52 Faces: 2/52 – Marina

For this week’s 52 Faces Project (which is really last week’s…because it’s not even February and I’m already behind..), I’m interviewing the one and only Marina.

My mom is a character. When she took the Myers-Briggs personality test, her results showed that her level of extroversion was high enough to “be offensive to some”. If you’ve been around my mom, you’ve no doubt left feeling like you’ve heard a lot of words. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. And, she’s prone to venture into some topics with a new acquaintance that you’d normally only discuss with a close friend.

However, one of the things I have to say about my unique and completely wonderful mom is this: her unapologetic tendency to boldly be herself is quite refreshing.

Oh that we would all take a lesson from Marina and let down our guards every once in awhile…and also? She’s gorgeous.


Hometown: Century, FL

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science (psych major, sociology minor) from Wesleyan College, Master’s Degree in Education in School Counseling K-12 from Auburn University

Occupation: Guidance Counselor at W.S. Neal Elementary…She has been a school guidance counselor for 34 years..6 in high schools, 28 in elementary schools. She’s also been a church choir director in the past…for 11 years total, and is currently a pianist at a church near where I grew up.

Personal: Married to my dad, Roy, for 39 years. Mom to my brother (Jacob) and I. Grandmother to Helen, Elizabeth, Maxwell and Adelaide.

Fun Facts: She went by her first name (Donna) until she started elementary school…and changed to Marina because Donna was too popular. She was the valedictorian of her senior class in high school. She plays a mean flute! Her knowledge of vocabulary words would put most people’s to shame…


What do you do for fun? – “I like to hang out in the yard with my husband…go kayaking…camping (although lately I haven’t done that as much as I’d like)…reading…but mostly, I adore being with family and close friends…and playing with my grandchildren.”

In what ways do you think you are like your mom?- “I like things to be orderly. I’m very family-oriented…being with family is extremely important to me. We both have a strong faith in God. We both have a love for music..a love for singing.”

In what ways are you like your dad?- “He was very interested in politics and history, as am I. And I, like him, have a fiery temperament when something seems unjust…I cannot just let it go.”

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?-  “When my husband tells me that I was a good mother. And, when my co-workers say that I am funny…”

What have been the three biggest news events during your lifetime?- “I’d have to say, the assassination of JFK..and the assassination of MLK both left a huge mark on me. I was young when they occurred. Also, the events of 9/11.”

What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted but still don’t have?- “Ha! A Horse…I’ve always wanted to have a horse.”

What’s your most cherished family tradition?- “Having big family get-togethers and celebrating the holidays.”

If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be?- “I would eliminate child abuse and/or child neglect…and closely related, I would eradicate fatherless homes… Maybe a broader problem is family dysfunction…it’s a huge problem that I’ve seen in all my years of counseling. Lack of a mother and father raising children in a calm, nurturing, stable environment…if that could be righted..then so many other issues in our society would be resolved.”

What is the best thing about being a grandparent?- “The joy of watching a beloved child grow and develop into their own person…and seeing how your own children parent, seeing differences and similarities in how you parented. It’s quite fascinating to me.”

Favorite Quote- “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead



One Comment on “52 Faces: 2/52 – Marina”

  1. McKt says:

    Gosh she is gorgeous! And I love how her extroverted self says her favorite thing is big family parties. Consistency, boom. Nonna is the best.

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