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How I Got Here

My name is Rissa, it rhymes with Lisa, which is an American version of Hebrew and Russian name.  It means ROSE.  <G>  My maiden name was Peace, so I really am a Peace Rose or Rose Peace, which completely justifies my current passion for roses.  BTW, if you are thinking Reese's Pieces, you are not the first.   After the movie ET came out, I was inundated with Reese's Pieces jokes.  Not exactly a stretch, since everyone always called me "Reese's Peanut Butter Cup" before that.  Trust me, I was around long before the candy and my parents did NOT make up my name.  Rissa was my maternal grandmother's name and, in keeping with Jewish tradition, as the first female born after her death, I was named for her.   Since my dad is from a long line of old guard southern farmers who emigrated in the era of the Mayflower, I am sort of a walking, talking oxymoron.  <G>  Like I would not have had enough of an identity crisis just being a Southern Jew.   <snort>

My husband Mike and I met over on CompuServe years ago.  He had gone to school at the Naval Air Station in Meridian, MS and mistook me for someone he knew.   I was just passing through, looking for a friend  who was late meeting me for a discussion on literature or Star Trek or something equally insignificant.  Mike was nice and polite and something clicked in the three sentences he sent and I told him I would be back on line later that evening and would talk to him then if he were around.   He was.  A cyber romance ensued.  We finally met and fell in love and the rest is history.  We were married on New Year's Eve.  It was only after we married that I discovered his polite comments were preprogrammed macros. <g> The sneak!

I went to the University of Georgia and worked my way through.  That is why it took me so many years. <G>  I majored in History and minored in Drama.  It was a great place to live and go to school.  I came to Mississippi for all the wrong reasons, but I am here now.  This is my father's home, the city where he was born and raised.  My father and I both work at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and I drive him to and from work every day.  Good kid, huh?  <G>

The husband and I bought this house in January 1997.  I was too busy with work to do much with the house for the first year we owned it.  I was lucky to get the half dozen roses I had into the ground.  Then fate intervened.  First, my best friend Johnnie and her daughter were in an awful accident on the last day of class before Thanksgiving.  Charlotte was critically injured and taken to the only tertiary care center in the state, the same place where I now work.  She had massive brain injury and never regained consciousness.  Her parents made the decision to remove her from life support the day before Thanksgiving.  I stayed with her while she died.   My world was shattered. 

Then the small private HMO I had brought from an idea to the fifth largest HMO in Mississippi, took on new investors.  The new owners placed a hand picked president, who fired me within a week of our first meeting.  If it had not been for the Christmas Holidays, he would have done it sooner.  I was mortified.  

I found a home at the University.  I am a LAN administrator for the Mississippi Health Sciences Information Network.  A grant based program sponsored by the National Library of Medicine.  It is a wonderful program and the University has agreed to pay my salary once the grant ends, in the hopes that we can make it a viable for profit Internet Service Provider.  I get to leave work at five and have a life outside of the office for the first time in a decade.   Woo hoo!

All of that to explain why I finally have time for a real rose garden! <G>  I have over 100 roses and spend all of my free time caring for them or reading about their care and culture.  I am also a computer junkie and participate in many discussion and new groups. 

Can you guess the motto of my life?  "What does not kill you, makes you stronger."   


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