Miss Bessie Rieves in 1984

Melbourne High School  was the best place to be for enquiring minds...  with the enormous influence of the space industry just a few miles north at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral,  excellent language and literature instructors, and classes based on  the ability of the student and not the grade level  I was one of the many fortunate young people to be guided  to wanting to learn for the sake of knowledge  not  the grade on a report card. Anyone  from the class of  ' 65 out there?

Being let out for recess to watch the early liftoffs wa a real trip too!  To this day we all feel a great pride in having been a part of  the space race. It  truly was the "family business" with my father, step-father, mother, and husband all being employed in the industry.

My husband  and I married in  DeFuniak Springs, FL. in 1967 near the place of his birth. Our children David and Juliana were born in 1969 and 1971 in Melbourne.  It was one of those times when the economy was  bad  and there were more cuts of funding to space industry projects. We decided in 1972 to move west. Several of Jim's siblings had  lived in Western Washington for  several years and we decided to give it a try.  I had never liked living in Florida. My Norwegian-German blood yearned for four seasons and  SNOW! 

In November of 1972 we arrived in Grays Harbor County ready to begin a new life.  While the dreary and long  rainy winters do get to me  the occasional snowfalls make all the rest worthwhile!  There's something magical about the way it lifts my spirits to an almost giddy joy...I've been known to run outside  at 3 AM in my nightgown just to catch the first flakes on my face...

It's proven to be a great place to raise a family despite what Kurt Cobain said. There were less temptations than in the  larger cities and plenty of  Girl Scout and  Boy Scout activities,  dance classes and other activities to keep the kids on the right path during those important early years.  Of course, my parenting theory has always been

1. Keep them moving so they don't have time to get into trouble. and
2. Be there when they get home or you never know what's really  going on  in their lives.

Jim and I now have three glorious grandchildren and believe me, grandparenting is the reward  you get for all those years spent raising your own kids!  Funny thing, the two older grands, Brianne and Katie are already following the same path their mom did of  taking and loving  dance classes at Parks School of Dance here in Aberdeen  and Girl Scouts!  Skyler will have his turn in a few years when he will most likely be involved in many sports activities and hopefully Boy Scouts too. He's been a whiz on the computer since the age of 3 and now knows more than I do about the solar system and meteorology. 

My husband was employed for many years by Weyerhaeuser Pulp and Paper and retired in February of 2006. He has been an avid photographer  for over 40 years and has a small photography business which he plans to expand now that he has a bit more time.

Because I was  a "stay at home mom"  my actual employment was  time spent in party plan sales like Tupperware and two different  stitchery party plans. I did work part time very joyfully  for Waldenbooks for several years in the 1980's. I'd be doing that now were it not for health issues preventing it. With great thanks to my very beloved friend and adopted mom, Della Wakefield.... a friend,  boss, and mentor, I bloomed in the late 1970's and 1980's. Her support and encouragement  gave me the  self esteem to reach out into areas of leadership and activities of which I'd never dreamed myself capable. All of the wonderful experiences I've had, all of  my adventures and successes I owe to her.  Learn more about her and see photos of the 80th birthday event our GS troop held for her at Camp Klahanee on July 10, 2005 by clicking  HERE!

                                 Della Wakefield and Dianne Ward                       Della 2006
                                     Our Birthday Luncheon  2000

Most of my spare time during my children's school years was spent  in volunteer work in their school,  Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts,  and helping in some costume making  for  ballet  recitals.  In the future I'll add pages with memories and ideas  to share about these subjects.

My main interests are displayed by the links on this page!  Genealogical research,  Sewing, designing and digitizing designs to sew out on my  precious Pfaff 7570, reading, all of those things and many more take most of my time. Also, when Bri joined Daisy Girl Scouts found myself  renewing my membership with the Girl Scouts of America. I had been a troop leader, Events planner, Product sales rep, P.R. rep, etc  for  ten years when Juli was growing up. I found myself wanting to "Make Things Happen"  for this new wonderful crop of girls too! I'm working on events for area troops, heavily involved in the GS Product sales in our area, a council delegate, writing the GS newsletter,  working with the GSPPC historical committee/archives to preserve our past and honor those who came before us,  and of course, will help with my grand-daughter's Jr./Cadette Troop when asked.

                             Things I love:

                                    1. Spending time with my grandchildren.
                                    2. My volunteer work with Girl Scouts of America. Presenting programing about
                                        Accepting and valuing the differences between people...cultures, ethnicity,
                                        physical  handicaps, etc, etc. Please Google ZINK THE ZEBRA
                                    3. Chocolate...think Belgian...truffles!
                                    4.  Reasearching family history and my volunteer work with Find A Grave.
                                    5. Sewing Expo in Puyallup, Washington every Spring
                                    6, The old Seattle Mariners!!! Especially Edgar Martinez and Lou!
                                    7. Our dog Maggie, and cats Edgar (see   addiction # 6), and Jack.
                                       My new puppies are the joys that keeps me moving...Zink and Jodi.
                                    8. "Cozy Mystery" authors MARY DAHEIM (she has two superb series. TRY THEM!!),
                                        Jo Dereske, Katherine Hall Page, Joan Hess, Jill Churchill, Leslie Meier, and more.
                                    9. Christmas...decorating, making people happy!
                                   10. Making beaded jewelry...I am SOOOOO hooked!
                                 11.  Neat old  "stuff". Nostalgia
                                   12. Period films and very old black and whilte movies
                                   13. I "discovered" Johnny Depp with Pirates of the Caribbean. 
Edgar and Edgar               He's amazing....BTW, The Interceptor in the film was Aberdeen's own
                                        "Lady Washington" .    My grands and I love our beautiful  Lady and delight in
                                         visiting her at the dock when she's here at her home port.                                       
                                    14.  Snuggling up in the hammock on the patio late at night with a good book.
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More than you really want to know!

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in July of 1947  I have always felt a very strong bond to the city, state and  basic ethnicity of my birthplace.  Milwaukee was at that time a very Germanic city and my mother's ancestors had  arrived in the middle of the 19th century from various places in Germany and Bohemia. Those first five years of my life spent in Milwaukee gave me memories, traditions,  afinities for Germanic cooking, and even speech patterns that  stay with me to this day.  My dream has always been to go "home" to
Wisconsin for both nostagia and genealogical research.

After my sister Melodye was born with cerebral palsy when I was almost 6 my parents were advised to move to a warmer climate for the sake of her health.

In 1954 we did move to Melbourne, Florida. While I hated the heat, bugs and snakes I am proud to have been educated in the most progressive schools in the nation from the late 1950's to the middle of the 1960's. In the early years my life was forever changed and my values formed  by a woman I remember with great love,  my fourth grade teacher, Miss Bessie Rieves.  With her soft-spoken Tennesee accent she taught me  tolerance, love, and kindness toward others...along with a great interest in life and customs in other countries, an appreciation for classical music, and a feeling of self worth.  This is my way of  honoring her memory and hoping that all children will have at least one Bessie Rieves in their lives..

The worlds best grandchildren. Katie, Skyler and Brianne
Juli, Bri, Katie and I attended the
Mother's Tea For Girl Scouts
in Grays Harbor County. May 2003.
Katie and Bri on the "Promise Path" at GSPPC headquarters in Dupont the day of the  awards Dinner for 1000 box cookie sellers. 5-05  on right is Katie 5-06 at her 1000 award dinner!
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Ballet 2005
Sons of Norway
I was stunned to be given
the Honor Pin at the GS-PPC
2006 Annual Meeting in Olympia.

and even more stunned by the Diversity Award I received in 2007.  (no photo)