Sandra is a retired human resources executive, world traveler, angler, adventure junkie and storyteller. She grew up in northwest Florida then spent 20+ years in the colorful gumbo of south Louisiana. Her current home base is Santa Fé, New Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Mike and their mongrel pups. Mike is an endurance runner so you can often find her supporting ultra runners at 100 mile trail runs, where her resourcefulness is legendary.
My personal motto:
“Dream it, plan it, do it.”
- A typical work day begins with… a big cup of coffee and catching up on email. Then an hour on the treadmill unless I have a hike or yardwork planned. I spent many years arriving at work at around 6:30 a.m. Now, I like to gently ease into my morning.
- I lose track of time… when I am reading. I almost missed a flight once because I was so engrossed in a book. I didn’t notice everyone around me had boarded the plane.
- I have always… been curious. I love knowing how things work, why things are a certain way, how long things take to happen. I am particularly curious about the origin of sayings like “the whole nine yards”, “the rule of thumb,” etc. The rich stories behind the history of things fascinate me.
- I have never… broken a bone. How I managed to grow up as a tomboy and experience all the adventures of my adult life without a catastrophic injury still amazes me.
- Home means to me… where I find comfort when I’m tired, where I can celebrate good times and ponder rough times, where love is shared, where friends feel welcome and where my pups always greet me like I’m the best thing that ever happened to them.
- I am inspired by… people who do not shy away from challenges or play it safe. I love the idea of exploring your capability zone rather than staying in your comfort zone.
- I would like to meet… Tim Cahill, my favorite author. Tim Cahill is a travel/adventure journalist. He was one of the founding editors of Outside Magazine, who refers to his writing as “a witty mix of reporting, literary travel writing, humor, and self-deprecation.” Many years ago my husband gave me one of Cahill’s first books, “Jaguars Ripped My Flesh” and my initial response was “You’ve got to be kidding. I’m not reading that.” My husband assured me I would like the book, which turned out to be about Cahill’s adventures as a journalist. I’ve been a fan ever since. The only fan letter I’ve ever written was to Tim Cahill.
- My worst character trait… I’m fussy about a lot of things. This is a step down from being a perfectionist which I am trying to get over. My mother told me once that I was going to be a miserable old lady because I was so fussy. “No,” I said. “Everyone around me will be miserable but I like being fussy.”
- My best character trait… you can depend on me. If I tell you I am going to do something (or not do something), you can count on me.
- The best advice I was given… “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” My parents always stressed that “golden rule.” While I have been given many pieces of sage advice, this one really does cover it all.
Caring for an elderly parent can be extremely challenging. The role reversal involved is emotionally and intellectually demanding, and many caregivers find themselves unprepared to undertake such a difficult task.
In Trading Places: Becoming My Mother’s Mother, author Sandra Bullock Smith shares her personal experiences spending ten years caring for her ailing mother.
This heartfelt look at the trials and tribulations of that decade offers powerful insight and encouragement for anyone entering into a similar period of life. Smith’s touching stories share the heartbreaking, and sometimes comical, moments she experienced while providing assistance to her aging parent—and how they mirrored similar events from her own childhood.
In a very real sense, the two women traded places. Smith found herself uttering phrases she heard all too often as a child, such as, “Don’t give your food to the dog” and, “You’ve had enough sugar today.” Smith began jotting down the things she said, and thus this charming book was born.
Filled with respect, compassion, and love, this uplifting and amusing memoir is for anyone involved in elder care or who may face the role in the future.