Saturday, September 21, 2013

An Embarrasment of Riches

An embarrassment of riches. That's all I can say about my time at WKAR and that last wonderful week. And the riches weren't just the celebrations. It was mostly the people.

I've been "at liberty" now for a full week, having a glorious time making art up north. It seems odd to not be with this gang of people every day! This is most of our team (boss Katie and colleague Stacy had to leave the work goodbye lunch a little early for another meeting!)
I had the opportunity to be on our "Current State" show, as I mentioned in the last post. Joe and Aaron were behind the scenes!
This is Mark Bashore, our host! I had known Mark long before he came to work at WKAR.
On Thursday, the station hosted a lovely reception for me. It was coordinated by Carol (left) and our GM, Gary Reid (far right, with his partner Pat), but lots of people helped!
My very first GM, Bob Page, was there, too!
And our current station manager, Susi Elkins. I've known Susi since she was a student working at the station! She's come a long way, and no one deserves it more!
The group included volunteers and friends, like Susan Affholter, Carol Welch and Jim DeLine. All are longtime friends, volunteers and lifelines!
So many colleagues (past and present) came, and so did good friends -- book club friends, wine friends, my "great group" (or GGs). All held my hand and were there during my illness, stress, whatever was making me crazy at the moment. And I know they will again.
Mike Hughes is our TV critic. He works nationally for Gannett, so if you are in a Gannett paper, you may have read his words! I've read a lot of them!
Two of my most recent work colleagues, Stacy and Kim, were there too -- it's so nice to know that when you leave someplace, you leave it in good hands! I'm only sorry I won't be able to work with them as closely from now on.
And here's something special... we went into the restaurant in the rain. Soon after, someone came in and said, "Have you seen the rainbow?" It was a full rainbow -- I didn't see the double, but someone else said they saw a double rainbow, too! I think that's a good sign!
The last day was filled with the Jeanie Goodbye Tour. I won't share all the photos for that but let me say, it was hard to say goodbye to friends. Raysha, our student, made me a wonderful farewell gift -- a jar filled with my bucket list wishes and lots more activities, for that day when you wonder, "What shall I do today?" I loved it!
That night, our old Quonset Hut gang got together -- these are those I've known the longest (since WKAR was located in the original Quonset huts on MSU's campus) and with whom I worked the most intensely.
. It was hosted by Tim (my office brother) and his wife, Sara, here with their daughter Meghan.
I've known Mike Lewis forever. He made a wonderful collection of "posters" where he photoshopped Rick and me into lots of fun things.
I can't decide if this is my favorite...
Or this one!
Gypsy readers have met Mark and Jan before at our Easter Egg dying gigs. Mark was one of the very first people I met.
Mike Mihalus and I spent a lot of time together as he produced pledge breaks. I hope he'll still invite me now and then!
Nancy Kelly and Bill Kinney were part of the original group, too. I can't imagine having had a life at WKAR without them.
After the first party, the night before, Rick and I had dinner in the restaurant where the party was located. This is the photo I took there, rather hurriedly. Yes, it's a boo boo photo -- but I think all the lights summarize those last few days -- filled with light, love, friends, happiness...
And all a blur!


Bella Rum said...

Oh, my goodness, Jeanie. They will miss you. I'm so happy for you. You will love your retirement. You have so many interests. I wish you all good things.

Barb said...

Awww - Jeanie. I loved seeing your beautiful smile and the photos of friends and coworkers. That bucket list jar is a great gift! So are the posters with you in them. It's been a whirlwind time, for sure. You are one lucky gal to have enjoyed your career and to have so many wonderful memories.

anno said...

Well, you didn't think they would let you sneak quietly out the back door, did you? Sure is lovely to see your time at WKAR celebrated with so much exuberance: but I think it simply reflects the creativity, loyalty, and dedication you've brought to the job all these years. Looks to me as if you're getting retirement off to a grand start! (and I don't think Rick has to worry about a thing...._

The Artful Diva said...

wonderful post, Jeanie. You were blessed to work with these people. I love the poster of you as Julia - you're a real cut up!!

Tammy Chrzan said...

I know that saying goodbye is hard, but just think about the amazing Journey you have ahead of you!! Besides you can always pop in to see old friends and have a tea or dinner!
I personally think that you should not travel the World :)
Have a great week,
Tammy x

Kathleen McCoy said...

What a fantastic send-off! It speaks well of the great work you've done and warm relationships you've built there. I know that leaving a place where you so belong and have so many caring friends and co-workers is bittersweet. But it's lovely that you're already enjoying making art and you'll keep in touch with those closest to you. Congratulations on starting your second week of retirement!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Hi Jeanie,

What a send off indeed! I know you will be missed, but never forgotten. Enjoy your time!

