Susan Bucknam - Porsche Racer, Jewelry Designer, Grandmother
In episode 14 we had an incredible conversation with Susan Bucknam, a woman who comes from a long line of unconventional and inspiring women. A grandmother of 5, Susan has been finding the joy and adventure in everyday life since she was a young girl.
WD: Is your personal life currently changing (i.e. babies, kids leaving, divorce, marriage. etc) If so, how?
SB: Things are always changing. Widowhood sucks but there is joy in every day. We made wonderful memories and I say "than you" every day that we never waited to do things; we pretty much did the adventures when they presented. themselves. My grandchildren grow and change and try new things all the time. My lovely daughter-in-law has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing treatment. She is relying on her 10 year old daughter for helpful hints on surviving chemo as she had a Wilms Tumor when she was 3 and went through surgery, chemo and radiation and is cancer free. She knows the tricks to help her mom get through the process. My 97 year old Dad died last September and my Mom is in hospice care at 96. My two 17 year old cats have gone to kitty heaven and I have two new kittens which is a blast. So really, just normal living.
WD: What is the most satisfying aspect of your personal life?
SB: Kids and family. Being healthy, having wonderful friends, and being open to new adventures.
WD: What is your work/occupation?
SB: I'm retired. I make jewelry using silver, gold, and interesting stones. And I work at getting and keeping fit.
WD: Is that what you thought you would be doing?
SB: HA! I never really had a plan for growing up (and there are days when I'm not really a 'grown up' yet.
WD: If not, what altered your path?
SB: Serendipity - random occurrences, invitations to play, overheard comments and so on.
WD: What is your biggest challenge professionally?
SB: Making time for doing my stuff. I have about 50 unfinished items on my jewelry bench and more ideas than I can implement.
WD: What do you want more of in your life?
SB: I'd love to be a philanthropist so winning the lottery would be great!
WD: Who are the women who are most inspiring to you?
SB: Women who create. Women who can take complex ideas and relate them in a comprehensive way - who can synthesize information and present it.
WD: Who were your female role models growing up?
SB: Mom, her Mom, and her Mom. Mom raised 5 of us and kept the household running. She was part of a team (National Training Laboratories?) who developed/described group dynamics. Nana welded steel in the shipyards, and went to opportunity school to learn hairdressing, decoupage, lampshades, and also was an LPN. Gram ranched east of Denver, taught us all to make soap, got involved in real estate, and made sure that her daughters would be financially secure.
WD: What did you want to be as a child when you grew up?
SB: I have no idea - I loved cars, horses, and the mountains. I was never told what I could and couldn't do. My Mom climbed 14ers and skied and could cook anything on a wood stove or campfire. My Nana hiked and climbed and taught Mom to ski. Hmmm, the house was always filled with interesting people and lots of music.
To see Susan’s jewelry, visit her website Talisman Design