From the Director: I am retiring!

PPphotoWell, no beating around the bush, the time has come for me to retire as Executive Director of CMLE. I am acutely aware that the moment I publish this, there is no turning back! An odd feeling.

This whole process of retiring is very strange ….intense excitement one moment about future plans, dread about all that needs to happen before my last day, and even tears (I am not a crier) when people start sending me mushy messages. Quite honestly, it reminds me to take critical moments to tell others how much they mean to me. It can really shore someone up when they feel spent and all used up. Tell them why you value them in your life.

You have nothing to fear as I leave; you are in good hands. The CMLE Search Committee is excellent, I am an ex-officio member of it, and we will post my position on 16 job boards during the first week in May. You are my peeps, I have worked hard to build CMLE, and I will do my best to ensure that CMLE services stay in place.

Many of you have meant the world to me over the years.  If we can take a moment to be honest, we’ve been through lots of hard times together, and a few good times too. Funding and politics are the hard pieces, no doubt. We have struggled together with that.

I will leave a clean camp; great infrastructure, a fantastic Governing Board, and a healthy work environment,  which will hopefully provide an easy start for my successor. Want to help CMLE find a new Director? See the link at the end of this post and point people to our jobs website, created for just this purpose! I love WordPress…

So, if you know me at all, you know I am a list person! So, without further fanfare and very little mush:

My Top Ten Reasons to Retire at the End of August, 2016

10.  First, in my defense, I have been in this job for 14 years, enough of my ideas already!

9.    I will be turning 63 in June, so I am entitled, right?

8.    I have three elderly parents and at times, I am the parent which is just so very odd and draining.

7.     Seven wee grandchildren (ages 3 months to 9 yrs) who would really value time with their Memaw. I have current requests from them to teach bread baking, help them sew dream pillows, work with Makey Makey kits, teach them lettering, and of course, read more stories.

6.     My husband of 43 years has already been retired for five years, and is more than ready to spend some fun time with me, free of pressing workloads and deadlines.

5.      I have taken stock of my reading list, and truth be told, I will need at least 20 years to buck through my current backlog! And there will be more, time to get crackin…

4.      A brassy little banty chicken named Chocolate, appears to get physically abusive within her flock, and my granddaughter Livi thinks I may be able to turn this bad behavior around. I have found a chicken stroller which may suit Chocolate and provide some much-needed timeout, but consistency will be key 11709453_10104420818481207_2406412224484831875_nwith this fowl misbehavior. I am on it!

3.      My life is too complicated, I am too plugged in, and I have way too much stuff. We will be doing an online auction to get rid of most of it. Then, into a much smaller house on the homestead of my daughter, her husband and their three little girls in the Princeton area. Yes, Chocolate lives there too.

2.      All of my bionic parts (two hips and a knee) hate the cold. No more Minnesota winters for this gal!

And finally, the top reason to retire is a need for diversity. The CMLE Director has had the first name of Patricia now for 31 years (Patricia Peterson before me). It may be time to see if someone with a different name wants to take the helm, right?!

Thanks for being my colleagues, for your kind words of praise and encouragement, which often helped me gauge if we were heading in the right direction. And, when I was dashing down to the State Capitol to testify on your behalf, to be your voice, you provided great fodder for my testimony too. It’s been great, but it is time to help tend a flock of chickens, keep some bees, bake some bread, plant wildflowers, and read only the very best books! Speaking of…I need to add the newly published Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder to my reading list, which just came out in March! See, it just keeps growing….

People interested in the CMLE Executive Director position should visit