Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Aunt Marion Armstrong and Mom, Alice Smith, enjoy lunch at the Weathervane in South Portland with Lynn Armstrong on Sunday, June 28th.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to Andi!

Happy Birthday, Andi...you look lovely!!! Much love and happiness today and always...

Relay for Life 2009

It's Sunday morning and we just got home from our fourth Relay for Life with Nancy's team, "Tufts Teal Warriors". This year we participated at the first Relay ever at Windham High School. The American Cancer Society plans to make the Relay for Life of the Sebago Lakes Region an annual event to compliment the existing Relay in South Portland. Our team consisted of Nancy and Aaron, Andi and Dave, Kit and Erin, Kara Shaw, Hank and I, and Nancy's friend, Cheryl Weisman. Money is raised by donations to sponsor the walkers (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.!) as well as from the purchase of the hundreds of luminarias that line the track. Each luminaria is in honor of, or in memory of, someone with cancer. The event begins with the Survivor Lap at 6:00 p.m. Cancer survivors walk in purple t-shirts with their caregivers. At 9:00 p.m., the lights on the field go off and the luminarias are the only illumination. They line the track and, on the bleachers, there are hundreds more luminaira that spell the words "Hope" and "Believe". It's hard to keep a dry eye as the name of each person with a luminaria is read and the candles flicker in the dark. It's a night of highs and lows...from tears at the luminaria ceremony to laughter as teams walk the track in crazy hats and costumes. This year, the Sabago Lakes Relay made over $22,000 for the American Cancer Society...pretty good for the first year of the event. Here are some more photos:

and at 6:30 a.m.!

Friday, June 26, 2009

more photos of Nancy's party...

Kit and Nancy enjoy a celebratory cigar:-)
Nancy and her old teacher frined, Bill Staples...

Mom & Joanne...

Andi in Margaritaville (aka our garage)...

Kit's wife, Erin, & Mom...

Nancy's starts her new car!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

WOW!! What a Weekend!!

Just when I thought (as I wrote in my last post) that my retirement celebrations would never end--again this weekend I got yet another surprise! It was "supposed" to be a weekend visit from Aaron's Mom, sister Sharon, Aunt Ruth and their friend Candy. Then on Saturday afternoon, Cheryl called and asked me if I could come over to loan her my crock pot and show Aaron's family her house. I was shocked when we pulled in and yet ANOTHER retirement party was waiting for me! Apparently this has been in the works secretly for quite a while--with Cheryl, Hank, Andi, Dave, Joey and Mark all helping Aaron to make arrangements, set things up and tell me many lies (all of which I fell for)!
It was a wonderful time-all my family, lots of friends from high school and college and many current and retired colleagues were waiting when I arrived. Aaron presented me with 34 teal (the color of ovarian cancer awareness) roses, one for every year I taught. There was lots of great food, laughs, memories and not one, but TWO great cakes!

Just when I thought that I had enjoyed all the surprises the day held in store I was in for the
biggest shock of the day, and my life. I hadn't even noticed that Aaron had disappeared-but I sure did notice when he returned--take a look at my face-and you can tell how shocked I was!

Now take a look at my super-duper retirement surprise from my wonderful husband!

It's a 2009 limited edition "Blush" beetle convertible, with a white gold colored exterior, and a red leather interior and convertible top, and I LOVE IT!! Although we were not in the market for a new car, I have said all along that my next car would be a convertible bug-I have loved my yellow lightening bug since 2001 and now I love this one! I'm working hard to come up with a new vanity plate for it--in the lead right now is DUN TCHN because I am! I really want to thank everyone for all the love, hard work and good wishes to help make this party absolutely unforgettable for me--It was wonderful and thank you just can't cover it! I love you all.

