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The Gong Show, vacuum cleaners and thunderstorms
HARRISON – Allison Taber grew up in Lebanon and now lives in Harrison with her two daughters and husband. She was adopted at 20 days old and has never looked back.
She recently took time to tell us about her life.
Q: When were you born and where were you brought up?
A: I was born in Portland on June 12, 1982.
I was given up for adoption and I was adopted by my parents when I was 20 days old. I was brought up in North Berwick.
Q: Did you have many siblings?
A: No, just me. It had been a very long and expensive process and I was so perfect they didn’t need any more children!
Q: What did your parents do?
A: My mom is an RN and she works in the Intensive Care Unit at Wentworth Douglass Hospital.
My dad owns his own business. It's a silk screening business called the Mad Hatter.
Q: What was it like growing up?
A: I had a great childhood. I was very close to my cousins who lived nearby; they were my father's brother's kids.
All of dad’s family lived in the same town, so we were very close.
We have a family camp in Naples, so that’s where we would always be in the summer; the entire family.
It was right down from the causeway and we would have family reunions and they would be so huge, that people would stop by thinking it was an event. We had a carnival-type atmosphere; being all very crafty and putting it on ourselves.
They would make all kinds of games like ring toss or bean bag toss and water balloons between the legs and race. We would even all do an act for our own Gong Show. My cousin and I did things together and she always made me be the boy. We would put on a wedding or be Jack and Jill. The family all sang and it was always silly.
I had dolls and played with my Cabbage Patch dolls. I loved to play house and school.
I always had imaginary friends and when I was playing, I was always talking to imaginary people. I would play school and they would be the students or friends over for tea.
Q: Was there anything you wanted to be when you grew up?
A: I always wanted to be a teacher and have my own preschool.
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: I went through the North Berwick schools and graduated from Noble High School, which is three towns combined ... North Berwick, Berwick and Lebanon.
Q: Did you get into mischief or play pranks?
A: As I kid, I never really did that stuff. It was just ok to be silly in my family. I had a cousin that was always in trouble ... he always got in trouble even if it wasn’t him that did it.
Q: What have you had for jobs?
A: I was a bus girl at a restaurant in Ogunquit; I wanted the job and my parents let me.
Then I was a chamber maid in Ogunquit. That was a great town to get a summer job.
Then I was an assistant manager at the clothing store at the Newington Mall.
A: I went to York County Community College for early childhood education. I graduated in 2004. I went the first year and the second year I went online and finished that way.
Q: When and how did you meet your spouse?
A: I met Matt in high school and he was older and had already graduated. We started dating when I was a senior.
Our first date was to Chuck E Cheese with his nieces. He would be babysitting. And he was great with kids and close to his family. What woman doesn’t fall in love with a man who at the age of 20 adored his nieces? It might have been a trick, but it worked!
We got married in 2003 when our daughter was 15 months old and she danced and had a great time.
She was the first grandchild and first great-grandchild.
Her name is Abbigale and we had another daughter, Brooke five years later.
Abbi goes to Harrison School and Brooke goes to a preschool twice a week.
Q: What do you do now?
A: A little bit of everything. I am a mom first and everything else falls into place after that. I fill in with the after school program at the Harrison school. I used to be the director and gave it up to be home more.
I am president of the PTO – It involves a lot of meetings, fundraising and events. For me I like to have a foot in Abbi's school and be a part of it and know all the faces and names of everyone involved in her life; I like it like that. When she comes home and says she wants to go to someone’s house I know who they are.
It’s very important to be involved with you child’s education and future.
Q: What does Matt do?
A: He is a timber framer and builds beautiful homes. He owns his own business, Trees Too Timberframes.
Q: Anyone said you look like someone famous?
A: I used to be told I have a voice like Rachel Ray; it is a tiny bit raspy. I also pronounce things correctly and a lot of people don’t understand it.
Q: Did you do much traveling?
A: Not really, with small children and being an at-home-mom, it’s financially difficult to do much. We travel a lot in Maine and have a camp in Calais where his family is from. Matt was born there and his parents grew up there before they moved to Berwick.
The camp is very, very out there. No running water, no electricity; it’s great.
