When the Verbal and Visual Unite, an Expat Writer is Reborn

Perhaps I was born to be a writer, since, so long ago, I developed a romance with story, one that has marked my life, and especially the past year, in dramatic ways. After all, reading opens us to the world, and in the past 12 months a move to Ecuador has offered me an international adventure like none other.

Kathy reading from her memoir in January 2014--

Kathy reading from her memoir in January 2014–

Still—whatever I was born to be, the fact remains that 52 years ago today, I was born, a premature, identical twin. My sister and I made our way into the world one month early and several pound shy of safe birth weights, and she died several days later, leaving me in an outback of twinlessness, where the low, flat noise of my own aloneness both deafened and disoriented me.

So, yes, on a much, much lighter note, today is my birthday.

And in honor of my surviving when doctors insisted I wouldn’t, my dear Sara, the woman I’ve loved for nearly 8 years and married in New York 11 months ago, created the following video about our first year in Ecuador.  She does this sort of thing every year on my birthday.  The visual to my verbal, the photographer to my writer, she takes over my blog in an effort to lesson my work load, offering images that supplement the many, many words I’ve shared.

We hope you enjoy this expat story, in particular. Maybe it will become a book one day.

The video may show me often with a camera in hand, but the past year and especially our first 11 months in Ecuador have reminded me who I am as both a global citizen and as an expat lover of texts.  They have also helped me understand more deeply the way books and culture impact our understanding of the world and the role community plays in the life of a writer.

Writing in a Cuenca, Ecuador restaurant--

Writing in a Cuenca, Ecuador restaurant–

Words make meaning, and stories explain the world to us.  Words tell us who we are and allow us to see ourselves in new and insightful ways, while stories, both visual and verbal, comfort and challenge us to be more, to be better, brighter, more thoughtful in our pursuit of kindness and more careful in our regard for others.  I suppose Sara and I balance one another in this regard, the photographer and writer, undertaking creative projects together, this post being a case in point.

Still, writing  itself participates in precisely this form of reciprocity and has allowed me, at least, to understand the past 5 decades and, in a narrower sense, our past year in Ecuador more clearly. Writing teaches me to embrace community in new and creative ways, while, at the same time, reading tutors me in the ways of a larger world and the growth possible through international living.

But this word smith loves a woman who takes tons of photos, so lets celebrate the birth of that collaboration, as well–our passion for travel, the cultural insights we share, and the redemptive potential inherent in both the verbal and visual.

DSCN4668 (2)

Oops, I almost forgot.  I paint, collage, and craft, as well.  Maybe that marriage of word and image is inherent to who I am, after all.

Who do you think you were born to be?  Is there a visual-verbal balance that plays out in your marriage?  Why do you write?

This post is a response to the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections.  To see more entries, click here.

125 thoughts on “When the Verbal and Visual Unite, an Expat Writer is Reborn

  1. Happy Happy BIrthday !!! ((((Hugs))))
    I love the video, Sara created a work of wonder! What a loving tribute to you and your relationship to each other, as well as the world around you! I love the fact that you almost always have a camera in your face!! Sara must too! Good for you!

    Who was I born to be? Is there a visual-verbal balance that plays out in your marriage? Why do you write?
    Well for a great amount of time I thought I was suppose to be in the service industry, you know waiter, caterer, restaurant manager/owner. Than I uncovered the fact that I was to Be of Service to others, healing, therapist, Reiki practitioner, etc. And then I discovered I was a pretty darn good photographer, found myself immersed in that pursuit. That mission to use photography as a way to allow the world another avenue to experience the beauty that is all around them.
    I write for many if not all of the reason you mentioned, “Words make meaning, and stories explain the world to us. Words tell us who we are and allow us to see ourselves in new and insightful ways, while stories, both visual and verbal, comfort and challenge us to be more, to be better, brighter, more thoughtful in our pursuit of kindness and more careful in our regard for others.” As does my taking of pictures.

    Oppss sorry I kind of took over this blog! You asked. As I was writing I kept thinking I should take those questions and the quote to my own blog page. For it has been way too long…

    Happy Happy Birthday !!!


    • Oops, I hit something and lost my response to you!

      At any rate, what I said was something like this:

      You did not take over my blog. This was exactly the kind of thing I hoped folks would share. The bottom line about you, dear Jeff, is that you would seem to be a giver of beautiful things: food, healing, images. It’s about bringing loveliness into the lives of others. And I LOVE that about you.

      And remember, that when the time is right, you only need to tell us when you want to visit. We have so many friends here who would LOVE to meet you. I think you would love the sense of community, not to mention the cost of living!