P.S. Ever wondered how many teachers you can stuff into (and around) a Volkswagen? Here's how many we got.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Retirement and Relays

Well it certainly has been a very busy week--not one, but 2 retirement parties! As you probably know, I decided to retire after 34 years of teaching at Wells Elementary School this June. It was a difficult decision to make, but I need to focus on being healthy now and it was just too much to be doing a full days work and an 80 mile commute every day. Sad in some ways, but nice to be able to do what I want to do-now that I've been home for a while I've been so busy, I don't know how I had time to fit in work! On Thursday, June 11, the staff of the elementary had a party for 3 of us who are leaving this year. It was a great evening-lots of laughs and catching up with staff, current and retired! The staff gave me a donation to our Relay for Life team(more on Relay to follow), and to the Cancer Community Center in So. Portland. They offer classes, workshops and support groups for cancer patients throughout Maine all free. It was a very touching tribute, and nice to know the money will stay and support patients right here in Maine.
Then on Friday, the school district and school board had a reception in Ogunquit to honor all employees with 20 years of service and the retiring teachers. I was given a mantle clock with an engraved little plaque with my name and years of service to the district. It was very nice and surprising since in education we don't get any kind of recognition until retirement! After it ended, Aaron and I had dinner at the Steak House in Wells (yummy!) then rode down "memory lane" around the beaches and capped off the night at the Ogunquit Playhouse with tickets to see A Chorus Line--it was great! After all this excitement, I spent the weekend recovering--it's exhausting to retire!!!
The Relay is Coming...The Relay is Coming...
Once again Tufts Teal Warriors will be taking to the field in support of the American Cancer Society at the Relay for Life in Windham, ME this year. If you have never participated in a Relay it is worth either getting involved or just going to visit at least once. There are Relays all over the U.S. This will be our team's third year in the relay. This year it is June 27 and 28 from 6pm to 6am. The evening begins with a survivor/caregivers lap to open the event--lots of tears all around and then teams have participants walk all night. At about 9:00 pm there is the most touching part of Relay, the luminaria ceremony when the lights are out and walkers walk the track lighted by the luminaria bags in support of or in memory of those who have fought the cancer battle. It is a very moving and powerful ceremony-lots of tears all around again--it is a night of highs and lows--we don't cry all night--as a matter of fact as the night wears on and people get more punchy from lack of sleep there are a lot of laughs and fun around the campsites all over the field.
If this sounds like a shameless appeal for a donation--ok it is! Think about the people you know or have loved who have fought the cancer battle. I hesitate to start this list for fear of leaving out some but my list would include: my Mom, Dad, Grammy Smith, Grampa Smith, Grammy Boocock, Grampa Boocock, Uncle Arthur, Louise Doty, Harry Merwin, Dale Shaw, Bob Dalton, my dear friend Deb Reid, me and so many others I know I've forgotten. We walk for all of them so that perhaps there won't be a need for a Relay in the future. If you'd like to make a donation to our team you can do so by going to our team page at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/tuftsteam-For those who may be hesitant about on-line giving, you can mail me a check made out to American Cancer Society, and I can submit it with team donations. Together we can make a difference! Thanks-Nancy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Birthday Photos & more...

Well, once Hank and I got to the right house, Mom's Birthday party was in full swing. We drove to Chandler's Wharf and, seeing the dark house, realized the party was at Nancy's...a minor slip-up! Nancy cooked (delicious, as always) and for dessert she made one of Mom's favorites..."The Captain's" chocolate cake.
In addition to the "regulars", we were joined by Dave's daughter, Liz, and Andi's daughter, Katie, who had just returned from Arizona. Katy looks great and we were all glad to see her back in Maine. Welcome home, Katie!

Nancy is feeling well and has a busy couple of days ahead. Tonight she is at a Retirement party given by the staff at Wells Elementary School and tomorrow there is another event in her honor given by the Superintendent of Schools. After teaching 3rd and 4th grades at Wells Elementary School for 34 years (25 students a year x 34 = 850 kids who have had "Mrs. Tufts"), nobody deserves a party more!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It's Mom's birthday today and we're all going over to Chandler's Wharf for a birthday supper with Mom and "Tabby". I won't reveal Mom's age but sure hope I look as good as she does when I get there! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hank!

June 6, 1944: D-Day... June 6, 1946: Hank is born! Happy Birthday!!!