Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What a long, strange trip it's been!

 I recently ordered refills for a little gizmo that clamps paper instead of stapling it.  I got it while working for FEMA in Mississippi in the wake of Katrina.  With it, I clamped copies of selected passages from a book I am writing on a class of rare genetic disorders. As I did so, I pondered the strange tangents my life has taken.

I have been, in turns, a wife and mother, a hippie, a potter, a reporter and editor, a Kelly Girl, an activist, a science writer, a divorcee, a grandmother, a homeschooler, a substitute teacher, a photographer, a homeowner, a hitchhiker, a cat lady and a dog owner, a carpooler, a grantwriter, a disaster worker, an ad writer, a novelist, a swimmer, a caretaker, a friend, unemployed, and now, a writer about genetics of all things!

At 20, one does not think one's life will take such diverse paths, and I know, for many, the road is rather straight.  For me, though, my paths have taken me to live in tiny cabins in the woods and in big city apartments, and to work among the poor, and to interview the rich in their fine environs - all the while struggling to raise two daughters, keep my sanity, pay my bills and be creative.  Yet somehow, here I am: in my own modest home with a few sheckles in my pocket and looking forward to a trip that is both business and pleasure.

I have been something of a generalist all my life.  I have made it my work to observe people.  I know what drives them.  I know how they think and what they want.  I know what pains them.  Yet here I am writing on a topic so specialized most people have never heard of it.  Somehow it seems fitting.

What a long, strange trip it's been!


  1. I hear ya. And I think folks like you (and probably me) have a lot more fun than people who never take roads not listed on their maps. We only get one chance, why settle for safe?

    Im not a traveler and am (as is my husband) mostly self educated in the how-tos and the "what goes where" parts of life, and it has served us both very well.

    It's the learning that does it. Wanting to know how something works and being willing to give it a go.

    Applause, applause, applause.

  2. Thanks. What matters is building a satisfying life, no matter what it looks like to others. You get it, I can tell.