<--- Isn't that a pretty baby?
Eight years old and
going on eighteen --->
| And today,
as lovely as can be --->
Back in January of 2004, we had a great big birthday party for Nadine here in Mazatlan. As part of it, I insisted that she write a short biography so that all the guests could know her a little better. Now you can enjoy reading it too!
On January 17th, 1954, a very happy event occurred in the Callaway family. Nadine Mora Callaway, the future beloved wife of Henry Laxen, who was still incubating, was born in Ventura county, California. I was born Nadine Mora Callaway after my favorite grandmother.
My grandmother Mora and grandfather Bernice ran one of the biggest sunkist lemon ranches in Southern California. On that ranch I had many horses to ride. Ride I did every chance I had. I've always had a love for horses and my grandmother. It didn't hurt that I was my grandmother's favorite either!
My father was a Ventura County fire captain for 25 years. He loved his job as fire captain. He use to always say my million dollars is saving lives! The only really difficult part for him was when he had to rescue children. He used to come home after a child rescue and hold my sister and me, and cry. My sister and I would always wonder what was wrong with daddy. It wasn't until we got older that we understood what he was going through in this part of his job. My father passed away this February 2003 with full fire department honors. It was one of the proudest and saddest days of my life.
My mom's name is Mary and she will be at the party. She is 77 and she has a new love in her life, Charlie, who is 85 and will also be at the party. I am so happy for my mom that she has found such a nice man at this time in her life! Mom has always been a hands on mom. In high school she would drive all of us cheerleaders to all the events no matter where they were. She made all of our uniforms because the school had no budget for uniforms. I use to always look forward to coming home from school and smelling mom's home cooking. Mom has always prided herself in being a good cook; which, I did not take after by the way! Mom continues to be a hands on kind of mom to this day. The only difference is now I live in Mazatlan and Reno and she lives in Calif.
I have two brothers, and a sister. My sister, Cindy, lives in Moorpark California, and sells real estate for Kaufman and Broad, a large developer. I used to take particular pleasure in tormenting her when we children, but now she is my best friend. My brother, Ross, and his family now live in Aiken, South Carolina. It has been about nine years since I've seen him, but I will always have fond memories of him protecting his little sister. My other brother, Franz, is not biologically related, but lived with us for a year while I was growing up as a foreign exchange student. We are still close, and consider him part of the family. Henry and I still visit him whenever the opportunity arises, and plan to do so again in October of 2004.
My first and last vacation by myself was to Club Med, in Sonora Bay Mexico. I went there to meet men after taking a year off from dating. The first night I was there I met Henry - my now husband. I asked if I could sit with him on a singles get-together dinner. He said yes and we were together for the next three days. I only had a five day vacation, so I asked Henry if we could exchange phone numbers and addresses and have the last two days to meet other people. He agreed but wasn't very happy about it. As my bus was leaving Club Med Henry gave me a painting I had told him I loved while dinning one night. It was the very first gift anyone had ever given me with no strings attached! I could not believe what was happening! Three months after Club Med I called Henry and invited him to come and visit me. He said I have a better idea you come and visit me. I have allot of fun things planned this weekend. I said great. The rest as they say is history! By the way I ended up asking him to marry me!!
Speaking of marriage, we got married Jamaica in May 1991. They say it is lucky if it rains on your wedding day. It must be true because we are very happy together and it rained so hard they had flooding and mud slides. The Sandals resort where we got married was really nice and they did a wonderful wedding for us. Jamaica was one of the worst countries we have ever visited. The reason for this is the people are very hostile. We felt afraid on the streets of downtown. People were yelling at us and calling us names. We had never been ask to buy drugs so often in our lives. It seemed like everywhere we turned, some one was trying to sell us drugs. Needless to say we have no plans on returning anytime soon.
I got my AA degree from Moorpark Jr. College. I did this mainly in order to go back someday and get a four year degree which somehow never happened. I got bored with school and wanted a break, but now I wish I had stuck it out and gotten the BA degree. I would have wanted a degree in counciling. I have always enjoyed helping people. I knew early on I could never be a nurse because I faint at the sight of blood. I did work in dentistry for twelve years. The AA degree did open the door for many jobs in dentistry. I started off as an back office assistant. This was the best way to learn about the mouth and the procedures. Then I made my way to the front office. I then learned all I could about the business end of dentistry, and became an administrator. I would hire and fire all personnel including dentists. I worked in every type of dentistry, ortho, pedo, pero, and, general. Towards the end of my career in dentistry I use to be hired to come in and turn offices around that were trouble. I did this for the last four offices I worked for. By the time I left they were worth much much more money than when I arrived!
The last 12 years I have been living in Mazatlan with my husband Henry and our pets. I love Henry and our lives here in Mazatlan! I can think of no other place on earth that I would rather be. I have great friends and the weather can not be beat. I enjoy water exercises in the Granada pool with friends and walking the my dogs in the mornings. I have learned, thanks to my husband, to enjoy computer shopping on Ebay. My passion in life is to help sick, wounded and dying animals. That is why I am so involved in the Amigos de Los Animales.
I want to thank you for coming to my party and for taking the time to get to know me better.