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Ohhhh what a wonderful post. I can't believe you're are a retired person.....sure doesn't look like you've had the age. You beam in every single picture. Even the ones that were made by your colleagues. I love the 'old'adds with you in them.

Oh Jeannie, I'm so sorry it's been so long since I've been able to talk to you all. Missed out on so many occasions. I hope you are well as is your health. I'll try to send you a mail tomorrow, now you have the time of the world to sit down for it, and enjoy it in peace. So my friend, talk soon.
Hugs from your red headed ginger buddy.

Introverted Art said...

oh Jeanie, you look radiant, absolutely radiant! You have the most beautiful blue eyes. Looks like it was a success.

Janet said...

I love seeing you so happy and smiling. You've had a wonderful career and made some lasting friendships. I'm sure it was difficult to say good-bye but you have so much to look forward to in the coming years. Just enjoy each day as it comes along.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

What a delightful series of events for your retirement... I know that you already knew what wonderful feelings they had for you, but the festivities will keep those memories with you forever.

Congratulations on a new start!


Cheryl said...

What great happy photos you have to look back on! Looks like you had a lot of fabulous people in your life, you are very blessed :-)

Arti said...

You have immeasurable riches, Jeanie! All these memories with a fine office of talents and friends, I can see you all are more than co-workers. Some to treasure indeed, and be proud of. Congrats again on a wonderful career that spans decades, and, enjoy the new freedom! ;)

Happy Homemaker UK said...

It looks like a place filled with love and happiness! You are so fortunate :)

Tracy said...

WOW... such sweet posts... and so sweet this wonderful send off to you! And with a rainbow thrown in too! Lovely that gift from Raysha. Wow... you met Garrison Keillor! We are HUGE life-long Prairie Home Companion fans! You had some great times at work Jeanie! I hope your retirement is just as engaging and full of all sorts good! :o) All the very, VERY best to you in this new phase of life--ENJOY! ((BIG HUGS)) P.S. Thanks for being in touch... I'm doing OK. OH, an d LOVED the link you send to Rick's eldest's latest art--FABULOUS!!

Jennifer Richardson said...

what a dazzling career you've been rich to know....and wonderful people who love and appreciate you. Such a beautiful thing:)
(I love you as Julia....makes me so happy!)
Glad you're making art and savoring the last sips of an amazing achievement.
You've lived a wonderful life:)

Sandy K. said...

Wow - adventures behind you and also before you. What a wonderful time of life. Enjoy it to the fullest. I LOVE the I Dream of Jeanie look, and your "cleaver" makes me giggle. It sounds as if you have a fabulous list of people in your life who appreciate you and all you've done through the years. Best wishes, Jeanie. You deserve this next chapter in your life.

The French Hutch said...

What a wonderful group, I can tell from the pretty faces and happy smiles! Congratulations on your retirement. You were truly blessed to have found such a wonderful group to work with. An amazing achievement! Now I hope to hear from you more in blogland...........

The French Hutch

shoreacres said...

What an amazing career you've had. So many talented people, and so many wonderful relationships built. I loved the send-up of you as Julia, too. Dance, Chicken, Dance!, indeed!

Now it's your turn to dance in whatever way you please. This really is a time of transition for you - your posts feel like you have a foot in each world. That's all right. That's how life happens. One of these days, you'll discover you have both feet in your new "retired life", but that's just fine. You can always walk back to the past for a visit, and you'll find many of those people walking into your new world from time to time, too.

Joanne Huffman said...

Such a nice send off! I'm looking forward to getting together when I get back home.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I think you got the kind of send of that you completely deserved! I am glad that you felt surrounded by love that last week and that you got to create one last set of memories with the dear people you worked with. I LOVE that bucket list jar idea. So clever! And so useful, too, for those days where you just don't know what to do!

And those magazine covers! Hilarious! I can't pick a favorite either!

I am so happy for you friend. I am sure the good byes were incredibly bittersweet, but I also know you are the kind of person that will keep in touch with those you care about, so while you won't see them as often as you did when you were working, I know you'll make time to see them in your retirement!

Lastly, I am so glad that your retirement is off to such a wonderful start - and that it included time at the lake!!!

Marilyn said...

I am so happy for you.
You deserve each and every accolade.
How wonderful to have these parties and to celebrate, well done!

Retired English Teacher said...

What fun. What a send off! What great people you had the opportunity to work with. Your smile says it all. They loved you, Jeanie. I think that is because your creative, thoughtful, generous, kind, and beautiful spirit came through in all that you did.

Congratulations on a job well done. Congratulations on building a satisfying career. Keep those memories close while you step into the future.

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