"People would come to my farm from all over Middle Tennessee. I grew up to 90 different varieties of tomatoes, 45 of peppers and 12 types of eggplants. Plus all kinds of herbs. I think people enjoyed visiting the farm as much as they did my produce," she noted.
She embraces life with gusto and good humor, traveling nationally and internationally, quilting, continuing to garden and looking forward to spending time with her new grandson, born in September 2017. "My daughter, Caren and her husband live in Seattle. She's a labor and delivery nurse there, so she pretty much knew what to expect!" Angie's other grown daughter, Christina, is preparing to start nursing school soon, as well. In fact, health care is pretty much a tradition in their family; her late husband was a nurse practitioner.
The health care "tradition" started when Angie was in Ft. Benning, Georgia, in the Army. She had planned on becoming an intelligence officer, but during basic training she suffered what is known as an "aviator fracture." An "aviator fracture" is a compression fracture of the talus bone in the ankle, usually caused when an impact forces the foot to flex upwards too far. This type of fracture earned the name when early pilots crashed with their feet still on the foot controls, going slowly enough that they survived the crash. In Angie's case, the impact was with frozen mud.
"One very cold morning my company ran an obstacle course. The obstacle I was on was an 8 foot wall. The object was to climb it, stand on top and then jump down. It was critical to be warmed up sufficiently to avoid what happened to me. The person in front of me "froze" at the top of the wall and had to be talked down. Because of that, I was no longer warmed up and as flexible and when I jumped, I broke my ankle severely," she explained. That ended her Army career. However, the handsome Army nurse that treated her helped her start a new career. They fell in love while she was recovering from her injury and married two years later.
Angie put away her fatigues and took up the mantle of wife and eventually homemaker and mom to their two daughters.
Issues with her ankle injury followed her though, resulting in multiple surgeries over the course of the next 30 years to clean out the joint. Finally, the damage was so severe, that in 2009 she had to have her right leg amputated below the knee.
"Initially, I was a little afraid of receiving treatment at the VA, so I stayed under Tri-Care and my amputation was done at Vanderbilt. However, in about 2011 I started going to the VA for my care and was very well pleased. That's where I met Aaron Sorensen. He made it very easy for me to work with the VA system and seems to have an excellent relationship with them as their prosthetic partner," Angie commented.
She has responded extremely well to wearing a prosthesis: "It hasn't slowed me down very often. When I recently visited England and Wales I spent days touring several large gardens and had no problems," she said.
Angie has seen many other life changes over the past few years. Among the most difficult was her husband's passing away in 2013. However, after a couple of years she made the decision to open back up to life and say "yes" to opportunities. One of those came knocking in the form of a cousin who introduced Angie to her friend, Dave. The two hit it off and began spending most of their time together. She recently moved out to California where he lives and is looking forward to starting a new chapter with Dave, who it turns out, is also an avid gardener.
Her thoughts about RHS? "I have found RHS to be very responsive. Aaron just stays with it until we have a solution. He gets the fit and alignment right and I get to stay active and enjoy the things I love. The office staff is also very easy to work with."