Famous, Infamous, and Notorious Firsts Revisited by Janine M. Donoho

Self portrait

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.

Cowgirl

Cowgirl resolve

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.

Springer spaniel Pete & me

Springer spaniel Pete & me

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.

Swing in Washoe Valley - Polly Jo, Robbie, moi, Shell, Teresa

Swing in Washoe Valley – Polly Jo, Robbie, moi, Shell, Teresa

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

My oh-so-cool DJ/Chef/Sommelier son

My oh-so-cool DJ, chef, & sommelier son

the perfect wine.

1st best horse buddy: Jumpin’ Jack Flash, who I miss daily; great-hearted beauty of thoroughbred and quarter horse ancestry.

My very own Jumpin' Jack Flash

My very own Jumpin’ Jack Flash

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.

Patrick & Mandy

Patrick & Mandy

1st rescued greyhound: Patrick, a magnificent companion gone from this world. This greyt continues to romp through my dreams.

1st girlfriend trip through EuropeBackpacks and public transportation saw us through France, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. Gnocci, anyone? Here we are at Der Hofbräuhaus in Munich.

Besties in Munchen at Hof Brauhous

Besties in Munchen at Hofbräuhaus

Malaysian gate 17

Land of extravagant gates

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.

Rugs and mint tea

Rugs and mint tea

Intrepid Guy, dad & adventurous soul

Intrepid Guy, dad & adventurous soul

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.

Nafplio - Dog, butcher shop, guy with opposable thumbs--perfect

Nafplio – Dog, butcher shop, guy with opposable thumbs–perfect

Clockwise in the thumbhole to make a wish

Clockwise in the thumb hole to make a wish

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.

Seville April Fair

Seville April Fair

Hiking along the Portuguese Med

Hiking along the Portuguese Med

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.

Donkey drover & me

Donkey drover & me

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?

1st Moroccan carpet

1st & perhaps last pedi offset by Moroccan carpet

BFFs and Paris in April by Janine Donoho

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.Confucius

Amalfi coast hike

Amalfi coast hike

Sacre Coeur in Paris

Sacre Coeur in Paris

Magical doesn’t begin to describe my first trip through Europe and here’s why:

Unity iconbest friends on vacation,

Unity iconfree upgrade to business class,

Unity iconflight out of Washington D.C. at sunset,

Unity iconHalley’s comet and Northern Lights on display from our plane’s windows, and

Unity iconParis at sunrise.

Then we embraced Paris—in April. Hello world…and good-bye comfort zones.

The Orient Express

The Orient Express

For a month’s travel, we committed to a backpack each and public transportation while staying at mom-and-pop lodging along our route. The only reservations we made beforehand were for Parisian arrival and departure sleepovers. That’s been my travel mode ever since.

Enjoy this pictorial view of our trip through Europe.

What was your first trip outside your comfort zone? How did that affect you? Do you still travel?

Venicia

Venicia

Day hike along the Cinque Terre

Day hike along the Cinque Terre

Crumbling goat trail along Cinque Terre.

Crumbling goat trail along Cinque Terre.

Hof Brauhaus Munchen

Hof Brauhaus Munchen

 

Laundry in Napoli

Laundry in Napoli

Moroccan Sighthound by Janine M. Donoho


Moroccan Sighthound SculptureI keep only those objects that captivate. Many come from my travels outside this country. Exquisite Moroccan, Egyptian and Turkish rugs; hand-painted papyrus, singular jewelry and textiles, handmade paper–you get the idea. Since all travels occurred via backpack and public transport, size mattered. Except rugs and kilims, which arrived via slow camel–or so it felt.

Mustafa & I in PemukkaleThis sinuous sighthound has remained a perennial favorite. Found during a circuit through Morocco from Casablanca to Marrakesh, she recalls heady scents of mint tea and pastry, the alkaline feel of the Sahara on skin and tongue, and the intricate amalgam that is Moroccan culture. The souks of either Essaouira or Rabat offered her to me. I give thanks.

A prolonged study of this sculpture along with lingering touches to her back and sides has refreshed me. Now I’m ready to dive back into my edit of Essaouira SoukFORGED IN MIST. This sojourn also serves as reminder to move other less cherished items along to new homes.

Later. Right now, I’m writing.

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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