Personal Interests


Where I've Been

I was raised in the Los Angeles Area, went to High School in Fallblrook, California and then the San Juan Islands in Washington state, spent several years between Albany and Warner Robins, Georgia, a little over a decade in the Sacramento, California area, twenty years in Klamath Falls, Oregon and recently returned to Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in Washington. June of 2006 I pulled onto the family compound and settled in.
 
In the military I had the opportunity to travel across the heart of England, spend a brief time in Denmark and Spain, scour almost every inch of Okinawa, Japan, visit a small area of the Phillipines and Korea, and travel around the United States a bit.
 
As a civilian, I have been to Monte Carlo and Paris. (I liked Paris, Monte Carlo was boring, just shopping and gambling to do.) I have traveled the world and our country and found I truly love our Western seaboard from Mexico up into Alaska. I have seen the Rockies and have basked in their glory. They are undeniably awe-inspiring, but I still prefer the youthful, volcanoe-riddled mountains of the western coast. Besides, I know where I can leisurely pan for gold in the western mountains without danger of "jumping a claim!"
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What I've Accomplished

In the civilian sector I've been a Telephone Operator, Bartender, Food and Drinks Waitress, Merchandiser in a retail store, Housewife, Full-time College Student, Public Relations/Cook/Cashier for one of my ex-husband's fast-food restaurant, and a Property Manager.
 
In the United States Air Force, I was one of the first ten women to be a Corrosion Control Specialist - painting, cleaning and lubing KC-135 Stratotankers and B-52 Bombers. Then I became a Ground Training Scheduler for Tanker and Bomber aircrews. From there I became the first woman on active duty to be certified as an Inflight Refueling Specialist (Boom Operator) Combat Crew Member. I crewed the KC-135Q, refueling against the magnificent SR-71. In the Oregon Air National Guard, I became an Armament Specialist (Weapons Loader) on F-16s, another career field where women are a glaring minority. Then I spent a couple years or so as an Administrative Assistant (Secretary), and almost a year as a Computer Specialist, fulfilling my geek-wanna-be dreams. Finally, I was assigned back to Weapons Loading on F-15s. I was given a medical separation on August 6, 1999 for Fibromyalgia Syndrome. The separation included severance pay, an honorable discharge, no retirement and V.A. benefits. However, 20% of zero is still zero. *sigh* In 2001 my claim with the Veteran's Administration was approved and I was granted 40% disability for the Fibromyalgia. I have since reapplied to the VA for other service connected maladies and, after almost ten years with no income, received 80% disability and a modest stipend.
I have been a member of some kind of organization since before I began grade school. In kindergarten I was in the pilot group for Indian Maidens with the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). From there I joined Blue Birds and moved up into Camp Fire Girls. Next was Job's Daughters affiliated with the Masons, then the Rebeccas affiliated with the International Order of Odd Fellows and then Emblem Club affiliated with the Elks. In Klamath Falls I was a member of the Klamath Art Association and it was there I became a galleried professional artist. Since my move back to Whidbey Island, I have chosen to focus on family.
 
In my thirties and forties, I had the finances, time and inclination to participate in volunteerism. In both the active Air Force and the Air National Guard, I have helped with Christmas programs providing toys to underprivileged youngsters. As a civilian, during my break in service, I sat on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Opera Association and was their Volunteer Coordinator for one year. From 1995 through 1997, I participated in a Work Experience program in Klamath Falls where individuals in various businesses mentor a person on State Assistance for six months. The object is to train a person with little or no skills into a marketable individual in the job market. I particularly enjoyed this one and had some small success. Also, I bid every year between 1995 and 1999 to be a driver for the Meals On Wheels Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner Delivery Program and was privileged to be chosen for the honor twice. I was the Craft Coordinator for the women's group at the local Salvation Army for two years (another one I enjoyed immensely).
 
Currently I am eschewing memberships and focusing on enjoying my life. I currently teach wire jewelry making at Anacortes Beads in Anacortes, Washington. I also demonstrate papermaking throughout the summer at the Lavender Wind Farm. Once a month I host a get-together for local polymer clay artisans for an entire day of play at Anacortes Beads.
 
