Here’s a quirky auto-biography that I wrote in January 2008
Air Force Brat from Texas…Howdy! Born in late 1949 to a nurturing mother, a strong, adoring dad, and a bossy brother. My mom, Betty the Homemaker. My dad, Buddy, the pilot. My brother, Smitty, the trickster.
My father loved words, ideas, geography and flying. He passed his passions to his two kids. My older brother and I still revel in banter on vocabulary, world philosophy, maps, and the sky. I spent many an idle day flying with my dad, getting to see the world from above. The engines droned-out any chance of conversation. I remember my forehead stuck to the window, looking up and down. Crisp blue skies, cotton clouds, toy towns and farms below—lost in thought with excellent company—my Sweet Old Lovable Dad.
My mother loved music, dancing, singing, rhyming, drawing, making costumes, baking, gardening—always busy! She taught my brother and me to embrace work, and to get along most of the time. We learned to give care to simple tasks, and never feel boxed in with problems. She also taught us to live spiritual lives with compassion and love of family.
We moved many times. I attended many different schools. Thus, I learned to get involved and get acquainted quickly—to say, “Yes” to new friends, new opportunities. As a child I studied music, sang in children’s choirs, took community theatre, studied French, rode my bike all over, and daydreamed as much as possible. Oddly I was not a question-asker. At 19 I finally learned that the funny little cloud in the sky that looked a lot like the moon WAS the moon!
Legend has it that our family carries an “ART GENE.” Our extended family has an abundance of creative folks, especially in visual arts. I grew up thinking that my art was just OK. You see, my brother got the “ART GENE”—not me. So I became an art dabbler for my own pleasure, no pressure of an assumed career in art. I did minor in Art Education, which has been helpful in my work with community art programs. Plus, I got to study a lot of great art history!
Good fortune took me all over the U.S. and to a dozen different countries since my dad was a professional pilot. Luckily I’ve enjoyed my own company, so traveling alone has always been plain fun. Taking in art museums, galleries are priorities when I’m out and about. I travel with a sketchbook to record inspirations. Plus, I’ll forever look for chances to gaze out on the ocean, to smell salt air and feel coastal winds. Now I like traveling far with my grand kids or near with my honey.
Being a child of the ‘60’s, I embraced the wild, glory of my generation with a modesty that has served me well. In my early 20’s I fell down the rabbit-hole of community service. My professional life has focused on encouraging children and their families to participate in the arts, literature and life-long learning. The day jobs have been in libraries, classrooms and community art. Social networking is one of my own art-forms, helping people find their passions and if needed, the right mentor. Oh, yeah, I’m also a nationally-known performance storyteller. In other words, I got a gift to gab! Occasionally I can be bought with high quality dark chocolate, good port wine, and other epicurean delights.
In my home life I am extremely private. Our home is filled with music, art and time to create. I’ve been sad—divorced my college sweetheart; widowed by my true love, alone with two sad daughters. My long-time friends (all crones now) and work pulled me through the dark. After 20 years on my own, I’m blessed with the company of a creative, witty, smart guy, our blended family of three daughters, my five perfect grands, my friends and a town of former students and their families. And, lest I forget: His five cats! Life is sweet. And living each moment gives me the gift of….? I’m still wondering exactly what! And in the meantime, it’s all good.