"Interview With Fam" Series – Aunt Donna

As some of you know, following up to Christmas, I had a series called “Interview with the Fam.” Well, since I wasn’t able to get everyone in my family interviewed on time, I will now be doing an interview a month until I run out of family members (that may take a while). The thing I’ve found most fascinating about these little interviews is how much (embarrassingly) I don’t know about my own family. Plus, it inspires me on so many levels – I learn more about my own self, and am reminded of how much you can learn from your own backyard.

Without any further ado, I present to you Aunt Donna!

Between freshman, sophomore and junior years in college (university), I came back to Baltimore for the summers. My Aunt owns a cleaning business, and she kindly hired me to help out. I have never met a woman who works harder than she does (and therefore inspires her employees to work harder!). She is a great mother of two children – Becky and Sam. She took me to my first music concert, and I’m not talking classical piano here, I’m talking PHISH I’ll never forget it. Me at 13 years old sporting her old tie dye tshirt. She was the cool Aunt. I went back to Phish concerts twice when in college. She basically rocks all the way around.

1. Please give us all a brief introduction of who Mrs. Donna Rader is.

Hi, my name is Donna Rader. I was born on March 27, 1963. I live in Baltimore, Md. along with my husband Larry, daughter Becky, 3 dogs, and 1 cat.

2. Being the youngest by far amongst four siblings must have been great in some ways and tough in others. What was it like to be the baby in your family? Do you think its helped shaped you in any ways as an adult?

I am the youngest sibling, with 2 older brothers, and a sister who is the oldest. My memories of being the youngest aren’t very good. I remember being teased all the time, their favorite thing to do to me was to call me; BABY, BABY, BABY. I would scream. No Help At All!!! As an adult however, there have been great times, and then not such great times. Overall, now I am very glad to have all the support of my sister and brothers.

3. As far as I know you’ve always lived in or around the Baltimore area. (Correct me if I’m wrong!) What is your favorite thing about living in Baltimore? What do you like the least?

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Md. However, I have not always lived here. In 1983, I went to visit my brother in New Mexico after his spinal injuries. I ended up staying for about 9-10 months. In 1986, I moved to Melbourne Florida, and had a relationship with Rich Tyree, got married for the first time in 1988, and my first child was born in Feb. 1989 in Melbourne Florida. I moved back to Baltimore in 1999. The thing I like the best about Baltimore is the fact that everything is so familiar to me – friends, family, memories. The thing I dislike about Baltimore the most is the weather.

4. Being an entrepreneur and owning your own business, what’s the best thing about being self-run? What is the toughest aspect of it? AND 5. Are there any other types of businesses you’d like to start up before you retire? What would your dream career be?

I own and run my own housecleaning business, called “Cleanability”, kinda catchy don’t ya think? I started the business back in 1995 or so because I needed to be very flexible for my young children since I was a single parent. Since that time, my business has grown, and I have had several employees through the years. It has been great working for myself, and having that kind of flexibility in my life. I look back to when I worked for “Corporate America”, and I think that I could never ever work for someone else again. “NEVER”. I have become very spoiled due to working for myself.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I have worked very hard at this business. It has had it’s great times and also it’s bad times. Housecleaning has taken it’s toll on me physically. In the future, I plan on possibly increasing my clientele and hiring people to work it for me. This is something that my husband told me he has wanted me to do for a long time. Don’t know why he waited so long to tell me that!!! MEN!!!!

I am giving thought as to what I think my dream job could or would have been in life, and I think I have to say that it may have something to do with animals. I love all animals very much..

Sorry Meg, just realized I answered #5 in #4. (No problem, I put them both in!)

6. Tell me something I don’t know about my wonderful Aunt Donna!

Things you probably don’t know about me are: That I’ve lived in 2 other states, besides Maryland. Maybe you don’t know that I used to be a Deadhead. I love to travel. I love my dogs!!! I’m really racking my brain right now, I have no idea “what you don’t know about me”. I also like to sew, and have made most of the curtains in my house. (I didn’t know the moving bit or the sewing part! I love that you were a Deadhead.)

7. Finally, what are your top two greatest memories thus far in your life? Why?

Last but not Least!!!! One of my favorite memories is of visiting Hawaii in April 1999. It is the most beautiful place on this planet, (in my opionon). Larry and I had the best time there on our honeymoon. Other great memories, hhmmm thinking!!!!! Here’s one!! June 2007, Becky graduated from High School, that was a really accomplishment for her, so it made me feel elated to see her accomplish that. In life, I’ve had many, many good memories. Too many to list probably. I look forward to making more lasting memories throughout the years to come. Who knows what they may be.

(She makes me proud to have an Aunt like her. )

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