Karen Kulecz
den grade 9
Rich and Karen in front of their motorhome
Karen with one of her competition dogs
Karen and her cat at Syracuse University

It's wonderful to have the opportunity to reconnect and hear about people that I knew 40 years ago!  Time has a way of passing, yet so many things remain the same thanks to good memories and good people.

After I graduated from RFA, I went to Syracuse University.  I was still dating Gary Quatto at the time, but he was always too popular and hard to 'hold onto."  Prior to that I dated, Henry Swift...  Like too many young girls, I "invested" my identity in my boyfriends rather than nurturing the girlfriends that I had...wisdom gained too late I guess.

Happily I met a great guy in college, whom I married for a brief time.  He was a brilliant young man from a wealthy, Jewish family on Long Island.  Needless to say, I never really could figure out what fork to use, nor could I see the point of "dressing for dinner."  Being from a working class, Catholic family it should have been obvious that sometimes cultural differences trump love.

The best thing that came from that relationship was that I met my second husband, a friend of my first...Yes, this does read like a soap opera...Sadly, he was a Viet Nam vet with a tortured soul.  As much as I tried, I couldn't save Frank.  He took his own life, and I was a widow at the age of 28.  The dear friends that I had, made pulled me through, and I stayed in Westchester County teaching kindergarten.

Oddly enough, I had a student teacher who insisted that I was too young to hole up and simply work my life away.  This young woman was wise beyond her years.  She dragged me to a Halloween Party where I met Rich.  Naturally everyone was younger than I, but I chatted, and had a few drinks.  Rich was "worried" about my getting home safely.  The joke is that he "followed me home, and I kept him!"   I guess I was one of the original "cougars," since Rich is 9 years younger than I.

So that brings me to the present.  Rich and I have been married for 28 and a half years, and happily I might add.  I've always wanted children but wasn't blessed with any.  We have had a variety of pets over the years that we refer to as our "furkids."  Rich is a CPA and the Account Manager for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines worldwide.  In his heart, he wants to be a truck driver. (ahhhh the quest for simplicity!)  I'm starting my 39th year of teaching come September.  This year it'll be 3rd grade, however, I've taught Kindergarten, 2nd, 4th and 5th over the years.  Science is my specialty.  I could have retired this year, but I still love my job!

As a hobby, I train and show dogs competitively.  I also teach dog obedience classes.  Rich is beginning to share this hobby now that he has a dog of his own to work with.  We travel to dog shows and do alot of "camping" in our motor home. We like biking, walking, organic food, staying healthy and keeping busy.  Life is good!

Rich and I live about an hour from where we both work, so the commute isn't the greatest, but we ride down together and use the time to talk and listen to music (very eclectic in our taste).  Our home is in Stormville, NY, which is about an hour and a half from Manhattan.  We rarely go into the "City" preferring our more rural setting.  I'd love to hear form any of you guys, and you're welcome to visit if you're in the New York area.


:-) Karen

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