We are looking forward to taking the girls to Disney at some point.
I've been to Florida several times though. My husband flew on a plane for the first time with me in 2005 on one trip to Disney. He was fine, but probably wouldn't admit it if it was bad.
Q: Which place was the most fascinating and why?
A: We always just went to Disney. It wasn't exploring Florida it was just spending time at Disney.
Q: Did anyone influence you to the point of changing your direction in life?
A: My nursery school teacher and babysitter ... I had such wonderful memories of growing up and admired them in the care they gave me.
They both made childcare such a wonderful place to be in and that's why I went into that field.
Q: Have you ever tried to contact birth parents?
A: No. I only have a small amount of paperwork that tells me the hair color, and weight. All I know is that they were very young.
My parents that raised me are 100 percent my parents I need and they were always open about me being adopted. I don’t remember ever being “sat down” and told. I was always told I was “picked.”
My friends would never believe me because my mom and I have a lot of similarities.
I always figured I would pursue it when I became 18, but not so much to know them as to know medical history.
I have a pretty good idea they put me up for adoption because they were so young. They may not even still be together and things are probably best left alone; why stir the pot and there are my parents to consider as well. I would never want them hurt.
Q: Does it ever give odd moments?
A: Now and then, like when people ask where my daughter got her curly hair; things like that.
Q: Do you collect anything or have a hobby?
A: Instead of collecting things, I throw them away. I hate clutter. Sometimes I even leave out the vacuum cleaner! We joke that it is my friend because I vacuum every day. It’s weird though, I don’t always put that away, but leave a cup and it’s picked up.
I love to run and I try to run three to five miles at least a few times a week. I also try to do a 5K every month in the good months. I would love, love to do a half marathon. Running is almost an addiction. There is such an adrenaline rush.
At the Waterford Fall Foliage 5K, I placed second in my age group and got a gold medal and a bottle of maple syrup. I was so excited. It got so cold after the race, but I had to just wait to get that medal.
I spend a lot of time in my home too and just decorating, cooking dinner and all that housewife stuff. I think of that as much as a hobby as a job.
Q: What is the last book you read?
A: Oh my gosh. It’s called: I Remember Nothing and I don’t remember the author! The librarian recommended it to me, I read it and then I lost the book ‘cause I am so forgetful. I am a planner and plan-ahead person, but my plate is just always full and I've lost lots of things and now I lost the book!
I would like to read more.
Q: What subject do you wish you knew more about?
A: I would like to know more about history. My husband knows a lot and I'd like to know more.
Always wish I knew more about theater too. I have secretly been in love with that, probably from my childhood and loving to sing and act.
Q: What is the one thing you could not give up?
A: Besides my family it would have to be coffee. I always have a pot brewing.
Q: What is the one thing you would happily do over again?
A: My wedding day. Not so much for the part that it was the wedding ... but I would like to be able to make a few changes and especially be able to soak it up a little more.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: I would love to have my own nursery school. I have wanted it for a long time and I'm ready to get my ducks in a row. We are planning on building a new home in the future, but I still have room now and may get started in the fall. Whenever it opens, it will be called Seeds to Trees.
Q: Do you have a hidden talent or a talent you wished you had?
A: I would have to say the acting and singing. I would love to get involved in local theater.
Q: What would you like people to know about you?
A: I am friendly and like to talk to people and I absolutely love children. I am very blessed with my life and very fortunate to have my marriage and family.
To some, my life may be mundane, but for me it's exactly what I wanted.
A wife, mom, and the PTO!
Q: Last day on earth; what would you do and who with?
A: Of course with my family and we would go to the ocean for the day and spend the day at a private beach. I can be very social, but on a day like that I would want no interruptions, just playing in the sand and spending time together.
Q: What scares you the most?
A: Thunder and lightning. I slept with my parents into my teens if we got a storm in the night. And as a mom I have to put my smiley face on so the girls won’t get that same fear.
Q: If anyone could walk in right now, who would you most want to see?
A: I would like to see my biological mother. And I would want my mother there as well.
She would be able to thank my mother for taking me and giving me the wonderful life I’ve had.
I wouldn’t want to change a thing.