No matter where I am in the world, no matter how long it’s been since I’ve been home, one statement will always be true: I’m from Texas. So true that I have the state tattooed on my right hip – that unmistakable shape colored in like the Texas flag, the iconic lone star twinkling. One mentality most Texans share is an identity as a Texan first, American second – though not all permanently brand themselves.
My life, though conventional in many ways, has also been a series of quirky moments. Case in point:
As a 12-year-old kid, I convinced my neighborhood friends in Houston to join me in a parade down our street, all dressed as different ingredients of a hamburger, to spoof the famous “Where’s the beef?” Wendy’s commercial. We all lined up and paraded down the sidewalk – with my 8-year-old sister tailing at the end holding a sign that declared, Where’s the beef?!! – waving to all the bewildered drivers that passed us. I have no idea how I got everyone to agree to this, or why, but it makes for a funny story – not to mention the look on my mom’s face at the moment she realized these were her children she was passing on the road.
I love animals, all kinds – even the creepy crawly kinds. I’ve had snakes, lizards, a salamander, insects, turtles, and a tarantula for a pet at one time or another. Many of these pets were obtained during family road trips – my Dad would spot an animal crossing the highway, swerve to miss it, then pull over to catch it. He always kept a small cage in the station wagon, just in case. I thought this was fatherly love at its best. My mom and little sister – not so much.
I’m 43 years old and still love the Muppets.
People tell me I’m personable and outgoing – though many times I feel slightly awkward and a bit shy. I tend to ignore those feelings and try to connect with other people. I feel happiest when I’m drinking a beer with friends at a backyard party or around a campfire, engaged in good conversation.
I hardly ever feel like I know what I’m doing. But I am beginning to realize that this is the case for a lot of people.
A career opportunity for my husband propelled us, as well as our two large dogs and one feisty cat, from Texas to Budapest, Hungary in June of 2012. That was a summer full of upheaval and change – change I wasn’t emotionally ready for but needed. Selling almost everything I owned to move to a country I had never been to was the toughest thing I have ever done to date. But that move stimulated my creative side. My passion for photography, a hobby that began in my twenties, took shape – my camera goes almost everywhere with me now.
The travel we have been able to do since our relocation – 17 different countries visited in the past 3 years – has also sparked my joy for writing. As of now we are living just south of Dublin, Ireland – exploring a new country and culture, giving me even more to write about.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks for stopping by!