A New Life! Retirement at its Best 33

Working out of the house

I’ll try to make a long story short…I did have my own business selling acrylic nail product way back in the early eighties when we lived in Pasadena. I called it “Her Nails”. I enjoyed meeting many people and although I never learned to apply perfect acrylics myself, I could sell the product with success. In the two years that followed however, many new nail products came on the market, and simple acrylics didn’t tickle everyone’s fancy anymore. From do-it-yourself glue-ons, to wraps, to gels, to various nail art, nails took flight and I ended my business. All that took place in the early eighties.

In the late seventies, after our immigration in August of 1972, when we had adjusted somewhat to our new life in Pasadena with three kids and a dog, when the girls were in elementary school and Dennis in Kindergarten, I needed to go to work to supplement our income. I found (that’s a story in itself!) a wonderful job with CSC, Computer Sciences Corporation, part of NASA, in Flintridge, California, close to our home. I shared it with a college student: I worked in the mornings and she worked in the afternoons and it worked out well for all of us. We “sent the Viking to Mars” from 1974-1976. Then I could retire from that job and follow my dreams. First I went to Acting classes in Pasadena, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. That led to leading roles in four stage productions. I could not keep that up because of the many weeks of evening rehearsals, but they were wonderful experiences. Looking for daytime jobs, my Agent found me several Print Jobs and some extra parts on a TV show with Sarah Jessica Parker, Archie Bunker’s Place and General Hospital, and one black and white Pilot movie with Jessica Lange, where I was a mother in a dark theater being shot while I had a baby in my arms. I did a great job in only one take, and now, thirty-five years later, that pilot would have definitely become a blockbuster, and I a movie star, but not then, alas…

It was really fun when Dennis was old enough to get his own Agent and we did a few Print Jobs together. He was shy on the interviews in the beginning, and he had a disadvantage over other boys, because he was tall as a six or seven year old, but being only five, he could not read fluently yet. He did enjoy the Print Jobs though and earned a nice base for his college education. And then I discovered Commercial Acting, perfect for my situation. My Agent would send me on interviews in the mornings, sometimes I would get a call back, and once in a while the job! The job was usually a one day shoot on location, and I could manage to find after school solutions for the kids if I would be late coming home. Commercials brought in the most money, because the one day shoot, if it was for a national commercial, would send me residual checks every time it showed! We took a trip back to Holland with that money and surprised Mamma and Pappa (well, mostly Mamma) with first a dishwasher and then a dryer 🙂 Pappa did not see the need: “Your mother can do the dishes perfectly well, and she loves to hang the laundry on the line.”

Back down to Earth

Have you ever been sick, taken medications and more medications and nothing seemed to make you feel better? Well, that happened just now to me. After I recovered from the Flu in eight days thanks to Tamiflu, I got sick again on a Friday. On Monday I got prescriptions from a doctor’s assistant for an antibiotic, eye drops and cough medicine, but nothing changed in the way I felt. So last Thursday I asked if I would perhaps have a viral infection instead of a presumed bacterial one? The doctor herself came by for a swab, and today I got the news that I had been right, and should discontinue the antibiotic. I am now diagnosed with RSV. I knew only RSVP, but the P is missing here, and this  is a Viral respiratory disease that I’ve had long enough now so I’m not contagious anymore. I just need R & R, which gives me the excuse to stay put and write, and read books, and next week I can get prepared for three upcoming Presentations.

Calendar Page

Talking about upcoming Presentations, my Webmaster added a new Page to my Website: Calendar. It’s not just for interested people to find out what’s happening and where to go, but mostly for me, to make sure that I will be there with all my paraphernalia, and to make sure that my equipment synchronizes with the equipment of the presentation hall. Last Friday, I called the Cary Senior Center, where I hope to speak on March 14.

“Yes,” they said when I asked, “people need to register for your lecture.”

“Oh, how many people have registered so far?”

“Twenty-five, that’s all the room will hold, and there is a waitlist of eighteen.”

“What? Don’t you have a larger room?” Silence, checking going on…

“Yes, if you can change the time from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Grand Ballroom will be available.”

“Does it have a projector and large screen?”

“Yes, it does.”

And so I am going to check out the Grand Ballroom for my lecture next Thursday. I wish there would be a Big Band and I could go dancing in a beautiful gown with an adorable partner! I would surely dance all night!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,.






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