EARTH without ART is just "EH".
I grew up in New Lex graduating in 1967. After graduation, I moved to Columbus and was a secretary in the Attorney General's Office. I married Steve Howdyshell (NLHS class of 66) in 1968. Steve graduated from OSU and was commissioned an officer in the Navy in August of 1970. A week later our first daughter was born. Six weeks after Jessica's birth, we moved to Pensacola, Florida, where Steve began his flight training. Our second daughter, Nori, was born and Steve received his "Wings of Gold". Our first duty station was Lakehurst, New Jersey. After a short time there, the squadron moved to Norfolk, Va. Steve received a new duty assignment and we moved to Maryland. In 1976, our third daughter, Catherine, was born. In June of '77, Steve was killed in a helicopter crash. The girls and I moved to Westerville, Ohio, to be close to family.
I never thought teaching was my thing, but creating has always been a part of my life. Steve wanted me to go to college. In the fall of 1979, I began attending Otterbein University. My first class was called "The Emerging Woman". A test I took in that class showed that teaching was my thing. I thought the test was a bunch of hooey. Me...a Teacher?!? I graduated with a major in Visual Arts in 1985. Now What? From 1986-87, I owned and operated an art consignment shop in Westerville called "Perceptions". After nine months, my business partner quit and I kept the shop open until the lease was up.
I loved talking to people and explaining the process for creating the items in the shop. I also had the neighbors to my home once a year to do an art project. I had even held art classes for other military wives before Steve's death. I began to realize that maybe the test I took was right --- teaching was my thing. Later, I returned to Otterbein and obtained my teaching certificate in Visual Arts K-12. The next few years I subbed in the Westerville City School District, worked at Great Harvest Bread Company and was the Jill-of-all-trades for an attorney in Dublin. Upon Catherine's graduation from high school in '95, I decided that I needed a change of scenery and purchased land in the country outside of New Lex. I designed and helped build my home and began living there in September of '96.
There were no art positions available in New Lex at that time. So when a position opened at the Perry County Chamber of Commerce, I applied for and got the job. During my time at the Chamber, I organized all the mayors in the county to meet once a quarter to discuss county issues. I designed the logo that is still being used to show a business' membership in the Chamber.
In the Spring of 2001, I was introduced to Michael Sullivan. Shortly thereafter, I interviewed for the middle school art position that had become available. Upon being hired for that position, I began taking classes at Muskingum University to obtain my Master's degree. Needless to say, the year 2001 was a very good year. I graduated from Muskingum in December of 2005 with a Masters in art education. In March of 2006, Michael and I married.
I didn't grow up with tractors and mowing, but I had to learn with a house and land in the country. When Mike and I got together, he thought it would be fun for the two of us to participate in Tractor Tug Pulls. What the heck is a tug pull? I learned and we pull every year at the Perry County Fair and at the Tug Pulls in the Fall. I have pulled at the Sweet Corn Festival as well. One time, we double hooked Mike's 560. The tug pull was stopped to announce that I had beaten Mike. We are a Farmall family. A "If It Ain't Red, Leave It In The Shed" sign hangs in my classroom. (For those of you who are John Deere fans, we do own a John Deere Loader). I pull with a purple trimmed Farmall 300 named "LuLu" and sometimes the purple trimmed Farmall M named "Emma".
I love creating using acrylic paint, stained glass, clay, and fabric. I make a lot of my clothes! I also weave, create jewelry, knit and crochet. I have done commissioned works and many of my paintings hang in my classroom (I ran out of room at home). In addition to spending time creating, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our children, seven grandchildren (ages 5-15) and our two dogs, Bella (a 50 pound Labradoodle) and Izzy (a 12 pound "I am the Boss" mutt). Actually, Izzy has a lot of Jack Russell in her.