When this website launched, I introduced myself via firsts, and a giddy lift-off it was. Never fear, the navel gazing implicit in attempts at age 7 to write about planets (of which Pluto no longer qualifies), my angst-riddled teen poetry, and my first produced play at 16? Omitted. In fact, I didn’t want to write about writing at all. Instead, consider this my hand extended to those who relish a shared virtual journey.
So, ahoy, fellow voyagers. Let us cast off from the shores of Mundania and make this fun. There will be pictures…beginning with my 1st cowgirl hat.
1st best dog buddy: Springer spaniel Pete, who saved my diaper-clad butt by grabbing onto it as I rolled out the car door on a corner in South San Francisco.
1st best girlfriend: Teresa Giles, with whom I fished for catfish and carp, rode horseback through the Ponderosa pine forests and sagebrush steppes of our youth, and survived the first 10 years of schooling in Washoe Valley, Nevada.
1st amazing son: Chad Elliott, young man extraordinaire, who finds his joy with his equally brilliant and beautiful companion Shannon. He spins and mixes incandescent music, then prepares incomparable meals paired with
the perfect wine.
1st best horse buddy: Jumpin’ Jack Flash, who I miss daily; great-hearted beauty of thoroughbred and quarter horse ancestry.
1st whippet: Amanda Pandemonium, a washed-out show dog at birth, who brightened my day with her liquid gaze and joyous attitude even as she proved lethal to rodents.
1st rescued greyhound: Patrick, a magnificent companion gone from this world. This greyt continues to romp through my dreams.
1st girlfriend trip through Europe: Backpacks and public transportation saw us through France, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. Gnocci, anyone? Here we are at Der Hofbräuhaus in Munich.
1st trip to Malaysia: I emptied my backpack to bring back gorgeous fabrics and other lush trifles.
1st trip to Morocco: Yes, I went to Morocco and all the boys at home got Moroccan soccer jerseys. For me, mint tea began to equate with stunning rugs.
1st Class whitewater rafting: We began in Tumwater Canyon on the Wenatchee River—and yes, I went for my first swim. Here’s a river picture with the Captain of my Heart.
1st trip to Greece: History, anyone? Also, dogs & cats galore with all their bits attached—so shocking to Americans, who spay and neuter most domestic critters.
1st trip to Turkey: Cities carved from the earth and amazing textiles became my focus along with a millennia of sustainable agriculture. I once considered living there…
1st trip to Spain: Otherwise known as the sangria tour. We wept at the beauty and rhythmic poetry of Andalusian stallions, who danced just for me.
1st trip to Portugal: Can tiles be more beautiful? Also, we experienced the best calamari ever eaten.
1st trip to Egypt: Baksheesh demanded and sheesha experienced; Bedouins on the Red Sea. ‘Nough said.
1st pedicure: Yep, and most likely the last. Too much lost life in maintenance, don’t you know?
Now let us raise a glass to all the firsts in life—and perhaps to those finales we’ll have before we’re done. What’s on your list of firsts?