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Where I Want To Go

I want to grow old (older?) gracefully with my wife. I am in the process of becoming the hippie I always wanted to be. My dream is to have a hot house filled with vegetables and flowers grown year 'round. I want to continue puttering in our yard, frolicking with our animals, baske on a deck made with my wife's and my own hands, keep dabbling with art and making crafts any time of day or night. I would love to go back to school again, just to learn whatever catches my fancy. I have NO desire to go back to work full-time for someone else nor am I able to. I am toying with the idea of checking out the local farmers' market here in Oak Harbor.
 
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Synopsis of What I Believe In

sheflame.gif (12847 bytes)For the longer version of my spiritual beliefs, go HERE.
 
I am a hedgewitch. I do not do blood sacrifice, rituals or spells for evil or selfishness, or attempt to convert or corrupt anyone. My religion is based on compassion, kindness and tolerance of all living things.
 
I was raised Christian and never felt comfortable with it. I never did comprehend or accept many of the traditions and practices that seemed, to me, to conflict with the actual words of Jesus. I firmly believe the Christian faith's basic tenets - without the trappings of centuries of dogma - are good guides to live by and the Christian faith is a valuable belief system. However, not for me. I am a tree hugger and a hunter, and the northern Europe earth cultures are similar to my own deep-seated beliefs.
 
I believe in a dual diety and call Them by My Lord Herne and My Lady Caillaich. To see how I came to know The Lord, go HERE and My Lady, go HERE.
 
The answer to spirituality is within the breast of every person. The only differences in belief systems are the methods of worship developed by each culture. One is no less or more beneficial than another. The Dieties know who They are and care not by what name or ritual we pay homage to Them, just so long as we do something and that with sincerity. The Dieties are neither good nor evil. Without prejudice, They love us and tend to all of us and it is our own use of their energies that determines whether an act or intent is good or not. The battle of good over evil is a Man-thing, not a God-thing.
 
The Lord, The Lady and all deities are living, breathing, feeling Beings who need us to sustain Them as we need Them to sustain us. So as They tend to us, we must tend to Them. I find celebrating Them with humility, joy, patience, tolerance, compassion, humor, confidence and love helps me be a more well-rounded, well grounded and kinder person.
 
I abide by the Karmic Rule of Three. What you send out, positive or negative, comes back to you threefold. One must be mindful of the debt incurred and all is hinged on the borrower's willingness to reap the benefits of the energies sent out. Since I am an unabashed hedonist I prefer to receive positive energy and kindness so I conduct myself accordingly. I believe in Karma and the Rule of Three applies not just to this incarnation, but across multiple lifetimes as well. For further discourse on my perceptions of Destiny and Karma, go HERE.
 
I also cleve to the Wiccan Rede, "Do as you will, but harm none," which is an impossible law to follow to the letter. It is almost always impossible not to cause SOME harm. The object to the Rede is not to abide by the letter of the law, but to abide by the INTENT of the law. It is to give each person pause, that they may think through their actions and cause the LEAST amount of harm. This causes each person to consider others and to be responsible for each and every action they take. I live this, I don't just speak of it.
 
I believe in kindness, consideration of others' feelings (not just humans, I include animals, plants, nature, Mother Earth, etc.), love in return for hate, responsibility for one's own actions, playfulness, laughter and hedonism. I prize monogamy highly and am not comfortable with sexual abandon with anyone other than my wife. I don't poo-poo multiple partners and I don't see anything wrong with it. It's just not for me.
 
I believe all life forms to be equal, one no less or more important than another. Each has its own niche and each one should be treated with respect and consideration. Humans are not superior and the rest of the life forms are not there to be used negligently or greedily by us. I am both a big game hunter and a tree-hugger, finding these two seemingly opposite camps to actually be compatible in acheiving the same goal: Respect, concern, and thoughtful management of our Mother Earth and Her inhabitants. I frequently do energy work and send healing out to wherever it may be needed, be it The Mother, The Cosmos, another person, etc.
 
To bring this to a close, let me share with you a little quote I also live by:
 

Live in the NOW....

"Caretake this moment.
Immerse yourself in its particulars.
Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed.
Quit the evasions.
Stop giving yourself needless trouble.
It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now."
--
Epictetus (1st to 2nd Century!!)


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Copyright 1998-2011 Colleen D. Bergeron.
Last revised: January 4 2011