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Member Spotlight: Laurie Taylor

Laurie Taylor

Tell us about you!!!

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. I grew up in the Keystone neighborhood where we rode bikes to Keystone Pool and had horses as neighbors. I am a Benson Bunny. I went to Lincoln to attend Nebraska Wesleyan. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and minors in Art and Music in 1972. Omaha Public Schools offered me a job teaching second grade.It was the start of a 26 year career that also included teaching on the Pine Ridge Reservation (4th grade), and the one room school my mother went to in Sheridan County in Nebraska (K-8th grade). After living in western Nebraska for 4 years we relocated to Elkhorn. I taught at a one room country school as head teacher for 8 years (K-3rd grade) then back to OPS for 11 years (2nd & 3rd grade). 

I went out on a health leave as I had fibromyalgia that created migraines 3 to 4 times a week. I also struggle with a LOT of osteoarthritis and a little rheumatoid arthritis. I retired early but felt like I needed to do something, so I started a pet sitting business called Paws 4 Me for 10 years. I taught in the warm water pool at Lakeside Wellness then became certified in Tai Chi in 2015. I have taught Tai Chi since 2015 and am now at Elkhorn Common Ground. I became a Certified HealingTouch Practitioner in 2017. I am a life-long learner!! 

I have one son and two granddaughters here in Omaha. I met my husband in 1996 when his son was in my 3rd grade class! He waited till the summer to write me a nice thank you note. In the note he asked me out and gave me his phone number as I had an unlisted phone. We married in July of 1997! 

Tell us about your history with Omaha Artists Inc.

I joined Omaha Artists in 2018. I have always been doing some type of art as a classroom teacher and calligraphy as a College for Kids class and freelance for the NE State Historical Society. I enjoy drawing, watercolors, acrylic and oil and cold wax. In the last 3 years I have taken a variety of online art classes. I would like to learn encaustic! I love the Fun Shops that Omaha Artists promote as well as the meetings. I always meet someone new! When I paint my aches and pains fade away as I focus on the project!

I have a website: highergroundsacredart.com. I also display my art on Fine Art America. 

Tell us about a couple of your favorite books you have read (name and author)? 

In my spare time I love to do art and read historical fiction. A couple of books that I highly recommend are “The Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman, “The Book of Longings” by Sue Monk Kidd and “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. I love authors Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah and Kate Morton and Omaha author Jonis Agee. I also love to connect with my friends. My goal is to keep up with my 93 year old mother!

What are your travel experiences? 

Jerry and I honeymooned on Maui. Scuba diving at the Cayman islands as well as Hawaii was beautiful. I was lucky to travel with my mother and stepfather to Berlin and celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Air lift in which Chuck flew. We then traveled to Paris where we had an apartment for two weeks.

It was amazing and I would go back in a heartbeat! I have been on a barge in Scotland and gone to the town where my great grandmother was born. I have traveled with family to Italy, France, Ireland and Canada. I love the Nebraska Sandhills and love to travel west. 

What are you known for? 

I am known for my smile and my laugh as well as my “evil twin” who gets into mischief! 

Has anything or anyone changed your life? 

My husband has changed my life by honoring who Iam and being my steadfast rock through health and illness. He gives me the space I need to learn and grow. Every year just gets better! My family and my friends are my inspiration and my love. 

What is your favorite quote or saying? 

My favorite quote is “Be still and know that I am God.” I also like “This too shall pass.”