Traveled roads leading me here…

We said goodbye to our friends this morning as they headed back to California. It was a great visit—something we haven’t done in such a long time. The weather was amazing while they were here. 

After they left, I settled down at my computer to go over my to-do list, before heading out to enjoy more of that sunshine. I can’t quite believe it’s almost June, and if June goes as fast as May, then July will be here, and time to go on our family reunion.

Every three years we attend a Talbot Family Reunion. (My mother-in-law’s maiden name was Talbot.) The first one started in 1983, when we all gathered in Sedona, Arizona, and I met for the first time many of my husband’s cousins, who I hadn’t met before. 

The upcoming reunion got me to thinking about the speech I penned for the Alumni award that I mentioned in a previous post. In it I wrote, “…Life often gets in the way of what we have planned. Looking back over these last fifty years, I see my own life has taken numerous unexpected turns, sending me off course and down roads I had never anticipated traveling.”

I’ve often considered that sentiment when thinking about the family reunions I’ve attended and wondered if the family ever asks, “Gee, I wonder what Bobbi is doing this reunion?” When looking back at my life, it does seem I’ve done more than my share of career hopping.

Despite that, at the age of 14 I knew I wanted to be an author, and today at 67, that’s what I am. Yet, I didn’t take a direct line to reach my ultimate goal. You might say, I went all over the place.

At our first reunion, In Sedona Arizona, 1983 I was a young mother, with two children under the age of four. I had also recently opened a gift shop up in the mountain community we then lived in—Wrightwood, California. While I have no business in retail (my shop, The Whistle Stop, only stayed open a year) my time there was not a complete waste. On the days I had a sitter for my kids—and didn’t take them to the shop with me—I had my typewriter with me. That year I wrote my first romance novel.

When the second reunion rolled around three years later, I was out of retail and now publishing a community newspaper in Wrightwood. At the third reunion, I was still with my publication, The Mountain/Hi-Desert Guide, so I imagine the family probably thought I’d settled down into a career.

By the next reunion in 1992, at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, my father had gotten ill, so I sold my paper, and I moved with my husband and two kids back to Havasu Palms, to help manage the family business. We were still there the next reunion in Angel Fire, New Mexico, but when we went to the Montana reunion in 1998, Don and I had opened our restaurant in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.  Now we were restauranteurs.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t belong in retail. And a restaurant is retail. When the next reunion rolled around in 2001, Don and I were out of the restaurant business and between jobs—both of us substitute teaching to make ends meet. I’m surprised we were able to make it to that reunion, considering things were rough for us back then.

Don and I eventually landed on our feet and got our real estate licenses. So, when I showed up at the next two reunions, I was a real estate agent. But then the market tanked in 2008, so I got out of real estate and returned to my roots—writing.

When our family met in Sunriver, Oregon for the Talbot family reunion in 2010, I was freelance writing for various venues, including Demand Studios. I imagine by that time some of my Talbot cousins might have thought I was flakey—yet none ever said such a thing to me, they are all too nice and supportive—but for those who had paid attention to my various occupations over the years, they might have wondered what I was doing.

I stuck with the writing, and moved from freelance back to novels, and that’s what my career has been the last three reunions—and for the one coming up. So, I suppose I have finally settled into a career—one I imagined back when I was fourteen. 

(Photo: During my time with Mountain/Hi-Desert Guide)