an artful readers club blog


When I was seventeen, I lived in Jamestown, (western) New York. I wasn’t married, but had just stopped dating the boy who would become my husband in eleven years. I owned a sage green, ’69, Chevy Impala for $89.00 a month. I feared [1] leaving home, [2] going away to college, [3] never knowing what I wanted to do for a career. I worked for minimum wage ($3.25 an hour) at Nugents, a ladies clothing store in the Chautauqua Mall. While there, I learned display window design and bookkeeping.

I wanted to be [1] an interpreter at the United Nations (French and Spanish) until I realize I’d have to move, [2] an artist until I realized the closest college was in a different state, [3] a veterinarian, except Cornell University is in the center of New York,about four and half hours away, [4] a kindergarten teacher, [5] someone important. The last a nagging sense that I’m supposed to do something significant.

Today, I’m fifty-eight. I live ten miles north of Niagara Falls, one hundred miles north from Jamestown. I married my high school sweetheart thirty years ago, am the mother of our two biological sons and step mom to his three children with his first wife, the one he dumped me for when I was seventeen. I drive a champagne colored, Audi Cabriolet.

I fear [1] I will never know my life purpose, what I’m here to accomplish. [2] I won’t succeed at ecologically restoring and preserving the Niagara Gorge Rim through removal of the redundant Robert Moses Parkway. [3] I won’t make a significant impact for preservation of the natural environment.

I work at [1] eloquent writing, blog prose poems, self reflective micro memoirs, and lyric essays about nature, [2] the preservation and restoration of local, indigenous native plants for humans, birds, pollinators, and wildlife, [3] creating habitats and gardens on urban vacant lots, [ 4] being a nurturing, supportive wife and mother, [5] maintaining my Master Naturalist certification and my Natural Areas Mentor certification. I earned both by commuting weekly three and half hours to Cornell University and Cornell Plantations, [6] giving books away by maintaining a Little Free Library of good literature. I buy books with an addict’s intensity.

I want to be [1] a voice for what can’t speak, [2] a persuasive published author of prose poems and lyric nature essays, [3] a book reviewer, [4] a world traveler, [5] a travel journalist, [6] an eloquent, observant, reflective writer.


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