Here’s who I am…

Although I attended four high schools: Ferndale, Michigan—seven months, Palo Alto, California—four months; Birmingham Michigan—two years; and San Mateo, California—three months, I’m a high school drop out.

Before I was twenty-four, I had moved twenty-one times. Don’t feel sorry for me. It’s all food for the laptop.

I’ve had two husbands—both named John (which prevents confusion). The first one was nice, the second one’s a keeper. I have a daughter, a son, two stepdaughters, six grandchildren, a daughter-in-law, and two sons-in-law.

In grade school I wanted to be an architect, a justification for chopping up cardboard boxes. In high school I wanted to be an illustrator, or a writer, or a painter, or a wife and mom.

After I was a wife and mom, I also wanted to be smart, so I took night classes and spent several hundred credit hours at Oakland Community College, Wayne State University and The College For Creative Studies. I was good at writing and good at art (my teachers said so). I wrote newspaper articles and a children’s book that were published. And two novels and ten children’s books that weren’t.

Once I had a job as an editor, but I wanted to be in the art department, so I became a graphic designer. I did that for a long time—years and years and years (decades). I loved the work and handled the stress. Then I got breast cancer, decided life might be short, and started painting full time. There were art galleries, and art shows, and art fairs. When I got tired of doing that, I went back to writing. This time around: two novels and a memoir, so far.

And that’s what I’m doing now. For two weeks in the summer I write in an old trailer at John’s family farm in Wisconsin. The rest of the time I write in Michigan, where I can see the Detroit Zoo water tower from my window.

Lynn Arbor—Writer

Latest Post

Love List

You all know what a Bucket List is, right? It's a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket (die).

Photo by Nils Schirmer on Unsplash

But maybe your bucket list should include a Love List.

Photo by Andrew Neil on Unsplash

Example 1.
A couple days ago I was talking to my neighbor, Maria, whose husband died in January. She was packing her car with boxes—moving them across town to the small house she bought for herself and teenaged daughter. Down-sizing.

When her husband was sick, she asked him to put her name on his checking account. He said there was plenty of time. Then when he was in the hospital—again she asked. Again he said there was plenty of time. He was hopeful, he was going to get better. And then he died. The bank said she couldn’t close or use the account without his permission. Now that’s tricky.

They each had separate phone accounts. Their youngest daughter was on his. She asked to have T-Mobile move her daughter to her account. They wouldn’t. 

Example 2. 
When my friend Meighen’s husband Bill was very sick, he prepared her to survive without him. He taught her how to use the photography equipment in his studio. They talked about his funeral wishes in detail. His bucket list included making her transition to life without him easier. He put things in order. He loved her.

Losing someone you love is hard enough without having to bruise your forehead banging your head against all the walls and barriers in your path.

I’m not dying and neither is John, but after talking to Maria, I suggested to John that we give each other lists—all our passwords and computer info, our credit card numbers and the phone numbers to cancel those cards. Medical stuff. Where’s the title to your car? We have separate checking accounts, but they’re both in a trust. (That was smart, don’t you think). Every thing else we have is jointly owned. But what would he want me to do with all his architecture books? What should he do with my paintings? What about the savings account (teeny-tiny) where Amazon deposits my book sale earnings? 

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

And what if a semi-truck hauling lemons tips over on the highway and squishes both of us? Our kids couldn’t make lemonade from that mess unless they also had the lists.

Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash

Show someone how much you love them and trust them. Make a List. If you’re twenty-two or fifty or a hundred and two, it’s not too late—until it’s too late. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

So let’s have a forum here.
Can you think of anything I’ve missed that needs sharing with a loved one...just in case?


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