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

The Nut House

Did I mention that I’m married to an architect? Probably. He’s a very good carpenter too. He gets ideas for projects. My life is good because of this man, but it’s even better because of these two aspects of him. There are bookcases in the living room and dining room, a fabulous sewing table (that I showed you in a blog), a writing trailer at the farm in Wisconsin, my daughter’s porch, my son’s kichen design and basement design, and all sorts of very cool stuff. He even designed an amazing easel that tilts for our friend Meighen Jackson. 

He makes regular trips to IKEA to hunt through their markdown room for some treasure he can turn into something else. When he came home with a flower pot (orange clay) that he was going to turn into a bird house, I swear to you, I did not roll my eyes. He then disappeared into the garage and got his power tools whirring and buzzing. 

So for a year now we’ve had a very cute birdhouse attached to one of the espalier posts in the backyard. I didn’t dissuade him with my thoughts of how a clay pot would turn into a hot house (in a spot with full summer sun) and a baby sparrow might cook inside it. 

Birds are smart. 

They’d know it didn’t have air conditioning, so it’s been basically a birdless house. 

Seriously, birds are really smart. One year all my little plastic plant markers disappeared from the garden. What the heck! Who would want steal those little plastic tags? How would I know the beefsteak from the cherry tomatoes? Honestly, that wasn’t the end of the world. I could tell who was who once the tomato plants got tomatoes. Beefsteaks are bigger. 

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Then one day I was standing under one of the big pines in the back yard and I heard chirping, so I looked up. There were the plant markers—a very colorful, fancy floor of a bird’s nest. 

Birds are smart.

The very best parts of my days this summer were spent watching the hummingbirds. They take my breath away. In other words, when they come to the feeders I stop breathing and watch them in awe.

Squirrels, I’m not so crazy about. They dig up my bulbs. They leave holes where I don’t want holes. They take single bites out of the rare apples we get on the espalier. They have big teeth. 

When I was a kid my uncle Bubs fed squirrels on his back porch. They’d climb up his leg and take a peanut from his BARE hand. Eeeww. Yikes. Squirrels are very scary.

Sorry, got off track...back to John’s clay pot birdhouse.

A couple weeks ago we noticed a stringy thing hanging out of the birdhouse’s door. Oh no, I thought, Baked Baby Birds!

But then we watched as a squirrel ran along the top of the espalier frame (Squirrel Highway, we call it). It had a wad of something in its mouth. He climbed down and went into the clay pot, and came back out. Empty mouthed. John thought he was making a nest in there. We debate this. I think it’s too small for a squirrel’s nest.  

I think it’s a nut house.

John just asked me if I want to count the rings in a tree slice. I said, "No."

...but I know he's thinking of some cool thing to do with the tree slices.

At this point in the story (you know how I am) I could probably make some connection between the Nut House in my back yard and the Nut House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. But I won’t. That other nut house isn't funny.

BREAKING NEWS from the New York Times:
The Trump administration will finalize the repeal of a clean water regulation that limited the use of polluting chemicals near bodies of water.


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