blue water woman--winter 2013--10-29-2013

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<strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong><br />

User Manuals<br />

Not Included<br />

the joys of motherhood<br />

Patty Shine,<br />

Carrie Kerbrat<br />

& Macey Kerbrat<br />

of St. Clair<br />


<strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com 1

from the editor<br />

First, a word about, well, me:<br />

Happy birthday to me!<br />

In December, I will celebrate the big 5-0. The half century mark. The<br />

downhill slide.<br />

And I can’t wait.<br />

When my family and friends began asking me earlier this year, “What<br />

do you want to do for your 50th birthday?” ideas were tossed around. And<br />

finally, it occurred to me. I told my husband, in no uncertain terms: I want<br />

to spend it with you, right here in Port Huron, surrounded by friends who,<br />

over the years, have become my<br />

family.<br />

For almost 25 years, I have lived<br />

approximately 1,500 miles from my<br />

family of origin. And I love them.<br />

But over the years, I learned that it<br />

was important to create a family of<br />

my own within my own zip code.<br />

And for more than 20 of those years,<br />

I have lived in Port Huron. So,<br />

that’s pretty much half of my life.<br />

And I am ever so, so thankful for<br />

my local friends who have become<br />

family to me. The friends who<br />

invited me to their family holiday<br />

celebrating a surprise 40th birthday party with celebrations or who were brave<br />

my adopted parents, dave and donna schwartz enough to spend holiday dinners<br />

eating food prepared by me. The<br />

friends who have allowed me to share with them life’s greatest joys, whether<br />

it was singing karaoke in a dive bar, or sailing around the Great Lakes, and<br />

life’s greatest sorrows, such as the tragedy of heartbreak or losing loved ones.<br />

I cannot imagine having lived this wild and crazy fun ride I call my life<br />

without all of them. And they know who they are. I know they do. And I<br />

love them all.<br />

So happy birthday to me. Thank you, Port Huron and Blue Water Area,<br />

for helping me create a life that has been filled with so much fun and love<br />

and laughter. I am so blessed. So on December 6, if you see a parade of<br />

people making merry throughout downtown Port Huron, come along<br />

and join us. I promise lots of fun. And I am forever thankful for the many<br />

friends who have made my life here one of the very best a gal could ever<br />

hope for. Here’s to the next 50 (or more!) great ones!<br />

In this issue…the Secret Society of Moms<br />

This issue is all about something I know absolutely nothing about. It is<br />

about being a mom. Because I do not have children, I am not a member<br />

of the Secret Society of Moms that I know must exist. On most days I am<br />

lucky that I actually drag just myself out of bed and downstairs into my<br />

home office, so I am quite sure if I had children I would forget to feed them<br />

or I would leave them behind somewhere and lose them. I admire every<br />

one of these women -- and every mom I know -- so much for the way they<br />

are able to juggle the care of so many people in their busy lives (and for not<br />

losing them). My hat is off to each and every mom out there. You have the<br />

oldest and toughest job in the world and please know that you are admired<br />

because I can assure you, not everyone (like, ahem, me) can do it. And<br />

you are doing it. So pat yourself on the back (and pour yourself a glass of<br />

celebratory wine once the kids are in bed). At least that’s what I would do.<br />

And maybe that’s why I knew better than to become a mom. You are all<br />

far, far better women than I am. Cheers to you!<br />

Patti Samar<br />

Editor & Publisher<br />

Blue Water Woman<br />

content<br />

professions<br />

Patty Shine & Carrie Kerbrat 4<br />

Ann Beck 6<br />

Barb Randall, Ann Randall-Kendrick & Laura Kendrick Godwin 8<br />

advertise<br />

in Blue Water Woman!<br />

it works! just ask our advertisers!<br />

The ad deadline for the next issue of Blue Water Woman<br />

is January 4, 2014!<br />

Prices start at just $125 for a business card sized ad!<br />

Our most popular ad size is a quarter page at just $250;<br />

sign a one-year contract and it becomes just $225 a quarter!<br />

What a deal!<br />

For more information, contact Patti Samar at 8<strong>10</strong>-987-1256<br />

or email her at pjsamar@aol.com<br />

volume 3, number 4 <strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong><br />

