Just the Facts:
My name is Elesa Marie Labanz. I’m a grandma of 3 – lifelong world traveler happily retired to small-town Ohio – lover of adventure and new experiences – with a house way too full of giraffes.
The Rest of the Story:
When you’re in your early 50’s and asked to talk about yourself, your mind spins as to where to start. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and got married at age 18, little knowing all the places we would go. Thirty-four years later I look back at a life spent following my husband from post to post throughout his career in the foreign service and it boggles my mind how much I got to experience, just by saying Yes to the Dress. We raised 3 children while moving from Washington, DC to the Outback of Australia, Bavaria in Germany, the Island of O’ahu in Hawaii, and back to DC where we settled in for a good 5 years while my husband traveled almost constantly but alone. Eventually we went back overseas, leaving one behind, to Guatemala, Sarajevo Bosnia i Herzegovina, Kuwait City and Oxford England. Phew…it was a crazy ride and my kids truly grew up with a broad experience of the world to take with them into the future.
As for me, I had a lot of experience, but no college degree (lots of classes though!), no career to speak of, and friends scattered like seeds all over the world (thank you Facebook for allowing those connections to be so thoroughly nurtured). The next thing I knew it was time to retire – felt like someone was shutting off the lights and I hadn’t even clocked in yet! Cranky, dubious, out-of-sorts, resentful – these are some adjectives it would be fair to apply to my attitude when we first found ourselves in small-town Ohio. Where had my exciting life of adventure gone?
But – you probably can already guess – that I found that there is a new type of adventure to be had. Creating strong bonds with neighbors. Planning and implementing the formation of a long-term nest that we can finally unpack in one last time. Gathering my kids and grandkids around me as by some miracle we all ended up in the same place. Adopting the oddest dog the pound had available. Taking Improv classes on a whim. And figuring out what on earth I am supposed to do with my enormous collection of giraffes!
Joining Norwex was the final piece. I discovered Norwex through a friend and almost immediately threw my hat in the ring. I love talking about these products, learning about what we can do to minimize our environmental impact, learning how to create Safe Havens in our homes, free of the harsh chemicals that so many cleansers are made of, and demonstrating the incredible job that these products do. They just.clean.better.