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Penny is Living the Dream

October 6, 2020 | Common Ground | 0 Comments

“Have faith and take it one day at a time!”


Easygoing and direct, with firmly held beliefs, Penny is the heart of a
tight-knit, multigenerational family.
 “Obviously no family is perfect, we’re not Leave it to Beaver, but at the end of the day everybody loves each other.”  Penny is a private person but lucky for us she enjoys a good conversation.


 

We’re just your “Average Americans” I guess!

“Well, I’ve pretty much grown up in the Delaware area – I live right over the line in PA now. Married for, oh goodness, about 26 years! Three kids – two in college and one working in the area, so they all still live at home. We have 2 dogs, actually 3 since my mom brought her dog – my mom’s 83 and lives with us now.

We’ve seen ourselves go beyond what our parents did – my husband got his MBA and his father worked at the MetLife building as an elevator operator. It was like the fulfillment of the American dream. We want that for our kids, and we want to see good values in them: love of country, love of god, love of family.

I’ll be honest, I’m 55 and I’m not really interested in living my life out in the public arena. But the kids have grown up with social media and it does give them a different slant on a world view. Many people today think ‘I deserve this.’ We believe if you really want something, you need to put your work in and then you can say ‘look what my effort got me.’ You know I felt like that when I got my college degree. It took me forever but I did it! We’ve really tried to invest in our kids, to be honest with them and talk about their expectations. Part of that is you don’t get handed something without hard work. 

I’ve also seen people get trapped in that “I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to, so I’m going to live it through my kids” and I’ve really tried not to do that. Maybe I’ve had to bite my tongue sometimes, but those choices have definitely paid off because even at this age, our kids want to talk to us about things.

We have to make our choices based on something.

My world view, to be quite transparent, really comes out of my belief in Jesus Christ. I’m not some radical, I recognize we have other faiths in the world, but the guidelines I follow generate from the bible. If you go through life without some belief in a higher power, I’m not sure how you get through different challenging times.

We lost my dad under challenging circumstances; it was very traumatic. I was only 12 but I remember it vividly. Without my faith and my mother’s love I don’t know who I would have become after that experience, but I thrived. I had to have trust that nothing else…that I wouldn’t lose my mom. Losing my dad definitely shaped my faith and what I chose to believe.

I’m convinced that people can change and when they have faith in their life, they up the ante. My father went to AA meetings. I was just in elementary school but I still remember he claimed Christ as his higher power. He felt that’s what kept him sober. I still think about him almost every day.

If they need me they’ll come and get me!

Family is up there at the top of the hierarchy of life for me, but I need my me time too. I used to have to go and do something, now I honestly just want to sit with my book – a nice little scent in the air, like from a diffuser, cup of tea or coffee – and unwind. I’ll put on my cordless headphones and everybody can be doing their own thing elsewhere in the house but I can just tune into my music and read, because if I hear something it’s like, ‘oh my gosh do I have to do something? Do I need to go up and give a little help with this or that?’ No, they’re ok!.

 

 

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Laine Valentino

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