Skip to main content



"Military children are like dandelions. They can put down roots and bloom anywhere the wind carries them, standing ready to fly into new adventures, new lands, and new friends."

I came across this passage while explaining to a friend why the dandelion is the symbol of military brats. I don't know if this conversation was a serendipitous reminder of where I come from or if my subconscious mind was looking for something that might save me from the stress and anxiety I am experiencing about moving back to the US without a job or a permanent place to live. Maybe both?

This move is a challenge for me because of my life as a military brat and an international teacher. I went to 16 schools before graduating high school and 5 different colleges/universities before achieving an MFA. I have lived in 7 states, 8 countries, and I have had the key to 68 front doors, 68 homes - that's more than my age. Scary? You bet! Where is home is the worse question anyone can ask me because home has only ever been where I have the key to the front door. Not a place where I have history.

Like the dandelion, my roots are shallow tendrils easily uprooted by the breezes that have taken me on life-changing adventures and many trips of a lifetime, all while forging deep friendships. But, where is the next front door, the next key? I fret about this question at night when the darkness of uncertainty overtakes my dreams.

If I look at my past, I should not worry. I've always landed somewhere unique, planted my roots in shallow but fertile soil, and happily stayed until it was time to fly away. So, I guess I'll be okay!

But maybe this time, when the wind carries me out of South Africa, I'll land where my roots can grow a little deeper, where I can stay a little longer, and where I can let my military brat wanderlust fade away.

Any suggestions where that special place might be?


Popular posts from this blog

The Golden Glow of the Bush

  The Golden Glow of the Bush I have seen some glorious skies during my travels around the world, from the smog-induced fluorescent sunsets in Moscow to the burning red horizon in Lake Tahoe. Looking up toward the heavens at dusk is my favorite time of day.  But, nowhere have I ever been so mesmerized by the setting sun than in the bush. Why? Because the light the fading sun casts on the landscape is like no other. Call it the golden hour or the magic hour, or the hour when a quiet hush blankets the land as day turns to night. Birds sing their bedtime songs, jackals practice their forlorn calls, and predators wake, yawning widely, preparing for the hunt. The fading light signals transformation from the brightness to darkness, from things seen to those unseen.  Lazy, sleeping lions transform from looking like cuddly stuffed animals to ferocious stalkers of anything that moves. Hunger calls them to action, stealthy and relentless in their pursuit. Owls waken, looking for bush animals on

Esther Mahlangu - Ndebele Artist

  This beautiful woman is 92-years-old and lives in a small Ndebele village in Mpumalanga. Esther Mahlangu is an Outsider Artist, self-taught from the age of nine, who has achieved great success with her bold, colorful art reflecting traditional Ndebele culture. It’s not clear, but it seems she never went to school and can only write her name on her artwork. However, she has two honorary doctorates for her contributions to the art world. Her success was serendipitous. In 1986, researchers from France were roaming around looking for traditional art forms. One road led them to the artist’s village, where they became enthralled by Mahlangu’s uniquely painted houses. Right time, right road!  They invited her to create murals for an international contemporary art exhibition at the Magiciens de la Terre in France. Her obscurity was soon over and she quickly became a phenomenon in the Pan-African art world. Her resume is awe-inspiring. Look her up, here’s one link -

Super Mom

  Super Mom   Super Mom    Seeing a coalition of eight cheetahs in the bush is more than a lucky sighting; it is rare and magical. What's even crazier is that my friends and I had already seen this family many times during the year and a half before taking this photo. Here's their story. Two cheetah sisters had two litters around the same time. Sister one had six cubs, and sister two or three cubs. For whatever unexplainable reason, one of sister two's cubs migrated to sister one's family, making her the mother of seven. She quickly acquired the moniker of Super Mom by all the rangers in the park. One mom, seven cubs. She had to chase them all around when they were babies, feed them (they have about a 58% success rate when chasing down a meal), teach them the ways of the bush, and most of all, keep them safe. Whenever we saw them, they were healthy, playful, and did whatever mom told them to do - move, rest, get down from a tree, get out of the road, stay quiet! We grew