When I meet people anywhere in the state of Minnesota and they find out that I came from Texas, the first thing they ask me is, 'What brought you all the way up to Northern Minnesota?' Each time, I try to keep my long journey as a short story. So here it is...
My family and I were ultimately sponsored by St. John's Lutheran Church in Mound, MN, after we escaped the Vietnam War along with a few stops in different refugee camps. I attended Kindergarten in Mound and First Grade in Minneapolis. My dad worked for Tonka Toys, which was the reason my sister and I were tomboys. Dump trucks versus dolls? You guessed it...dump trucks always win. We couldn't wait to get all dirty in the sandbox! Unfortunately, my parents couldn't tolerate the cold weather and after my dad located his brother in Texas, we packed up all of our belongings into a bright orange Ford Pinto and headed down south.
In 2004, I met Dr. Philip Sallberg at a continuing education course in Dallas, Texas. I happened to sit next to him and after a short introduction, we connected because of my history with MN. We continued to keep in touch and exchanged dentistry pearls. At a time in my life and career when I was ready to make a change, Dr. Sallberg was ready to retire and made it easy for me to make the move. So here I am!
And yes, I did graduate from dental school and get my undergraduate degree from the University of Houston in the same year, 1995. If you are curious about how this is possible, ask me the next time you see me. Until then, I do want to mention one more thing. My family thinks I am the craziest person ever! My brother-in-law keeps saying that I've gone to live with the Eskimos. And I tell him that we have Polar Bears roaming our streets.