I have always liked to write. Maybe I like to write because my dad was a great letter writer. For years I went to Girl Scout camp, Camp Giscowheco outside of Wheeeling, W. Va. each summer. Camp started on Saturday afternoon. I was always the only girl to get a letter or two that very first Monday and nearly every day thereafter, because Dad would start writing to me on the Thursday or Friday before I ever left home! Is it any wonder that I never got homesick?
One of my fellow teachers at Brooke High School (Candy Owens) brought the National Writing Project to our faculty in 1992. For six weeks that summer our group wrote and edited and rewrote and published, and it was wonderful.
I had a bit of a shock when I married Richard in 1995 and moved to San Jose, California. In the little, West Virginia town where I’d lived for decades, I knew tons of people. I had taught swimming classes to numerous children and adults while in high school and college. I’d taught for over twenty years and was now teaching the children of former students. I’d run a summer stock theatre for years, and I’d directed tons of plays with lots of local actors, and I’d greeted lots of audiences. There was no such thing as a “quick trip to the grocery store.” I always ran into present students, parents, actors, scene painters, formers students, fellow teachers, fellow church members, local business people who supported the theatre. There were always several conversations.
In San Jose, I knew no one! But two things happened. Wherever I went I saw people who reminded me of someone back home. Some people had nearly identical twins. Others just had a walk or a mannerism or a physical feature that reminded me of someone back in West Virginia. Second, I found myself having mental conversations with old friends or family members all the time. I’d see something in the park that I wanted to tell Mom about, or I’d see an ad for a play that I wanted to relate to a fellow director or an actor friend.
This led me to start writing a monthly letter home. It was more of a journal of my new life than a letter, as it always ran six to ten pages chronicling the things our newly blended family were doing and seeing in California. I called it Ramblings, and I sent it out to forty-some friends every month for eight years! It was a lot of writing.
For the seven years I pastored a church, my favorite thing was writing sermons. When we travel, I always keep a journal. I currently write for a local magazine, Life in Chenal, which is a lot of fun. I just like to write!
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