Saturday, September 20, 2008

A (not so) Brief Introduction

Note: I realized some time ago that I never posted a proper introduction when I started this blog. This is my attempt to rectify that situation.

The facts are these:

I am the oldest of three children.

I was born at home. I smiled at my father when he held me for the first time. I weighed 4 pounds, 10 ounces and was ten days late. The day I was born the stock market dropped dramatically, leading the media to dub it “Black Monday.” My parents renamed it Golden Monday.

For the first two years of my life we lived in an apartment building with other families from our religious community. My friend Kathryn was born eight months after me and a day after my parents and I were baptized into Eastern Orthodoxy.

It snowed on my second birthday.

When I was two, we moved to Maine. We moved to a small town where we lived in a small grey house that was a meadow and a road from the sea. There were woods behind us. I ate rhubarb straight from our neighbor’s plant and grew tadpoles in a plastic bucket. I lost a red balloon. My father worked in a boatyard and we had a garden that amazed our non-compost conscious neighbors.

The spring after I turned four the boatyard my father was working at folded. Faced with the possibility of long-term unemployment with one child and another coming very shortly, my parents made the decision to move back. It rained the day we left and my friend Nicole’s mother cried in our kitchen.

A month after we returned my sister was born. I played house under the peach tree in the garden with my godmother’s oldest daughter for hours. I started “Children’s Garden,” our homeschool version of kindergarten where I learned how to knit, make bread, read, and write.

When I was six my great-grandmother, who lived in Ohio, died. At her funeral my great-uncle asked my father if he would be interested in buying her house, the one she and my great-grandfather built when they got married in 1927, at half the market value. My parents jumped at the chance.

We lived in that house for thirteen years.

My great-grandfather had owned a fair bit of land originally and though he had to sell it off when the Depression hit, he had saved a lot and a half for the family. We had a huge vegetable garden and we planted fruit trees. My brother was born when I was seven and a half, the last of the family. I was homeschooled until I was ten, when I entered public school. I was in public school all the way through high school.

The summer after I graduated from high school my family moved to the Pacific Northwest. The move has been very strange for me, having spent so much of my life in one region. I plan to move back to the Midwest after I graduate from college.

Where I am now
Currently I attend a private four-year liberal arts college in a small city an hour from my parents. I’m a junior English major and I love it! I do live in the dorms. I don’t know what I’ll do after college yet, but it will be something with books because that’s what I love. My love language isn’t touch or speech, or any of the other ones. It’s feeding people and shoving books in their hands.

In spring 2009 I will be studying abroad in London for four months. I’m incredibly excited about this! It still seems unreal to me; I don’t actually believe I’m going even while I’m filling out the paperwork.

My faith is incredibly important to me. I believe in traditional Orthodoxy.

I write poetry and prose. I’m currently revising a novella-length story begun as my NaNoWriMo in 2007. I should probably be doing that right now.

Books, reading, flowers, gardening, cooking, embroidery, knitting, singing, writing.

Favorite Authors (a partial list)
L.M. Montgomery
J.R.R. Tolkien
Charles Dickens
Jane Austen
Robin McKinley
Maud Hart Lovelace
Dorothy Sayers
Megan Whalen Turner
Elizabeth Goudge
Elizabeth Gaskell

Favorite Music
Some Bach
The Chieftains
The North and South soundtrack

Favorite Poets (another partial list)
John Donne
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Elizabeth Dickinson
Christina Rossetti
Dylan Thomas
Rupert Brooke
W.B. Yeats
W.H. Auden
T.S. Eliot
e.e. cummings
Wallace Stevens

Favorite Flowers
Lily of the Valley

Reading far too much, handicrafts, ignoring the messiness of my room, quoting whatever pops into my head randomly.


DebD said...

I think I already knew this but you were born the same year my oldest. And, if memory serves me, your b-day is coming up soon.

The house you lived in as a child sounds wonderful.

Mimi said...

What a wonderful introduction, thank you for bringing me along.

And, my youngest was born at home.

Pam H. said...

I used to collect tadpoles, various species of small fishes (shiners, gambusia, sunfish, madpole toms), small turtles, clams, freshwater shrimp, etc. I had them in a large wading pool behind the house.

We lived next door to my grandparents' farm (beef cattle and vegetables), with a lovely creek in between.

I, too, am the oldest of three, as is my daughter who reads this and other blogs over my shoulder. She is 12, and was born when I was 34.

I went to public school all my life until college, when I attended a small private liberal arts university as an English major.

About half the books you list are our favorites, too. We plan to check out a number of the authors we don't recognize.

My faith (Roman Catholicism) has become very important to me, but it wasn't always so. I am sorry for this.

Thank you for sharing! It's nice to meet other people with like interests.

Valerie said...

Lovely post! I learned a lot of new things about you!

MaureenE said...

Deb, yes my birthday is coming up. October.

Mimi, it seems to be somewhat of an Orthodox thing to do. At least, a certain subset of Orthodoxy.

Pam, it sounds like we've got some very similar tastes and experiences.

VB, isn't funny how you can know someone for so long and not know anything about them?

Joy said...

Beautiful post. I especially enjoyed the snippets of childhood recollections - Children's Garden sounds like a lovely idea, I did something similar. (Except I learned to read at age 3, straight from a Jane Austen novel. I had an older sister who was a English Literature Major at that time you see.)

[This is FM from AU, by the way.]

MaureenE said...

Thank you Joy!

Wow, I never read Austen that young! But I was reading Dickens at twelve--David Copperfield straight through in two days.