      Hugs to you, my friend!


    • Thank you so much! It’s wonderful to hear from you. And I so appreciate your birthday wishes. Had no idea that you had been an English professor. I’m going to visit your blog, as I once aspired to be an academic!


  2. This post makes my heart sing! I wish a very happy birthday to a woman who has inspired me on so many levels. I’m honored to count you among my friends. May the coming year be filled with more words, inspiration, love, and powerful story telling.

    And, to answer your question, although I never thought about it that way Nathan’s and my relationship is a visual-verbal balance. He is the set designer and craftsman, I am the wordsmith and director (and although that is visual it is the merging of words and image). At the same time, though, we encourage each other to explore the alternative. Nathan reads more now than he ever has before (and even writes the occasional review) my visual side makes more appearances lately. It’s an interesting phenomen.

    Happy Birhday, Kathy! And love to Sara. From Lisa, Sarah, Nathan, Lizzy, and Jasper


    • Oh, dear Lisa, YOU have made my day! I’m an SO delighted to hear from you on my birthday. How fun to hear how this visual-verbal balance works itself out in your marriage. I wonder how often this sort of dynamic is evident in creative couples. Hugs and love to all of you from Sara and me. Be well and give Tori and Andra–and sweet Thomas hugs from me!


  3. My dear Kathy,

    Happy Birthday!

    Your storytelling is fresh, honest and a joy to read. The anti-climatic tone of the music in Sara’s video is a prefect accompaniment and makes it clear and evident that there is much more to come. I love what you have written here and thoroughly enjoyed Sara’s video.

    I believe I was born to be free. Would that there was a visual-verbal balance in all my relationships would be a miracle, and less a learning experience; though I do cherish those friendships where there is reciprocity and a sense of balance. Writing, as well as reading, for me, is an intense desire to have the truth.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.

    All my love,



    • I’m so happy to hear from you this morning, Robert. Thank you for you comment. How wonderful to have freedom at the heart of who you are–freedom and truth are a powerful and beautiful combination. Hope your week is going well, my friend. Hugs and love to you. I will tell Sara how much you enjoyed the video. And I love your description of its ending—perfect!


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  5. Words can’t express how much I’ve enjoyed this post, but know that I’m smiling big right now! First, Happy Birthday, dear Kathy Happy Birthday to you!! And Sara, your pictures and video are just fabulous!! What an adventure! It certainly looks like you’re both having a rich, full life in Ecuador. I’m so happy for you both, and for both of your many talents! 🙂 Have a wonderful day of celebration! 🙂


    • How wonderful to hear from you on my birthday! Glad you enjoyed the video and words–the entire visual-verbal combination! I am SO enjoying your new blog, as well. Thank you for leaving the link last week. Hope your week is awesome, my friend. Hugs to you from here in Ecuador!


  6. Kathy, beautiful and poignant words as ever! Happy Birthday Sweetie! So glad we’ll be present today to celebrate with the girls also that we too are experiencing and exploring this beautiful country of Ecuador together!


    • Oh, dear Juan, thank you! We so love you both. And we are so happy to celebrate with you all tonight! Glad you enjoyed the post and video. Sara gives the best gifts. And we can’t wait to go to the beach with our boys, as well. Hugs to you and David!


  7. OMP (Oh my pig!) Stomping feet and running around squealing. I absolutely ❤ that video. AWESOMESAUCE! Such love. Such exploration. Such fun. Happy birthday my dear sweet friend!! Hogs and snout kisses and many more to come! XOXO – Bacon


  8. Happy birthday, Kathy!! You both look so happy in your new lives. I’m really excited that you get to explore your artistic side there in Cuenca. You’re inspirational. I love to write and take photos myself, and I really dream of doing that full time. I’d somehow like to make a living of it but I still haven’t figured out how. It looks like you are blossoming. Wonderful. Happy, happy day and hugs to you and Sara. 🙂 xxx


  9. Kathy on the yellow zero latitude line: magnificent. OMG, you and Sara are starting to look like each other. A couple of photos that looked like you, turned out to be Sara. Is this what happens to lovers? Kathy, I feel so happy for you, so proud of you, and so grateful to Sara for putting up with you. LOL. I know this birthday will be grand; the future joyous; and the past recorded perfectly & hilariously in your memoirs. Please accept my vast pleasure on this anniversary of your birth.


