.
A short recap of my previous life: I married Charlie Cox in June 1961. We had 3 children David, Carmen and Lori, all born in Richland. We moved from Richland to Ellensburg to Federal Way and then all the way to Anaheim California by 1975. In 1984 we moved to Georgetown, Texas and have been here ever since. David is married and lives in California, and Carmen is married and now lives in Kyle, Texas, about an hours drive from here. We have 3 Granddaughters and 3 Grandsons. One Granddaughter graduated from the University of Santa Cruz with cum sum laude in bio chem genetic something or other. One is part way through college, both of these are David’s Daughters and both plan to be teachers. Carmen’s Daughter is a Taco Bell manager and has one son, she is planning to get married to a great guy in the near future. Carmen’s Son is trying to find himself, he is 19 going on 15, I think. Lori’s sons are 17 (still in high school) and 23, married and has a baby.
I retired from 3M in May 2001 and found myself busier than ever. How did I work and do all the things I was doing before retirement? Although it was truly nice to not have to get up at 5:30 am to get to work in Austin, TX by 7am.
God has been so good to me for so long, that I forget to thank Him often. Although we have had many heartaches, they are outmatched by all the good He has provided. He always presented me with a job whenever we moved, and it was always so much better than the previous one. I have a husband that is very conservative in spending, much to my moaning and groaning, but because of that we live in a house that has been paid for since 2004, and have been able to help our Children and Grandchildren whenever an emergency arose and our house is large enough for my Dad to move in, have his own large room, with walk in closet and half bath. What a blessing to have him here and get to know him better as an adult. Although I am still his child and do get lectures often.
1 year after retiring I spent 3 months with my Dad, William Porter, visiting family at their homes instead of them going to see him. Had a great time. Then 2 months later flew back to Richland and cleaned out his home, as he decided to sell and move into a retirement community. He loved it there but soon moved to Monroe to be closer to his Sister who was ill. After she passed away, Dad decided it was too lonely at the retirement center and moved to Texas, and that has been quite an adjustment for him. He has finally adjusted to us but neither him or me have adjusted to the weather, hot from April through part of October.
A good friend would not let me retire and stay at home so I volunteered 2 days a week tutoring math and reading at the school where she taught third grade. Sure learned a lot about what 3rd graders have to know to make it through high school. Learned much and enjoyed more.
When our youngest daughter, Lori, passed away in 2004, I started volunteering at my youngest Grandson’s grade school, working in the Library, where he had a class on Fridays. Got “Welcome Grandma” from all his classmates plus hugs-4th and 5th graders still do that! They invited me to lunch with them many times.
Joined a group of ladies at my Church, learned to quilt, and have had a wonderful time making quilts for my family and friends. Did you know-quilting is a very expensive hobby-but very rewarding! We make comfort quilts for those with cancer or life threatening illnesses, along with loss of children. Our new infants at church each get a new quilt to welcome them. I have met some wonderful Christian women from all faiths that belong to this group. We are a great support group and welcome new ladies that join. We have a variety of quilters, crocheters and knitters, as well as all kinds of needle workers in our group.
Our youngest daughters son, Ryan moved in with us when he was 17 and we learned all over again what teenagers don’t know! Love him dearly, but so glad when he finally “grew up”. He is now married and has a new baby. He works two jobs and his wife Amanda is a manager at a CATO women’s dress shop.
I have 2 Great Grandsons, Gaberiel 3 yrs and Ethan 2 1/2 months. I had forgotten how busy a 3 year old is. We have no carpets and Gabe loves to come and stomp and holler, it echo’s everywhere. We love him but always have a sigh of relief from the noise when he leaves. Ethan, what can I say about a baby? He laughs, coo’s. squeaks and loves to be held. I have been honored to take care of him once in a while when Mom & Dad have to work long days, splitting the day with my Grandson’s Mother in law.
This year was our 50th wedding anniversary (Charlie Cox, 1956). We celebrated by driving to Williams, AZ and taking the train to the Grand Canyon, touring there and then to Las Vegas to have a good visit with our son David and his wife Toni. Attached is a picture taken of us on our anniversary as we rode the train the the Grand Canyon. We had planned to drive back through the mountains of New Mexico and down through Silver City, but with all the wildfires in eastern Arizona, the roads were all closed that we needed to use. My brother Bill Porter, 1968, flew from his home in Covington, Washington and stayed with our Dad. So glad to have family that can be relied on to help us have a good time.
2 – What advice would you give your grandchildren?
Trust the Lord with all your heart and make sure He is the one who helps you make decisions throughout your life. Stay involved with your children, patience and you will see the wonderful world through their eyes. Make sure you understand what their schooling is and be involved every day with their homework and all their activities.
3 – Right now, my favorite thing to do is:
Finding a place in the house away from the two men in the family, my husband, Charlie and my Dad. Use my sewing room but they always find me, ‘what is for lunch?’. ‘what is for dinner’, ‘when are you going to be finished?’. Among many more! Thanks to books on tape and Netflix I can use my laptop a sail away to unknown places for short periods of time while my hands are busy crocheting, machine and hand quilting. Love it!!
4 – My favorite place in the whole wide world is:
Washington state, miss it too much. We have lived in California and now Georgetown, Texas and nothing compares to anywhere in the state of Washington. Just need to convince a husband, who is addicted to being able to golf 12 months a year and not have to wear long pants, to moving back to where we belong.
5 – Any interesting things left in your bucket list?
This September I am doing the Walk to Emaeus, am really getting excited about the 4 days. This means I will be missing the 50 year class reunion, but I think this is more important in my life right now.
Will miss seeing old friends, although my memory has gone blank about much of the high school years!
Still have plans to cruise to Alaska, after Charlie gets his passport. We have had a problem with his birth certificate and the US Government doesn’t always believe when a state says a person was actually born there. He will try again later this year, guess it doesn’t count that he spent 4 years in the Navy AND worked at the Hanford project.
Open for new suggestions for things to do in the US. Really do not have much desire to visit foreign lands at this time, haven’t seen enough of the country I was born in.
6 – Feel free to add a question and have fun with the answer.
Praise God, take care of your health and maybe I will see you at the next reunion.
Hope you all have a great time at the reunion!
ASAP (always say a prayer)
Judy Porter Cox