Meet Your Neighbor: Katherine Hayes Rodriguez
Tell me about yourself. I would say the interesting highlights are Im retired from my job at Disabled Sports USA where I worked for 23 years at Alpine [Meadows] running the programs. They have the Tahoe adaptive ski school and then theres the summer programs. The reason I retired is I have a 9-year-old son named Zeke and three and a half years ago we adopted a little boy named Taber, after a long wait. So after a little while, I concluded that I would do a better job at my job as a mother if I was only working one job.And I do have a disability. I have epilepsy.How has epilepsy impacted your life?Its affected all areas of my life. But I have very good medical attention and a wonderful husband and good friends who have helped me. Things are doing very well. I dont know anyone in Truckee with epilepsy to be honest with you, so its been a learning experience. Ive had it for 25 years now. And my husband, after many years of having a disability, its been very helpful to have someone like him around. Especially in a town like this, where many years of not being able to drive is definitely a concern. Hes done his share of carpooling.Whats it like being in Truckee with epilepsy?I never told anybody for probably 15 years, except the people I work with because its the kind of disability that people dont know much about, so they are hesitant about it. Then I got involved with the National Epilepsy Foundation and it was like I have to say something about it. It was my responsibility to let people know that its OK to have epilepsy and you can still function, you can still hold a job, you can still have children.I think Truckee, despite the transportation problem, is very kind.Whats the biggest difference between having a full-time job and being a stay-at-home mom?When you go to a place to work, there is structure and organization. And when youre at home theres a certain amount of chaos and uncertainty and unending paths that maybe have no closure. So its been quite the learning curve. My professionalism and organizational skills have been put together to keep my family going. Its the hardest job Ive ever done by far. Where is your adopted son from?He was born in the Bay Area. His nationality is Nicaraguan. Any interesting dynamics having one biological son and one adopted son?I think they fight and quarrel as much as the next siblings. It was a rough haul for Zeke. We didnt know Taber was coming. It was very last-minute. It was a shock for all of us and a big adjustment for Zeke. But they really love each other. Now were going through the whole thing with adoption where you tell your adopted child that theyre adopted. Thats a whole book in itself. Do you still ski?I do, in fact. I go out there and [hold a] clinic once a week for the instructors. I also do some private lessons for women. Ive had a business called For Women Only since 1981, which is kind of a private thing I do with coaching and instruction.The Sierra Suns Julie Brown interviewed Rodriguez for this weeks Meet Your Neighbor. Please send suggestions for Meet Your Neighbor to firstname.lastname@example.org.