A Few Things Everyone Already Knows About Me, (But Am Just Making Sure)
Because I never could follow directions. I have nothing saved from childhood, save a darling picture, a lock of hair (the exact same color of our boy Scotty’s when he was little) and my first grade report card, which is perfect except “Fails to Follow Instructions.” Which is hilarious because even at 60, all these years later, I still can’t, don’t, or won’t.
I am a gardener. It began when Doug and I first married, and rented a duplex with a sad little yard. I learned as I went along. I learned that poison can grow on trees, and if you touch it, and you’re allergic (oh, if I just LOOK at it, I get a horrible rash), you will itch like a *%^*^$&, and if you dig at it, and burst the boils open with something sharp, it will spread and make more bubbles.
I love swans, and rabbits (Scotty asked for a rabbit on his 9th birthday. And I fell in love), flowers ~ anything sweet and beautiful and growing. I have, a very few times, broken my ‘I only photograph the living’ rule and photographed a dead butterfly, a dead blue jay, and William, my beloved swan friend (i was looking for the pics but can’t find them so am moving on for now).
While I adore nature photography, it wasn’t where I became smitten with the medium. It was when Scotty was born, and I began making albums of his growing years.
I’ve played clarinet since I was 10, but suddenly, this art form seemed so perfectly effortless, no work, all joy, I am hooked for as long as I have vision (I’ve asked Doug, my husband, if he absolutely had to chose, if he would keep his vision or his hearing. I would keep my vision. He goes back and forth, not knowing (he’s a drummer, from a family of musicians, as am I. Scott’s a very fine drummer too (oh, i bet you didn’t know that!) and also plays piano, guitar, bass, and sometimes sings. Scott and Doug jam sometimes. It’s wicked fun to hear them together. My talented guys (i need music. I cannot play by ear. Both of them excel at it).
I wrote a book entitled, “The Courage of Consciousness”, just before 1990, an autobiographical account of my journey thus far, and recovery from anorexia and bulimia. A very wonderful woman, mother of one of my close high school friends (their family rather adopted me), typed it for me (close to 400 pages, she is a saint!) and looking back, I cringe at some of the rawness and graphic-ness of my language (a dedicated Seventh-Day Adventist family, the church I was raised in and though both parents cursed like sailors they were raised in it as well.) She never raised an eyebrow, never suggested I “tone it down a bit”, and she and her husband, like parents to me, seemed genuinely moved by my story and my perseverance. (have thought of sharing some bits of the book here but as you may know, have not. Yet. lol).
Born and raised in Buffalo NY, I am a consummate shoveler. I can do a driveway in half the time it takes anyone else. Years of practice. I hate being cold. That I went to feed the swans in a snow storm speaks of my devotion.
Doug is from Miami. I am always nudging the thermostat to be warmer. He is always turning it down to save money. It’s laughable. We never argue. It’s a very strange thing but I assure you it’s true. I used to worry about it, lol. Like you *need* to air your grievances and of course you do and we *do*, but it’s never with antagonism. We are both fiercely of the opinion that we’ll come to decide what we’ll come to decide without any pushing, pulling, or prodding from each other or anyone else. And it works. I grew up with crazy ranting smashing things alcoholics (Doug’s parents were gems. We miss them so, and I was so beyond fortunate to be blessed with and by their love, all these years), so the yelling thing really doesn’t work for me. I curse wholeheartedly, with gusto. Doug never. Never! When Scotty was 3, he dropped the F bomb in Doug’s stuffy, high class bank and knew everyone was thinking, “What an awful father” but the boy heard it from me. In my defense, a woman nearly plowed into us at an intersection and it came flying out of my mouth before I could censor it but I did try hard to protect the lad from obscenity and sarcasm, which I had perfected at an early age.
Well, this was funner than I thought it would be, and I’m now going to look for those dead photographs because they seem to be such an anomoly, even I am curious now, remembering. Thanks for reading. If you haven’t done this yet, well, it may be funner than you thought! Please do!