1969. I’m born, and live in Baltimore.
1973. I’m four or five, and we move to Florida. My parents get divorced. I live with my mother in Largo, Florida, for a portion of the year and then, either late this year or early in the next, go to live with my father and some friends.
1975. I’m six, and living with my father and some family friends in Bayport. I get the chicken pox and have to stay home from school for a week. I am bored out of my mind and the school library won’t let me check out the level of books I want to check out, thinking that I’m not old enough for them. My father brings in a stack of books I’d already read, and they grudgingly hand over the entire series of Nancy Drew. I read them all while home sick, in between oatmeal baths to ease the itch. I have one scar from the chicken pox, over my left eye and below my eyebrow.
1978. I turn nine, and read The Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time. I want to be Strider.
1980. I’m eleven, and my father and I move briefly to Ormond Beach. I go running on the beach, barefoot, and step on a piece of driftwood. It goes almost half an inch into the bottom of my foot. Blood is everywhere.
1981. Oh, those sullen teenage years.
1983. I’m fourteen, and my father and his second wife buy a farm outside of town. The next few years of my life are filled with blueberries and sheep and cows and chickens. Oh my.
1984. I’m fifteen, and get moved to a new school at the start of the 11th grade. It’s a K-12 school, and most of the 89 other people in my grade have known each other since kindergarten. So yeah. That was fun. The highlight of the year was getting to go to Boston to celebrate my birthday with my aunt (who has the same birthday) and my uncle. They both teach at MIT during the Fall semester and I love having the chance to go to a big city.
1985. I’m sixteen, almost seventeen, and I leave home to go to the Florida School of the Arts, where I have my own apartment and am the envy of all my Gainesville friends. They didn’t know it wasn’t at all like Fame; it was more like Deliverance.
1987. I’m eighteen, move back to Gainesville, and get my first job. It’s at a science fiction/fantasy/comic shop/gaming bookstore. I am in heaven.
1990. I’m almost twenty-one, and move to DC to live with my friend Quinn. I discover that in my heart of hearts, I am not a big-city girl, like I thought I was. I spend a year answering phones at an asphalt company and discover a level of sexism I had never before been exposed to.
1991. I’m almost twenty-two, and move back home to Gainesville with my tail between my legs. New job – bookstore (and nobody is surprised). My grandmother, the one who taught me ceramics, dies. My life begins to change in noticeable ways.
1994. I’m almost twenty-five, and get married for the first time.
1995. I’m twenty-six, and code my first website. It’s horribly designed, and I’m glad it no longer exists.
1999. I’m almost thirty, get divorced, and go back to school.
2002. On the first day of the year, my father dies. I feel that nothing will be the same. I spend the first six months feeling, every day, like I’ve been hit by a bus when I wake up. Ten months later I turn thirty-three. By the end of the year I start to feel like I’m almost back to being myself. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him in some way.
2003. I get married again, to a man I started dating the same week my father was diagnosed with brain cancer. A lot of men would have run away from that; Tim stayed. I’ll keep him.
2004. I take up knitting, mostly because my husband is renovating part of our house, and power is shut off to my kiln for almost a year. I need a crafty outlet, so….
2005. I finally get to fly to the UK; something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. The stopover in Iceland was a bonus!
2006. I’m wondering where I’m going in this life. I’m not happy with my job. I’m not fulfilled. I don’t want kids, so I know that’s not what’s missing…
2007. This year, my father’s best friend with whom we had lived with in Bayport, who helped to raise and shape me, loses his years-long battle with cancer. I start to feel that men in my life are doomed. I also start thinking a lot about the things we always say we want to do, and never get around to. The dreams we have that we never reach for. The regrets we have when we know it’s time to leave the party. By the end of the year, I’ve opened a yarn store with two of my friends.
2008. I lost this entire year to learning how to be my own boss.
2009. I lost this entire year to working and teaching knitting classes.
2010. The shop flounders for a number of different reasons, many outside economic ones. In the summer we close the physical location of the yarn store and go online. I’m faced with many choices about what to do. I take the crafty path.
2011. We close the online portion of the website, it never having been truly successful, and I bring the yarn I had been dyeing into my year-old Etsy shop. I start doing craft fairs and selling at shops on consignment.
2012. I’m starting to outgrow Etsy, and start my own online shop.
2013. This year flew by; good times with friends, making art… it’s a good life. We said goodbye to Old Dog, and later, hello to Three Legged Dog.
2014. Continuing the good life! We’re looking for a bigger house; my art is taking over.