Hello, everyone, and thank you for visiting my brand new website!
I am now retired from show business…so why have a new website? That's what I was thinking, too. But my niece, Caroline and my sister, Jane, convinced me I should have an updated one, so here it is.
First of all, let me answer the question that many of you probably have. Yes, it is true. Daryl and I are now divorced. After this entry I will not be blogging about that on this site, so just let me say a few words about it and then I won't be mentioning it again.
Daryl and I moved here to Prescott, Arizona about 8 years ago. Our marriage was never what it might have seemed to the casual observer, but I tried hard for over three decades to make our relationship all that I had dreamed it would be. Neither Daryl nor I ever cheated on each other. You would not have found either of us in rehab or going to wild parties. There was nothing obvious about our marriage that would have made great fodder for the tabloids. It is just that our music was the ONLY thing that bound us together.
Other than that, we simply could not find our way into each other’s heart.
Daryl is now living in a charming cottage home in a gated community here in Prescott, and he seems to be just about as happy as he was all the years he lived with me. I call him every couple of weeks to see how he is doing, and visit him every now and then for a chat. I even suggested to him that he might write a blog, but he seems to have no interest in it. He will tell his story if and when he wants to. That is his decision alone.
And me? Well, I bought my very first house on my own. It is all mine with my name on the Title! It is the smallest house I have lived in since the Butterscotch Castle, back in 1974, but it is quite lovely...2,000 sq ft on two level acres in a rural neighborhood of Prescott with breathtaking views all around. In fact, the photo on the cover page of this site was taken about a five minute walk from my house. Pretty, isn’t it?
This house suits me just fine...plenty of room for my three Australian Shepherds to run and play, with a fenced space to practice agility with them, and the house is small enough for me to keep clean on my own.
Well...FAIRLY clean. I come from the Erma Bombeck school of housekeeping!
Now, at the age of 74, I am starting my life as a single woman. I have done a few concerts here in Prescott as kind of "my gift" to the community, but now I am perfectly happy to lead a "regular" life. If you were to peek inside my closet, you would not find fancy gowns or three-inch heels. The fancy gowns and shoes have all been either donated or sold. The shoes you would see there now are almost all athletic-type shoes...the ones I wear for running agility with my three beautiful Australian Shepherd dogs, the shoes or boots I wear while walking the trails and roads near where I live, or the light weight oxfords I wear to show my two younger Champion Aussies in conformation shows. There are a few pairs of kind of dressy flats, some sandals, and that's about it...no heels over 1". My feet can't handle anything higher anymore.
Here in Prescott, the fanciest clothing most women wear are nice pants or jeans with some sort of cute top or jacket. I do have a dress or two for special occasions. My guest room closet holds the suits I wear when I show my dogs. If you have ever watched the handlers in big dog shows like Westminster or Eukanuba, you'll have an idea of what those are like. I get most of those from ebay or Overstock.
Daryl and I chose to relocate to Prescott mainly because we didn’t want to be shoveling as much snow as we had to in northern Nevada, But Prescott is also where I finally was able to take stock of where I was in my life and make the hard decisions I had to make.
When we moved to Prescott, I didn’t know a SOUL here in town. That’s a kind of scary thing. But before I knew it, I had joined a circle of Australian Shepherd people that changed my entire life. A woman I met at the house we were renting while we built our new home saw the two Aussies that I’d brought with me to Prescott. She said, “I have someone you have to meet,” and took me to meet Kathy Bryan of Redrock Aussies. When my Aussie, Hubble, died not too long after we got here, she gave me Smoky, the dog you see on my home page. She got me involved with the therapy dog program at our local hospital, and since then Smoky and I have been visiting patients, their families and hospital staff there every week.
I now also have Smoky’s two nieces, Bebop and Lula, and I run them in agility trials and show them in conformation shows. I also do agility with Smoky. All three are now Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) Champions. I have happily gone to the dogs!
Why did I stop singing? There are many reasons, but decades ago I told myself I would stop singing when my voice was no longer up to my own standards. I remember cringing when I would hear Frank Sinatra or Rosemary Clooney...two favorites of mine.... singing after their voices had deteriorated. Why did they keep doing it? Was it because they needed the money? Because they couldn’t let go of the spotlight? Because they couldn’t “hear” themselves? I don’t know. I just know I was determined that would never happen to me.
Can I still sing? Of course I can. But remember, I was 35 years old when LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER hit #1 in 1975. I got a late start! At my age I don’t have the kind of stamina I need to sing the way I used to.
Now I am leading a quiet, low-key life just the way I like it. Fame came to us through our music, and while it was exciting, but I mostly felt overwhelmed by it. Now that I am in my ‘70s, I KNOW how precious time is. I am determined to live each day to the fullest extent I can, doing things I love to do with people I love to be around.
And I am SO grateful and happy that my sister, Louisa, moved to Prescott a few years ago and lives close by. It took me a long time, but I finally realized that life is not long enough to let negativity rule it. And I believe it is never too late to find your happiness.
My friends tease me that I don’t have “people” to do things for me anymore. No I don’t, but every time I find myself doing all the things those “people” used to do for me, I am a proud and happy person. Of course, I DO get by “with a little help from my friends”!
Thank you so much for checking out my new website, and until my next post....”keep a song of joy inside your heart”!
Tuesday, September 30, 2014