Personal and Family
I grew up in Houston, TX, in a family that consisted of a mother, father, and brother almost two years older than me. My parents were married 50 years. I had a large extended family, because both my mother and father had 9 siblings. My parents both came from very poor families, depression era Oklahoma sharecroppers. They each graduated from high school, which was a huge accomplishment that few of their siblings achieved, and showed their drive and ambition. That drive led them to move to Houston, and they became the matriarch and patriarch of mostly my father’s siblings who followed them to a better life. We were solidly middle class, and my father was always a supervisor, corporate executive, or business owner. My mother stayed at home until my brother and I were in school, then she learned to make custom draperies and eventually had her own business. Both my mother and father always had a sympathetic ear and helping hands for our extended family. My dad died from a heart attack in 1995, and my mom died in 2000, after a long goodbye from Alzheimers. I am no longer close to any of my extended family in TX or OK.
My brother and I were good friends and good students, and were the first in our family to graduate from college. I married my high school sweetheart after the first year of college, and spent the next four years working full time and going to school full time. We divorced after six years, and I moved to Hawaii and began a great adventure with a new partner – we eventually married and had a son, who is now 37. We divorced after 22 years and creating two successful businesses together. I have since been in two long term relationships with women. I am now happily and intentionally single, not even dating, since I began my ministerial journey. My son moved to Hawaii to work on his father’s farm in 2010, and we zoom regularly and see each other once a year. My adopted UU daughter moved to Denver in 2013, and we zoom regularly and see each other at least once a year. I visit regularly with my brother and his husband, while we all live within driving distance. One of my great joys of ministry was officiating their wedding, after they had been partners for 12 years. My brothers, my son and my daughter appreciate me becoming a minister, and are quite proud of me.
I lived in Monmouth County NJ from 1996 until August 2012, when I moved to Cherry Hill for my ministerial internship. Those sixteen years were the longest I had lived in one stretch and one place in my life, and started me on my religious professional path, after discovering Unitarian Universalism there. I had a strong close network of UU and other friends there, especially one women’s support group, and my interfaith dance ministry ‘sisters’, with whom I met, danced and prayed weekly for 5 of the 7 years I was in the area. My good friends and women’s groups were very supportive of my call to ministry, and we are still close although I have not lived in the area for the last three years. I enjoy reading for pleasure, movies, listening to music, watching TV, and decorating, when I do have spare solitary time. And I like being out in nature, hiking or my very favorite of being at the beach, or near any body of water.
My son Chris Kanoa Buske and my 'granddog' Bruno, on the family farm on the Big Island in Hawaii.
My brother, George, right, and his husband, just after their wedding ceremony I officiated on Sunset Key, FL. They live in Houston, TX.
I 'adopted' Rachel Stevenson as my UU daughter the year her birth mother died and my birth son moved to Hawaii. I was a UU mentor to her through most of her teen and young adult years, while she was a district youth leader, Assistant Director of Religious Education and youth advisor, and accepted into seminary. She still appreciates Unitarian Universalism, and her practice now is in her Pagan roots. Now, I'm just 'Mom', soon to be Mother of the Bride.