Blue Water Woman is published quarterly by The Write Company,<br />

3155 Armour Street, Port Huron, MI 48060. Circulation 7,500.<br />

Editor & Publisher: Patti Samar, owner, The Write Company<br />

Advertising: Patti Samar at 8<strong>10</strong>-987-1256 or pjsamar@aol.com<br />

Subscriptions: To receive Blue Water Woman at home, mail $25 to:<br />

Blue Water Woman, 3155 Armour Street, Port Huron, MI 48060<br />

News releases can be emailed to pjsamar@aol.com<br />

Questions or comments?<br />

Call Blue Water Woman at 8<strong>10</strong>-987-1256<br />

Mission: Blue Water Woman is the premiere publication<br />

for women living, working and playing<br />

in the Blue Water Area of Michigan.<br />

Its stories and features are written and designed<br />

to be inspriational, motivational and encouraging.<br />

www.BlueWaterWoman.com<br />

© Blue Water Woman is the property<br />

of Patti Samar of The Write Company<br />

The Write Company is a writing, graphic design and marketing<br />

consultation firm. View our online portfolio at:<br />

www.TheWriteCompany.net<br />

2 <strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com

<strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com 3

passions<br />

patty shine, carrie kerbrat<br />

& macey kerbrat, st. clair<br />

No user manual included<br />

by Patti Samar<br />

Would-be moms, beware. Children do not come with instruction<br />

manuals.<br />

That fact did not stop Patty Shine of St. Clair and her husband, Tim,<br />

32 years ago from having four children. Nor did it stop their eldest<br />

daughter, Carrie Kerbrat, and her husband, Kevin, from having their<br />

first child, Macey, more than two years ago.<br />

That strong sense of family-fun and togetherness -- through good<br />

times and bad -- is spreading throughout the Shine family as Carrie’s<br />

older brother, TJ, and his wife Becky, who live in Florida, have also<br />

recently become first time parents.<br />

“Tim and I always said we’d have six, but then we saw how much<br />

it took with four,” said Shine. “They don’t come with instruction<br />

manuals.”<br />

Shine, who works for St. John Providence Health System at a<br />

physician office on the site of St. John River District Hospital, has<br />

worked full time since 1978.<br />

She always knew she wanted a family. After graduating from St. Clair<br />

County Community College, she married her high school sweetheart<br />

and started her family.<br />

“I think when I was young, that’s what you did,” she said. “It wasn’t<br />

common for women to have careers. You found someone to get<br />

married to and then had a family.”<br />

And though being a stay-at-home mom wasn’t an option for Shine,<br />

she knew that working outside of the home was good for her sense of<br />

well-being.<br />

“I would have preferred to work maybe three days a week, if that had<br />

been possible,” she said. “But I always wanted to be something outside<br />

of being someone’s wife or mom. I wanted that for myself.<br />

“Now I look back and wonder, ‘How did I work 40 hours a week and<br />

raise four kids?’”<br />

For her daughter, the path to motherhood has been different, but the<br />

goals are similar.<br />

Kerbrat, a program director at Community Enterprises of St. Clair<br />

County, went to Ferris State University and received a bachelor’s<br />

degree, but returned to the Blue Water Area and eventually married a<br />

high school classmate.<br />

“Once I grew up, I knew I wanted kids, but I don’t think I had any<br />

idea how life would change until it happened,” said Kerbrat. “It’s fun,<br />

but it comes with a lot of worry. Before, I wouldn’t have thought that a<br />

fever was something to worry about, but now I do. Now I know what<br />

my mom went through for the past 32 years.”<br />

Shine added: “It definitely comes with worry, but I’d do it all over<br />

again. The good outweighed the bad.”<br />

Both Shine and Kerbrat commended their husbands with being<br />

excellent partners in marriage and in parenting.<br />

“Tim is a great dad and he loves being a grandpa,” said Shine of<br />

her husband. “And I can tell Kevin is doing a great job as a dad when<br />

Macey lights up when he walks in the room.”<br />

