I remember, and it doesn’t seem like all that long ago, sitting in my friend’s bedroom with other high school friends. We talked about having a reunion someday in the States and bringing all our kids. Billy asked Rhoda how long she thought it would be, since none of us had kids, or even a romantic relationship.

The whole idea seemed so far away. I was still in high school and I was the oldest one in that group.

There is no way we could have predicted the path our lives would take. What seemed like a lot of twists and turns along the way, now seem so obviously the straight and only road our lives could have taken.

It’s a mercy we can’t go back and change the uncomfortable things, because then we would be someone other than who we are now. We would have missed important lessons that, while painful at the time, were necessary to get us here.

It has never been convenient for me to attend the reunions that have been held over the 4th of July, and I have nothing to prove. No one to impress. Even though I have the most wonderful kids.

The highway of my life has certainly been interesting, and I share it with whoever wants to know about it.

If I can inspire someone else in some way… to find and express their creative voice… to adopt a teen… to become a nurse… to write… then those detours and disappointments… those losses are well worth it.

When I was in high school, I didn’t think there was anything interesting about my life.

I was the artistic one, but so what. I drew funny pictures of my friends, and we all laughed. Karen kept the pictures that I didn’t value, and my high school friends still look at them and laugh.

This is what I want to do as an adult artist! I want to create images that people will keep looking at, and keep being entertained by. I had never recognized the success I had as a child and teenager. All I did was illustrate the life we had as expatriate children on a palm lined west African beach. I literally drew the events of our days as accurately as I could on notebook paper, with a ball point pen.

Everyone advises writers to write what they know. My life was interesting, and it still is.

I’ve fallen into the habit of drawing again, the way I used to. I draw my kids, or local wildlife (and ligers) often with a humorous twist.

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