I was born on a hot August night in Duluth, Minnesota, overlooking Lake Superior...starting my love affair with lakes. Before long, I was introduced to Lake Vermilion, near the Boundary Waters, and all my life I knew I had to end up there.
But my father was transferred to Minneapolis when I was 9 years old and I grew up happily in a little suburb full of kids playing games. Sports pretty much consumed my life...that, and reading...until my senior year of high school when I inadvertently got the lead in a play at an all-girls private high school...whew...and met Mary...well, more than just met Mary.
We got married during Mary's senior year of high school, my first quarter at the University of Minnesota with the reluctant blessing and best wishes of our parents. We were on our own. Thus, we were very practical and pragmatic and only had two children while I was in school...but I did manage to graduate and without any loans or debt. Don't ask me how, but I did work my little butt off.
So without any debt, we were able to sell the mobile home we owned and buy a cute little house in a cute little neighborhood, Edina Morningside, adjacent to the Country Club district. I took a position in an experimental school teaching English, improvisational theater, creative writing, and just about anything else I wanted. It was a gas.
After three years, we decided to try country living and squatted in an old farm house tending to the absentee owner's horses and cattle. We sold the Morningside house and put the proceeds into a liquid investment. Man, the relief to have a cash reserve! We realized the stress we had been under all those years living paycheck to paycheck.
The "experiment' at my school ended, so I took a sabbatical and Mary and I taught at a school in Bogota', Colombia. While there, we adopted Alexandra...so now three children, and got pregnant with what turned out to be twin girls again... whew! Two to five in a year!
So, broke again and back to the U.S., we received a little help from our parents who took pity on us, I'm afraid, and we bought an old farm...and I continued teaching. I loved teaching, especially creative writing, directing plays and coaching; wouldn't have done anything else....until declining enrollment hit my school district and I was abruptly introduced to the pink slip.
So, we sold the farm and moved back to the city. I took a job training at large financial planning company and started my own planning practice, eventually forming Munkeby Financial, Inc. with my son, a good friend of his and my daughter...again, working my (still) little butt off.
The diligence and hard work had paid off as I became independent at age 40. I still loved helping people work toward their own financial independence, but I was able to make coaching my twins a priority in my life. That paid off too, as we were able to take first place in our elite soccer league, and won two national tournaments.
When I retired from financial advising, handing my company off to my son and his business partner, my first thought was how to give back, wrap up my second career, and begin a third…one I’d wanted to try my hand at all my life: a professional writer. The first book would have to be A Million Dollars: How to Achieve Financial Independence Before Your Parents Do. My way to give back, from a successful career, to the demographic that needs financial literacy the most.
Since then, I’ve decided to spend the rest of my years writing, mostly fiction, my first venture was Back to the Island referred to as a “roller coaster series of mistaken identities, surprise reunions, and romances that are anything but traditional.”
All of my books (currently working on Will) will take pokes, maybe even roundhouses, at things I believe need at least a poke. The pokes in Back to the Island are woven into a plot including danger, menace, and entangled affairs in a Bahamian paradise.
Mary and I now live most of the time at ... as you know... Lake Vermilion, where I found a small resort with five cabins...five kids, five cabins - works out pretty good. I also spend much of my time speaking at schools and universities to graduates entering the workforce.