    • I literally laughed out loud when I read you comment! The perfect way to start my birthday! At the same time, there are no photos of Sara in the video that don’t include the two of us together. So I think you are, indeed, seeing me when think you are. It’s not Sara. AND I LOVE hearing you are proud of me. Thank you, dear JK! Love and hugs to you from both of us!


  10. happy happy birthday, and i am sure that it will be a lovely one!

    the design on that white table is dramatic and so you!   buen trabajo!

    of course my internet is too slow to see a video, and i hope it’s fast enough to get this comment bumped out of manabi and over to you!




    • Thank you, Cindy, for taking the time to leave a comment in the midst of busy day. Boy, do I know what that’s like. You’re a sweetie! Hope you are beginning to experience a bit of spring up there in you neck of cold, cold Michigan! Hugs to you!


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  12. Sweet video. It’s been a busy year! Whew! Several things caught my eye but that multi-colored luggage was incredible!
    Why do I write? I think it is to share moments with others and leave a piece of myself for my family, particularly my grands and on, some whom I will never know.
    I am pulled in so many directions and I discovered a sane place in my life that merges pictures with experience. It’s those “Ahhh” moments, that take your breath away, swell your heart, and bring a smile and a lesson. It’s the stuff that grounds me, keeps me sane. I could write and take pictures from morning til night but then there would be no subject matter, for I would cease to live the reason I write. 🙂 Make sense?
    Enough of the rambling. Happy birthday to you! What a year. May you be blessed with another. (Be careful with that saw!)
    Alexandria Sage


    • Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Alexandria! Love the description of why you write and take photos. I think these kinds of creative efforts ground me and keep me sane, as well. Makes total sense.

      So glad you enjoyed the video and thanks for the birthday wishes. It’s wonderful to hear from you. Blessings and peace to you, too, my friend.


  13. Happy Birthday!
    This is such a great line “understand more deeply the way books and culture impact our understanding of the world and the role community plays in the life of a writer.”
    Writers are the observers and record keepers. Quiet, but with loud long-lasting voices.
    Enjoy the day!


    • Oh, thank you for your comment and birthday wishes. It’s wonderful to hear from you on my special day. Yes, we may be quiet on the outside, but hopefully our voices will last. LOVE that thought. Hope you have an awesome day!


  14. First off, Happy Birthday. Seems like you’ve lived quite the adventure, heading off to Ecuador and whatnot. I sure would like to try that but I suppose my nerves haven’t given me the gumption.

    That looks like house paint you’re using on that table. You’ll have to give us some of your fabulous design skills as a class.


    • Thank you so much. And yes, I think I used an enamel on that table-top. Wanted the option of using it outdoors. Interesting that you mention the class, as Sara and I are teaching a workshop here in Cuenca later in April. It will last 5 days. We have 18 enrolled at the moment. Looking forward to it! Hugs to you, my friend!


  15. Happy Birthday! Watching was so much fun! Thanks for including us on your magnificent journey. I’m going to watch this on the days that I need to muster my courage to head in your direction. Thanks! L


  16. Feliz cumpleanos, Kathy! I am so glad I could watch the video because I’m in the states visiting my mother and I have FAST internet! Woopie! I used to have a bumper sticker on my car ( when I owned a car), “Born OK the first time.” It reminded me that I was born to be me…an adventurous, creative, out of the box, risk taking, and intuitive kind of gal. Why do I write? Excellent question. I lived for 20 years in the International Storytelling Center of the world, and I learned so much about the reasons we tell our stories. I write to see without borders, to feel with a sense of empathy, to taste without discrimination, to touch without fear, and to hear with understanding. You, my friend, are truly blessed with many gifts. Loved, the video!!!


    • Oh, thank you so much! So happy you were able to watch this video. I will tell Sara how much you enjoyed it. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your description of why you write! Gosh, that is really well said. I enjoyed, especially, your reference to the senses! Hope you have an awesome visit with your mother! Wonderful to hear from you today!


    • Thank you, Laurie! That photo was taken on the zero latitude line just north of Quito. It was fun to straddle the hemispheres or, rather, spread out across that great divide! Hope you have an awesome day, my friend.


  17. Tara and I are both good writers (though she has SEVERELY NEGLECTED HER BLOG!!! Ahem). And also good photographers. I guess for us, it’s more a case of each of us having our own creative moments, and sharing them with the other. If that makes sense. All I know is, you and Sara do complement each other perfectly.

    Happy birthday! And the video is a great gift!


    • Fascinating to hear your description, Mark–especially since you and Tara are such a creative couple! Hope Tara will start blogging again soon. However, you have to give her some credit. She’s been distracted by falling in love, marrying and moving with you! I’ll tell Sara you enjoyed the video! Thanks for the birthday wishes!