A big part of motherhood for Shine has been watching her children<br />

move through the various stages of their lives and into adulthood.<br />

“I was never sad when they moved on from one stage of life to the<br />

next,” she said. “I always looked at it like it was another adventure for<br />

them. And seeing them as adults in their marriages and happy and<br />

doing well, it’s fulfilling to me.”<br />

4 <strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com

<strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com 5

passions<br />

ann beck, fort gratiot<br />

with liam & ella<br />

it’s a<br />

game changer<br />

by Patti Samar<br />

Ann Beck knows what it is like to be a successful attorney representing<br />

clients, dealing with other attorneys and being tough on the job.<br />

And then she became a mom.<br />

Ann and her husband, Christopher Beck, DDS, of Fort Gratiot, are<br />

the parents of Ella, 7, and Liam, 4. “I used to be totally stymied by<br />

rude attorneys in court and I could handle that and thought I could<br />

handle anything,” said Beck with a laugh. “And then my three year<br />

old says, ‘No!’”<br />

A native of Traverse City, Beck moved to the Blue Water Area<br />

-- where her husband grew up -- after she got married. While dating,<br />

the two decided they would like to have a family, and Beck knew<br />

something about having small children around, particularly since she<br />

has a brother 12 years her junior.<br />

“I knew what I was getting into,” she said. “But there’s no instructions.<br />

It’s a game changer.”<br />

Beck no longer works outside of the home and is able to stay at<br />

home with her children. She is involved in their school where she<br />

volunteers as a lunch room mom and an assortment of other tasks as<br />

needed.<br />

“I’m not working and I’m very lucky that I’m not working, soI try<br />

to volunteer as much as I can,” she said.<br />

At this point, her children are the focal point of her life.<br />

“You live for them,” she said, “and I don’t mind it that their life<br />

is now my life. My life revolves around them and I never thought I<br />

would say that.”<br />

The biggest life change she and her husband have experienced since<br />

having children and becoming parents has been a shift in priorities.<br />

“Your social life turns inward and you focus more on family,” she<br />

said.<br />

A key to the success of her home life, she said, is having a very involved<br />

spouse. “It’s huge,” she said. “I am very lucky that Chris is an<br />

awesome husband and dad and he wants to be a hands-on dad.”<br />

The two have learned the ropes of parenting together, she said. “I<br />

was almost 32 when I had Ella,” she said. “I went to the University<br />

of Michigan. I went to Wayne State Law School. I thought I was<br />

reasonably smart. But, once we had kids, we didn’t know what we<br />

were doing.<br />

“It’s all by trial and error. With Ella, we thought we had it down<br />

and then Liam came along and he’s completely different.”<br />

Her mother and girlfriends all helped along the way and offered tips<br />

and advice, which she found helpful or reassuring, depending upon<br />

the circumstances.<br />

Beck also noted that, even though much of her life revolves around<br />

her children, she understands the importance of maintaining her<br />

sense of self as well.<br />

She belongs to a book club and she is involved with committees at<br />

Port Huron Hospital. “Those are my outlets to still be me because I<br />

don’t want to lose myself,” she said. “As much as I love my children,<br />

I know I need my me-time.”<br />

For Beck, however, me-time and family time are balanced.<br />

“Have our children enriched our lives? Absolutely. Parenthood<br />

is chaotic. It’s frustrating, it’s rewarding. It’s more rewarding than<br />

frustrating, though. They are two little people who mean everything<br />

to us.”<br />

6 <strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com

<strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com 7

professions<br />

ann randall-kendrick<br />

barb randall<br />

laura kendrick-godwin<br />

Part of the Action<br />

by Patti Samar<br />

Talk about the ultimate role models.<br />

