I grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa, and going back to visit the now beef cattle farm, I collect bits of the farm via photos to take back with me to Massachusetts. Each of them tells a story, which may or may not yet be written. In some cases, like the photo of the barn, at least 100 stories could be written. The photos of my son Will lying on quilts are ideas in the wings waiting to be written. Will is wearing blue and white striped bibs like my dad’s in the first photo, and in the next photo, Will is five and he wanted to draw the calves. His blue hood is poking out from under the white blanket. Photos help tickle my memory when I look at a blank computer screen.
New England Gallery
My husband Bill and I moved to the North Shore of Massachusetts in 2005. We were living in Gurnee, Illinois, when Bill’s company down-sized the engineering department, choosing to rely more heavily on engineering where the product was being manufactured in China. With an 18-month-old baby, the word stress didn’t come close to describing what we felt when our livelihood was pulled out from under us. After months of looking in the Midwest, Bill and I sat one evening with an atlas of the United States and a highlighter. I crossed out the South: too hot and no seasons. We crossed out the West: my parents don’t fly and that would be too long of a drive. We circled New England, our decision supported by our love of seafood. As an Iowa farm girl living twelve miles from the ocean, I’m continually fascinated by this new geographic platform I now call home.
After more than 25 years of being married to a Brit, England is nearly as familiar to me as Iowa and New England. While I see the traditional red telephone boxes, double-decker buses, and Beefeaters so often thought of from a tourist’s perspective, I find more English character in less obvious places. From our family’s garden and flowers blooming under an occasional blue sky to the public foot paths around farmers’ fields that lead to village pubs, I find more of the real England tucked into these places. Each photo has a story to tell at a more intimate level than the iconic red telephone box.
Chemo Camouflage Gallery
These photos are of me from 2010, toward the end of chemo treatment for breast cancer. While breast cancer left me feeling powerless in many ways, I did not want to look like a woman going through chemo. I didn’t want pity. I wanted my family and friends to see “Linda” when they looked at me. A little colored lip gloss, dangly earrings, new glasses that were the color of my old hair, and a wig were all part of my Chemo Camouflage. My eyebrows and eyelashes had fallen out, so I relied on my glasses to take their place. This Camo made me feel better, putting a bit of power back in my court. You can read more about my year of treatment as I wrote a year-long journal about the journey... Staying Strong Journal.