Originally, I was born and raised in Mississippi (thus a Magnolia) but am living in Vermont – trying to live a life of bohemian simplicity with the love of my life, Gary, in a bungalow at the end of a street in a town that sits in a valley and has a river running through the middle of it – a river that meets up with another big river at the edge of town, Springfield Vermont. My son, daughter-in-law and four grandkids (Gideon, Christopher, Nyna, and Joseph) live close by in the Village of Perkinsville in the Town of Weathersfield and they are the reason I moved to Vermont in the first place.
My life has been a series of lifetimes within this one lifetime rather than chapters in the book of a life. I am on a quest to become the person I always thought I should be – my authentic self – that person I see in my mind’s eye. Will I find her before I die? The clock is ever ticking. I am certainly not getting any younger.
I am going with the mantra that it is never too old to become the person you authentically are. It takes a lot of work – this quest.
I’m a writer. I like saying that. I’ve been saying it since I was around 6 years old and started writing short stories to send to my biological father who was in the Air Force and stationed in exotic places around the world while I was stuck in a small town in Mississippi. I now write part-time for the local paper so I can actually say “I am a writer” and have proof! Oh and I have a screenplay that I’ve been working on off and on for about 20 years now. Ick.
Little known experiences I have had: *** involved in live theater as a techie for years *** my son grew up in live theater from the time he was 8 to 18 *** went back to college in 1986-ish and didn’t graduate until 1994 got a B.A. in Sociology & Film Studies *** worked for fedex for almost 11 years – just long enough to get vested and have a pension – i did not plan this – it just happened *** moved from Memphis to Oakland, California with FedEx at their Oakland Hub in 1996 *** owned and operated an Orthodox Christian bookstore on University Avenue in Berkeley, California *** sold everything, bought an RV and lived for almost two years in my 29 foot RV and it was my only vehicle, as well *** moved back to the south a few times over my life in California that started in 1996 – I always moved back to California *** married a semi-famous rock star who has a cult following – he passed away in 2009 but I still manage his music and am the spokesperson for his heirs (13) *** worked on two television shows – one a pilot in Memphis Tennessee and then in 2010 on The Gates ABC summer television series that did not get picked up for the fall *** have lived in my van but had access to bathrooms and showers at friends’ places – I had it decorated so cute and I loved the cocoon feeling of living in it *** have been homeless in L.A. (for about a month in 2010) but not on the street because I had a few good friends there who let me stay with them while I tried to get back to the Bay Area *** moved to Vermont in March of 2011 to live near my son and grandkids *** met the love of my life in November of 2011 and we are still together *** That’s about it.
Now, I live a more “straight” life but still with my bohemian heart and mind intact. I am involved in my community and that is how I made friends here really. I went through culture shock when I first moved here from California. In California, I was used to coffee shops everywhere and the coffee shops were THE meeting places to hang out with friends, meet new friends, etc. Not like that here. I could not figure out how to make new friends here but eventually I drifted into community work and then voila’ that is where I’ve made my friends. Sometimes it is hard for me to say no when someone asks me to do something but I’m learning to say no sometimes. My ADHD personality is such that I take on way too much then get frustrated that I’m not able to give 100% to each thing I’m involved in. My son, bless his heart, has inherited this from me. He works so hard in the construction business and he is deeply involved in his church – working on the production (it’s like a rock concert type church) and he also teaches classes on various subjects from time to time. He is also a volunteer firefighter in his community. He has also taken classes to prepare to become a pastor. I am so proud of him, truly. He has grown into the man I always thought he would be: a loving husband, an awesome Dad and someone with high integrity and an amazing work ethic. He learned that work ethic in his years in theater back in Memphis. If you work in theater you learn what hard work is and how to be organized and disciplined. You learn that the show must go on so no matter how you feel you show up. You have be dead or in the hospital to not show up for a production. I, myself, have had a stomach flu and went to work a show running to the bathroom to throw up and then come back and continue. That is just what you do if you want to remain a theater person. Once a director explained my son’s personality: Well it is like this. Say Dustin is working a show up in the light booth and at the end of the show you ask him how it went. He then says well there was a small fire but I put that out. In other words, my son doesn’t panic. He just does what needs to be done and continues doing whatever it was that he was doing. What a great personality type to be.