About Ann Marie

Life has been good to me.
As a retired English teacher, I’m free to enjoy my north woods home with my husband Jerry, Jake the Dog, and many adventurous friends.

I grew up in the Twin Cities (Hopkins) and moved north with my young family at age 26 to the wilderness my husband and I had always loved. I have two (wonderful) grown sons who have moved to California and Puerto Rico (sigh...), though that offers me an excuse to visit them when I feel sunshine deprived (which can happen in my north woods).

I love kayaking, canoeing, swimming, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing… the list goes on. One of the highlights of my life was my women’s canoe group, the Ladytrippers. Starting when our children were small, we took annual boundary waters canoe trips together for 25 years. When that ended, I launched into long kayak trips on Lake Superior with a group of local friends, The Old Fogies.

When I can’t be outdoors, I’m usually either writing, reading or knitting. I can’t imagine being bored. What’s WRONG with those people? There’s not enough time in a day for all I’d like to do.

After 30 years of teaching (in Columbia Heights and Grand Marais), I opted to hop overseas and complete my teaching career in Istanbul. My goodness, what a stunning world! I wrote weekly “missives” about my experiences there (amershon.edublogs.org). I taught at Koç Lisesi and Robert College, both prestigious prep schools. In nearly seven years teaching there, I never once had a student talk back at me. Amazing! That was a daily occurrence in the U.S.

My time in Turkey was a life-changer. I’ve tried to get back there at least every few years. Though the adjustment to such a different world was difficult, I became fascinated with the history of my new home and discovered what a warm and caring culture they have. I wrote a memoir about my experiences just to share the beauty of Turkey and its people, You must only to love them.

Turks make “Minnesota Nice” an understatement. I treasured my years teaching in Istanbul, but it’s great to be back in my north woods home, exploring the natural environment that drew me here.

I’m actually sort of a newlywed, since Jerry and I married in 2015. We both bike and cross-country ski, but I can only keep up with him walking and paddling. I drag him along on many travels—we’ve been to Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, and Puerto Rico together. He’s a good sport, a lover of good wine, and an amazing storyteller. We’re pretty darned happy with our life together.

As my father always said, "Life is beautiful!"

But then, he also said (when I was difficult), "We'll trade you in for a pig and shoot the pig." 

His good nature and humor helped make me who I am today. Not too sure what that is exactly— always in process, changing, growing, learning…