Welcome to November Featured Parishioner Of The Month, Betsy Taylor Calender

Written by Betsy Taylor Calender

 

 

 

Well, it is a little hard to interview yourself, but I will give it a try.

After being single for 35 years, I married the nicest, kindest, loving man of Greek descent, John, on Saturday, September 21st as you can see from the above photo.  As you all probably know, when you marry, you marry the entire family. I inherited 3 additional children (Maria-35, Christina-33, and Michael-26), as well as 4 beautiful grandchildren (William-5, Luke-2 from Christina & her husband, Billy who also live in North Potomac; and Christopher-5 and Yianna-2 from Maria & her husband, Fr. Evan, who live in Brooklyn, NY).  John inherited 2 additional sons, Patrick, who lives in Maine, & Silas, who lives in New York City.  

I have been a member of St. Bartholomew’s for approximately 6 years now. It didn’t take long before I began volunteering for events, but waited to get involved with both the Vestry and the Growth/Outreach Committees until I retired in March of 2018.   My favorite thing about this church is how nice the people are.  I love the diversity of the congregation and how respectful each generation is to the others.  That’s the way it should be everywhere!  

My retirement was at the perfect time, as John & I had already decided we would get married. I retired after working for 34 years at 2 local law firms as their Office Administrator (16 at one and 18 at the other). Both were very rewarding but also stressful jobs.  

Born in West Virginia to school teacher parents, we basically lived in Hagerstown & Pittsburgh my entire life.  My mom stayed with the teaching profession, while my dad became a salesman for a now defunct company that sold large machinery to manufacturing plants. After they divorced, my mom & I stayed in Hagerstown where I have many friends and family.  

Now that I am settling into our new home which we bought in May of this year, I have begun volunteering at the Montgomery County Humane Society in Rockville. After we get a fence installed in our yard, we should be adopting another dog. As of now, we are parents to only 2 cats (actually I’m the original parent; John got them with the marriage!)  They are Depp, age 16 (for Johnny Depp) and Indy, age 3 (for Indiana Jones).  

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am very musical.  Have been singing off and on in bands since 1970, and I had my own wedding band called Crystal Clear for about 16 years.  I tell people, “I have played a venue on almost every exit off the beltway!” My favorite music varies.  I love the standards, country and some pop.  My current music group plays mostly 50’s/60’s and some 70’s.  

As a child, I wanted to be a Broadway actress – that obviously didn’t work out!  

Since John & I did not go on a honeymoon, we are planning a trip to Greece & Italy next year for our next vacation.  

My favorite thing to tell people is that you should never stop learning.  You don’t stop learning just because you have reached a certain age. I was “young and dumb” once, but learned quickly that it’s ok to make mistakes——- as long as you learn from them.  

My favorite quote is from Hillary Clinton  — “Please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”