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Deby and her husband fell in love with Costa Rica on a surf trip. When they retired there, Deby needed something to occupy her time; she started blogging about her adventures with cooking and baking in the jungle.
Tell us a little about your background…
Before our next act, my husband Chuck and I were responsible parents living in Los Angeles, California, raising two sons. I mention responsible because now we can be less responsible—and we are loving it.
I grew up in Norwalk, California with my parents and sister, one dog and a cat. We had a neighborhood full of kids running around, playing outside until the streetlights came on. It was the ‘50s. We walked everywhere around our little town and in the evenings, when it was time to come home for dinner, our mother would clap her hands and whistle and call my sister and me by name. She was a stay-at-home mom for the most part, but always involved in politics—that’s a whole different story. My father worked at a glass plant and then at Metal Toys for many years. Yes, my kids did get some very cool toys! Read the rest on nextactforwomen.com
I met my husband in my senior year of high school. We went all through high school together and never knew each other until our senior year, in 1970. We both had gym class at the same time and we had to pass each other in the hall. I guess it was the eye contact. We were married in 1972 in the rose garden of the University of Southern California (USC). Hippy-ish? You bet. Chuck’s father worked at USC at the time and it seemed like a beautiful place to marry and have 300 of our friends and family with us. I know, crazy.
Four years later, we started our family in Norwalk, California, down the street from Chuck’s grandmother Marie. This is the woman who taught me how to cook; we became very good friends. I would walk down to Marie’s house and she would be cooking something… Spaghetti sauce—I still make it her way today. Polenta with that wonderful sauce, all kinds of cookies, her Mac and Cheese, oh the bread. And sometimes it was just popcorn and we would sit and talk and eat popcorn. She was wonderful. Each time I cook, there is a bit of Marie in it—even when I crack an egg. She made the biggest impression in my life for the love of food.
Chuck and I stayed in that Norwalk house for 15 years, then moved to Redlands, California, and we still own that home. We have two sons, now almost 40 and 32. The oldest is an Art Director and the younger one is a Video Editor. We are very proud parents.
I was, for the most part, a stay at home Mom, but always on the go. As the kids got older, I needed something to do, so we started a Tree Farm and Nursery on our property and sold trees and plants. I would go and buy large trees and plants from wholesale nurseries and sell them at my nursery, Plant-It-Earth Farm. It was fun for about six years. Chuck worked full time as a Union Carpenter and on the week ends I would have him go to customer homes and deliver and plant large trees for them. One day, he said, “Deby, I am going surfing on the weekend” and I said, “I want to go too.” So we started to close the Nursery so we could go and have fun. We slowly sold off the trees and plants and I moved on to my next job. I went to college just long enough to to get the credits to work at a child care facility; it ended up being a Montessori school and I loved it.