Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saying Goodbye - A Surprise

Ellen wasn't at my goodbye party on Friday and I wondered why. Several people couldn't attend because they were cleaning up after the major flooding Milwaukee had the days previous. Later I received a phone message from her that she was working a special duty at E33. Well, E33 was closed to my temporary digs. Guess what? After dinner the whole crew showed up! They stayed only long enough for Ellen to say goodbye and we shared lots of hugs.

Ellen was an adjunct lieutenant for a recruit class years ago at the Academy and I just loved working with her. She is now a captain. I hear battalion chief is in her near future! (And she would have earned it, too!)

Thanks Ellen and the crew at E33! It was a great way to end a great day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Saying Goodbye Part III - Farewll MFD

I have worked in some great departments in my 32+ years with the City of Milwaukee. I have worked in some awful departments, too. I have met some "interesting" people and I have made lifelong friends. Working for the government has its perks. In over 32 years I have never asked for a raise, had excellent health insurance, never paid more than a few dollars for a prescription, had dental insurance, and great vacation benefits. When my parents were ill and needed my care I used FMLA time, no questions asked. If you work hard enough, promotions were available. I was able to move to different departments, learn a lot within each department and never lose a benefit. I must say that when I worked for the Milwaukee Public Schools I worked for some wacko principals, but overall the experience has been wonderful.

By far, the very best department I have ever worked for is the Milwaukee Fire Department, Bureau of Instruction and Training. Working last 7 years at the Academy has been an honor and a privilege. I worked with hard working, dedicated men and women who really care about the department. The amazing thing is that they put up with me!

My chief asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate my retirement. I said I wanted our annual potluck picnic back in the utility building. Nice and simple and no fuss (at least for me). And, that is what I got. Just what I wanted. I also received a plaque, flowers, lots of chocolate and hugs.

Here are pics of some of the awesome people I had the honor of working with.
With Captain Caroline
Heide and Dave
Chiefs Michael T and Michael
Chris, Dave, John & Mark
Gerard, Dan, Mark and Darrin
My friend Martha and I had a hard time getting together,
so she joined us at the Academy. Martha and I met at DCD
Last but not least, Judy and me.
I loved working with Judy the last 7 years. Thanks for not only being
a great co-worker, but a wonderful friend, too. You're the best!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Saying Goodbye, Part II

About 6 years ago the house next door to me was for sale and David came to look at it. We talked over the fence and although he didn't buy the house (we found him a better one) a great friendship was born. We have seen each other through a lot of good times and bad times. Maybe wearing these hats is one of the bad times! LOL

David and his daughter, Nicole. Now a beautiful 14 year old and ready for high school, she was only 8 when I first met her. Pictures taken July 14, 2010
With Jan and Terri. We all worked for the City's Marketing Department at one time. Jan retired last October and is busier than ever. We had a great dinner and it was fun to catch up. Jan is planning a road trip down in spring and dragging Terri with her! Picture taken July 16, 2010

After meeting with Jan and Terri I went to drop off baby presents to Pam. Patrick and Pam's little boy will be born July 30! Shannon will be a big sister!

I had this opportunity to say my good-byes to Pam and my little Shannon. OK - cute pictures but when Shannon was standing on the curb waving good-bye and saying, "I'll miss you, Aunty. I love you!" Well, it felt like my heart was being ripped out. Pictures taken July 16, 2010


What can I say about my beautiful Church Ladies? I have written about them before. They are the wind beneath my wings. Sharon, me, Lori, Cheryl, Amy, Janet and Carrie. Missing (locally) are Kristin, Joanne and Pat. Also missing are Nikki, Miki and Sally, who live in different states.
Thank you for hosting, Sharon. Carrie - the ritual was beautiful. Pictures taken July 17, 2010

With Kate and Brent. Kate has been a great friend for many, many years. It was fun watching their courtship and they had the most meaningful wedding ceremony I have ever been to. I credit Kate with helping me get through a difficult time in my life. Sixteen plus years, dear Kate! Thank you so much for all of your love and support. Pictures taken July 21, 2010.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saying Goodbye, Part I

As much as I am ready to move permanently to Canton, GA, I am finding saying good bye is harder than I thought it would be. My friends and I are trying to get together as much as possible lately. Little get together's are being held in my "honor." It's fun, but bittersweet, too.

Some people I know I will remain friends with, stay in contact and see again, but there are others I realize that, while being an important part of my life for many years, I may never see again. It's sad, but it is part of life. People come in and out of our lives for many reasons. Hopefully, we enrich each other's life and make a positive difference before we move on.

The next couple of posts will feature my friends and co-workers as we get together before I leave.

I've known Terri for 18 years. I was one of the interviewers who hired Terri to DCD!This was taken at her granddaughter's birthday in May, 2010

Here we are with Terri's daughter, Lindsey, at Lindsey's 22nd birthday celebration. I've known Lindsey since she was 4 years old. Terri would bring her into work occasionally and Lindsey always had her doll with her. Now she is holding her own daughter's doll.

With Terri's mom, Pam, Lindsey, granddaughter, Taylor, and sister, Mindy. Mindy also is a City employee. Pictures taken July 10, 2010

With my former beau, Michael. We dated for a year in the late 1990s and have remained friends. We manage to talk every few months and have lunch and/or dinner together at least once a year. He is a great guy and I am blessed to have not only been loved by him, but to still have him in my life. (See, Michael - you look great in pictures when you smile!) Picture taken July 11, 2010.