That’s Dad at White Sands. If you notice the manly tattoo, it is a rattlesnake. When he moved to New Mexico to work on his Ph.D., he kept rattlesnakes as pets. And yes, they did get out one night.
Since Dad is one part Crocodile Hunter and two parts Ernest Hemingway, he caught them all, had a smoke and went back to sleep. Dad would tell you that snakes are much easier to understand than people.
Dad married in the mid-sixties. They decided not to have a family. Dad would advise you, “If you want a vasectomy to work, don’t get it in Juarez, Mexico.” Heh. I am an only child.
Dad constantly monitors his website, Ramblin’ Cameras. Filled with over 1,000 images, Ramblin’ Camera’s is the collection of photographs he and Mom have taken. Drop by! He’ll be jazzed when he checks his web statistics.
Mom is an adventuress who was raised Quaker. Summers with an orthodox uncle taught her Quaker Plain Speech–she can thee/thou/thy like Shakespeare. The family owned a dairy where she sterilized dairy equipment. To this day, she is mindful of sanitation. She even keeps an industrial sized bottle of Purel velcroed to her car seat for easy access.
When I was a kid, Mom rebuilt car and boat engines in our living room. In the guest room, she customized underwater cameras and scuba gear. Once, she bought a boat, stripped it to the hull, and rebuilt it. I was sixteen when Mom and I took a zany road trip to California to buy wood for its decks. We wound up stranded in Tijuana for a week due to election protests.
Over twenty years ago, I married Egor, a Russian physicist. He speaks perfect English and sounds just like Ren, from Ren and Stimpy. He acts more like Mr. Spock.
As a young man, Egor watched tanks roll down his street to the Kremlin. Four years later, I watched him shake hands with President Bill Clinton on CNN.
Now a US citizen, E spends his time playing guitar and harmonica or riding his motorcycle. I have a helmet to go on rides when I need to feel even more anxious.
After 12 years of marriage, my husband and I had Tyoma. We never realized our son was remarkable until he was 18 months old. Although he did not speak, he knew his numbers from 1-200 in both English and Russian. He could read before he turned two. Six months later, he could echo back any sentence adorably.
Shortly before his third birthday, we learned Tyoma was autistic. We did a lot of head scratching. We said, “What do you mean he’s not normal? He’s just like us!” Now, we are a wiser family. We embrace being atypical and realize that “normal” ≠ “better.”
T loves elevators, countdowns, and clocks. We have watched over three thousand YouTube videos. Tyoma has his own playlists on our YouTube channel. If you like watching elevator floors count up and down, you must visit!
Oh and me. That’s my default mood over there →
Most people would describe me as being “different” and “sweet.” I have been described as “an abnormally happy spazz, ” which suits me, since I have Tourette’s Syndrome.
So yes, I am cheery and anxious, almost all the time. And, no, I can’t sit still, ever. 😊
How else to describe me? A list seems appropriate:
- If I am in line at the supermarket and you look tired or stressed I will swap places with you.
- It takes me a day to recover from teacher’s meetings.
- You can never have enough books, movies, or wigs.
- I seem ditzy but I am actually exceptionally gifted.
- I trained my two Oscars to ring a bell for their dinner.
- I adore short fiction and strange stories. I buy as many collections as I can afford.
- Art films delight me. If a film is bizarre and Eastern European, chances are it’s in my collection.
- Almost everything I wear is black, grey, navy, tan or red. I’m the person who will buy several pairs of the same outfit because it’s comfortable. I also organize all our clothes by color and sleeve length.
- I sing when I’m happy. I rarely use lyrics. Instead, I combine my favorite voiced plosives with high back vowels, ex. “blue-dude“. I have been singing the Phantom of the Opera score in “blue-dudes” since September. I LOVE the way the sound vibrates my lips and vocal cords!
- I love maps and old books.