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Lynn Gordon
Sheridan, Wyoming

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What's Up:
I’ve lived in Sheridan, Wyoming for 25 years, having moved here to be near my ex-husband’s family and the mountains.  I, like so many people of Northern Wyoming, am grateful that the main interstate, I-80, goes through the southern part of the state.  Sheridan, http://www.sheridanwyoming.org, is a very unique community in terms of history, culture and interests. Sadly, we’re on our way to becoming another Jackson Hole.  You can well imagine that many of us would prefer it to be different. Wyoming people are fairly independent sorts, honoring the frontier and pioneering spirit. I am very comfortable here and only imagine leaving to someday become a snowbird to southern Utah or Florida when I retire. 

The highlight of my year is working 12 days on weekends in the spring, at the local greenhouse and nursery, carrying flats of plants to restock the shelves.  I’ve never worked so hard, for so little money, and enjoyed anything more in my whole life.  I’ve learned a lot about plants, got into better shape and supported my spendy habit of gardening. Truthfully, it really is all about supporting my flower pressing hobby that is a very small cottage business. My other interests include photography and cooking, as well as, regularly investing towards retirement by playing the lottery <grin>.

I almost joined the “In Memoriam” Page in 2002 with a ruptured appendix.  Did you know that appendicitis circles through our age group again?  I had very little pain, virtually no fever (a half an hour!), and in fact drove myself to the hospital after five days of not feeling well.  I only went because it was a Friday and “just in case it really was something,” I thought I’d better check it out before the weekend.  I did almost die the following Monday.  A most interesting experience, almost dying – it wasn’t like how I thought it would be.

This month I will begin taking Yoga Teacher Training, a 265 hour course – 16 months long, here in Sheridan, Wyoming, no less.  I’m really looking forward to “leaning into” an integrated and long-established system of mind and body.  When I’m through, I expect that I will share my knowledge with current cancer patients and their families, along with other survivors (I could have died another time, but didn’t) like myself, and others, particularly low-income women. In addition to this training, I’m a Certified Laughter Leader with World Laughter Tour – Haysa Yoga, the ancient Yoga practice of therapeutic laughter.

I still drive my dream car, a ’91 Honda Civic, which drives and corners like a sports car.  I’m not the typical Wyoming driver since I learned to drive in Denver where you race to the stop sign. It was great fun teaching my daughters to drive like me.  One of these years I’m going to have to get another car, which more than likely will be a Honda CRV.  Right now, I have 230,000 miles on my little car.  I’ll seriously think about a new car when I’m beyond 300,000. 

My Occupation:
I began my career as a teacher on a two-year teaching certificate in the Panhandle of Nebraska. The school in which I began was a one-room country school, K-8, sans indoor plumbing and running water.  The school, between Big Springs and Lewellen, was a 15 mile drive on country roads from town.  The first year I taught I was expected to wear dresses.  However, I didn’t let that stop me from hunting pheasants on the way home from school. I taught there for two years and then moved to a town school, K-12 in two adjoined buildings.  It was here that I completed my education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. 

I moved next to Central City, Nebraska where I taught in a departmentalized upper-elementary school setting.  I achieved one of my major goals there – teaching sixth grade social studies – Mexico, Central and South America and Canada.  During this time, I earned my masters degree in counseling and educational psychology.  My next career move was to become an elementary counselor here in Wyoming.  I am still a certified teacher with elementary and middle school endorsements with several hours in special education. I also hold a K-12 counseling certificate.  While I doubt I’ll return to the classroom, I’ll continue to recertify each time it roles around.  Like my car, I go for longevity.

In 1980 my family and I moved to Sheridan.  I began work at the Mental Health Center then, and was privileged to work there for 23 years, most of it practicing in the comprehensively focused, community mental health center model established in the 60’s.  In this model, I worked as a generalist, and have experienced and witnessed a myriad of testimonies of the human condition. 

I went into private practice two years ago.  Health, well-being and successful living are the hallmarks of my practice.  Beginning this fall, I’m diversifying and my practice and I will also offer training, consulting and personal coaching.  I am a Master Practitioner and Health Certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).   I’m also trained in Thought Engines® technology that deals with stress resolution and habit control.  I have been working with the developer of Thought Engines® for over four years with gastric bypass patients from Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, http://www.weightlossengines.com. I also find Thought Engines® to be very helpful with my other clients because of the effective and enduring outcomes they achieve. I had breast cancer in 1993 and consider it one of my greatest gifts (and teachers) that I’ve received in my life.  Naturally, my practice is most welcoming to cancer participants and their families. I am very open to others from our class who want to share their cancer journeys, both past and present.  Retire?  Who knows when, just someday - maybe? 

My Family:
I have been divorced for 14 years after 22 years of marriage.  I have two daughters, one who looks very English and Scottish and the other looks Spanish like her Cuban father.  My eldest, Wendy, is 28 and married to a Sheridan County Sheriff’s Deputy.  She has bachelor’s degree in social work and is the Program Director for a private group home for adolescent girls. It is the only group home that is certified by the State of Wyoming as a maternity home.  She’s not made me a grandmother yet, but is hoping that one of these days she’ll say it’s happening.

My youngest daughter, Kelly, age 22, is a senior at Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.  She’ll graduate with a bachelor’s degree in social work in December.  She will live with me until she moves on to graduate school, possibly DU, in June or September of 2006.  She’ll pursue a masters in social work and become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  Hmm, it seems that both girls have and are following in my foot steps.  Really, I’d love to have them both come into my practice. 

My mother, Laveta (Gordon, Wanley) Dinnebeck was Dr. Tillquist’s office nurse from 1954-1971. Then she worked for Dr. Kohler and Goeble for a couple of years before moving to Granby and Kremling with my step-father. Many WRHS students were patients of these doctors and may remember my mother.  She was often recognized as the “best tail gunner” in Wheat Ridge because of all the shots she gave.  I moved my mother to Sheridan in 1996.  She is a bi-lateral amputee.  Following each amputation, the first in 1988 and the second in 2003, she learned to walk again, an amazing feat for any one, but particularly true for someone her age.  My mother is 85.

Favorite Memories:
My memories of high school have been dimmed by chemotherapy.  I have so enjoyed the reverie each time I read someone’s bio and they tell of their favorite memories.  I’d forgotten that we had so many activities.  When I think of high school, in addition to friends and classmates, I think about the defining experiences fostered by our teachers.  We were taught critical thinking skills, how to write a decent paragraph, taught to type and given permission to become who we were meant to be.  I particularly remember, fondly now, painfully then,  Miss Lynen, Mr. Ellis, Mr. Manis, Miss Hill, Mr. Wetherbee, Mrs. Tenney and Mr. Trujillo.  Seminar in Social Studies was my favorite class and set the stage for the rest of my life. 
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Last modified:
October 20, 2015