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  19. Sending a Happy Birthday to you Kathryn, love Sara’s video compilation, what a wonderful gift! A nice way to show the last year of your life of adventure! I’m only 62 and I still don’t know what I will be or want to be when I grow up, don’t think that’s a bad thing, just happily floating along with the current. I’m glad you are a writer because its so interesting to hear of your amazing life since your birth. So sad to not have your twin through it all, the wondering, the wishing, having to go forward without your other half, oh the things that life challenges us with. So glad you and Sara are enjoying this next challenge of your life! Keep on truckin girls!


    • Oh, thank you, sweet Sue. You are dear. Yes, it is sad to be without my twin. I so often wonder have been different had she lived.

      I can’t tell you how often I think about your having to work so many jobs to make ends meet. In fact, I mentioned it to a friend just the other day. Hope Ecuador will be in your future, sooner rather than later.

      Thank you for reading (and watching) and taking the time to leave a comment! Wonderful to hear from you on my birthday!


  20. First, I hope you enjoy the happiest of birthdays today!

    Secondly, I think you and Sara are both creative souls, whether visual or verbal, and that is what draws you to one another. It gives you yet another common bond.

    And how romantic is it that she creates these wonderful videos for you?!?!? That’s totally awesome!


    • Oh, dear Miranda, thank you. So glad you enjoyed the post and the video. I will pass that along to Sara. I have to agree that it’s pretty romantic that she does these kinds of things for me. Thanks also for the birthday wishes, my friend! Hugs to you!


  21. Oh wow, the images in that video flew by far too fast … a bit dizzying. Wish there were more photos of the wedding. What an adventure you are having.


    • Sorry to dizzy you. I think the idea was to create an impression with the images that zipped by. And actually we only have a few photos of the wedding. And you are right. We are having quite an adventure. Wonderful to hear from you!


  22. Happy Birthday Kathy! I had a great time enjoying this terrific post. The way you write, it is as if you are there talking to the reader. Sara’s video has the same narrative quality of letting me feel I am there (wish that I was – zero latitude looks fun!). Both of your work is so intensely in the moment, so engaging. Whilst Cuenca looks inspiring I agree with your first words here – you are born to be this writer.


    • Thank you, dear Lita. Zero Latitude was, indeed, fun. Good to hear you enjoyed that part in particular. And it’s fascinating that you mention the narrative quality of both of our works–as Sara definitely looks to tell stories with her photos. Wonderful to hear from you on my special day. Hope your week is going well!


  23. Happy birthday, Kathy! Sara did such a terrific job on the video. Did she also conduct the orchestra? Seriously, her photos rock, they’re so beautifully composed. Wow, seeing it all condensed into one never boring (!) for a moment video proves that you had quite an amazing year. I feel very lucky to have been a part(icle) of it. I hope the year ahead, starting with today, brings more inspired tales for you to write and share.

    I was born to be a New Yorker, even though I got my start in San Francisco. I write because I can’t sing, dance, play an instrument, draw very well, speak another language, kick or hit a ball straight and every so often when I enter a zone, it’s fulfilling.


    • Oh, V, it’s wonderful to hear from you on the occasion of my birthday. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was having you be a part of our special year and even more special day! I will tell Sara how much you enjoyed the video and photos.

      And yes, it seems you were born to be a New Yorker–more so than any New Yorker I’ve ever met. It somehow suits you so perfectly it’s crazy–as does the writing, of course.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, my friend!!!!!


  24. I smiled from start to finish reading this…well, almost. So sad that your sister didn’t make it as well as you. I loved Sara’s film – the music seems to really capture your spirit too, so my grin was even bigger at this point as it seemed like I was hearing you in musical form.
    I think I was born to be an…erm….uh….who knows? Still trying to figure it out, but I’m pretty sure I’m heading into the educational/charity-ish sector and a path is slowly emerging.
    Why do I write? Simple – I just love stories. Yours, mine, the woman behind the checkout…give me them all. I want everyone to write and not just so I can feed off their tales, but also because, like you, I think it helps you make sense of your place on the earth. The written word has some kind of magic power.
    And my goodness, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU gorgeous Kathy! Remind me in ten years that I have to mark my 52nd year with a fabulous 12 months of adventure and newness beforehand.
    I hope you and Sara have had a big slice of cake and a fabby birthday in Ecuador. x 😀


    • Oh, I’m so happy you enjoyed this post, K. Yes, it’s sad my sister didn’t make it, but I didn’t know until yesterday that you have had your own sister loss. That had to have made the kidney transplant last year all the more important. I do often wonder how might life might have been different had my twin lived. Gosh, it would be weird to have my mirror DNA to interact with.