When Laura Kendrick-Godwin was considering possible career choices,<br />

she didn’t need to look far to see two very educated, professional and<br />

successful business owners. She only needed to look at her mother, Ann<br />

Randall-Kendrick and her grandmother, Barb Randall.<br />

From the time she was born, Kendrick-Godwin had watched her<br />

mother and grandmother work side-by-side in the family business, both<br />

as licensed funeral directors at Pollack-Randall Funeral Home. After<br />

Kendrick-Godwin joined the family business, also as a licensed funeral<br />

director, theirs became one of less than a handful of multi-generation<br />

families of women funeral directors.<br />

Randall, in fact, was the first <strong>woman</strong> to become a licensed funeral director<br />

in St. Clair County. For many years a traditional stay-at-home-mom,<br />

Randall attended mortuary school after deciding to pursue a formal<br />

education when her four children had begun attending school all day and<br />

she had more time.<br />

“I thought I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. But her husband, who<br />

was already a funeral director and co-owner of the family business, encouraged<br />

her to attend mortuary school. “It’s a fascinating profession.”<br />

And, as it turns out, she ultimately shared her enthusiasm for it with<br />

her daughter, Randall-Kendrick. “I was always interested in it, but my<br />

dad was always adamant that we needed to work for someone else first.”<br />

He encouraged her to pursue a degree in accounting and she eventually<br />

passed the CPA exam, but eventually returned to college to attend mortuary<br />

school.<br />

“The family business was growing at that time, so there was a need for<br />

support staff,” she said. For a while, she worked both as a CPA and as a<br />

funeral director.<br />

Kendrick-Godwin has also pursued other careers outside of or related to<br />

the family business. A licensed funeral director, she is currently pursuing<br />

a master’s degree in psychology and a few years ago she earned a Coast<br />

Guard license and she works as a relief-captain on the Huron Lady II.<br />

Now married and a mother herself, to eight-month-old Luke, Kendrick-Godwin<br />

has a new appreciation for the various ways in which her<br />

mother and grandmother broke ground for her.<br />

“I’m still figuring out how to be a working mom,” she said. “I’ve had<br />

times when I didn’t have a babysitter and had t bring him to work with<br />

me.”<br />

Her grandmother noted, “I always wanted to be a mom and God<br />

blessed me with four beautiful daughters. I intended to be a stay-athome-mom.”<br />

By the time Randall-Kendrick was an adult, however, the world had<br />

changed. “It never occurred to me to be able to stay home and raise<br />

children,” she said. “My generation thought that we would do it all. And<br />

I was able to pretty much do it all.”<br />

All three women noted that working in a family business has helped<br />

their family life, particularly given the sporadic hours that funeral directors<br />

work.<br />

“We work together and we’ve made the most of every minute,” said<br />

Randall-Kendrick, whose husband is also a funeral director. “Part of our<br />

ability to do this is due to the support we’ve received from my dad and<br />

my husband and Laura’s husband.”<br />

She also noted the significant contributions of their employees, as well.<br />

“We have a lot of wonderful staff,” she said, noting that they are like<br />

family, as well.<br />

“One of the blessings is being able to work together and spend time<br />

together,” said Randall.<br />

Will the next generation continue the family tradition? Kendrick-Godwin<br />

isn’t sure what eight-month-old Luke might decide once he is older,<br />

but she is thankful for her own experiences growing up in the family<br />

business.<br />

“Once I got married I knew I wanted to have a family and I had such<br />

great role models in my grandma and my mom,” said Kendrick-Godwin.<br />

8 <strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com

<strong>winter</strong> <strong>2013</strong> BlueWaterWoman.com 12

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