      Doesn’t surprise me that you write because of your passion for story-telling. You are, frankly, quite brilliant at it. Hope you are able to apply those skills to the NGO sector. What a great contribution you could make!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes. I will be sure to tell Sara how much your enjoyed the video. Hugs to you!


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  26. so sorry I’m late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! My apologies for shouting. Loved the video. What an action-packed year. So many wonderful memories and I wish all of you, many more. I’ll have a beer in your honor tonight 😉


  27. Sorry I missed it yesterday, but a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, Kathy! Raising my glass to one of the most talented and creative people I’ve ever had the pleasure to cross paths with, and can only hope that yesterday was extra-special for you. 🙂


    • Oh, thank you so much. You are such a sweetie! Hope you are doing well this week. Thrilled that you too will drink to my special day. Wonderful to hear from you! YOU are pretty darn creative yourself!!!!


    • Thank you so much, Robin! I SO appreciate the birthday wishes, and I will be sure to tell Sara you enjoyed the video. Can’t tell you how strange it felt to see snow in your photos today. Seems so late for that. Great to hear from you!


  28. Happy Happy Birthday! Sara’s video was wonderful. Such talent and energy!
    Dearly departed Joe crafted, painted, and created. I lead, listened, and finished. We had an agreement that he would do all the parent crafting projects at Cole’s school (and there were many) and I would chair events and attend meeting where you had to take notes and listen. I am very patient. Too much so some time while Joe had a much shorter wick so I depended on him to take care of the asses and he depended on my to smooth over his blow ups with people. I write just because.
    Wishing you a magical new year.

    ♥ from Chicago


    • Thank you, Katybeth. I will be sure to tell Sara that you enjoyed the video. It’s fascinating to hear about your relationship with Joe. I can’ even imagine how you must miss him! Wow! I admire your ability to go on.

      Wishing you a magical year, as well, my friend! Hugs to you from Ecuador!


  29. A belated happy birthday, Kathy! I’m sorry I’m a little late to the party!
    Wishing you a year full of peace, joy and creativity. You are one of the most creative people I know and it comes out in every aspect of your being. I love that about you!
    What a wonderful video Sara made. I enjoyed watching from beginning to end. Please tell her Reggie and I say hello.
    Best wishes from NYC to you!


    • Thank you, dear Jackie! I so appreciate hearing from you, and late is even better, since it allows me to extend my birthday celebration! Hope you enjoyed being a part of the video, too. It was so special to have you and V as a part of our wedding. Oh, and CONGRATS on being Freshly Pressed! YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOO DESERVE it!!!!!!!! Hope you and Reggie have an awesome weekend. ANd I will be sure to tell Sara!


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  31. First happy first day of your personal new year (belatedly) may it be spectacular and all you would wish.

    This was wonderful and I entirely enjoyed reading and watching. The two of you have made such a rich life, we should all be so fortunate and blessed to find such love.


  32. You, Andra and I all have March birthdays within one week of each other. Mine was the 20th–but I’m the oldest. LOL! I loved this retrospective of your time, thus far, in Ecuador. Sara is a gifted photographer. Loved the video. You have some wonderful times ahead, I’m sure, and I look forward to all you are going to share with your writing. From my end…we had a 5.1 earthquake just a few minutes ago. Rock and roll…not too fun. It made our poor doggy cry! No real damage, and no injuries. 🙂


    • Ha, ha. I knew Andra’s birthday was just before mine, but I hadn’t realized yours was at the same time. What a wonderful week to have been born!

      Glad you enjoyed the video. I will be sure to pass that information along to Sara.

      It’s interesting to hear that you had an earthquake, as we have had a few recently, as well. Though I didn’t feel them. They were that small.

      Have an awesome weekend, Debra! Thanks for stopping by. It’s wonderful to hear from you!


  33. Happy Birthday! How lucky we all are that you made it (even though it was very sad that your twin did not)!

    You just highlighted something that I’ve kind of always taken for granted, but the Handsome Sidekick is very much the visual to my verbal. He is a drawer and designer and I’m the wordy one.

    What a lovely video 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I am currently writing a post about Thomas Hobbes and zombies, but I have to pause for a bit because I have just heard the 18 month old tip all the crayons and pencils onto the kitchen floor. Heh. Never a dull moment!

    PS How is your nephew going? Does he like Ecuador?


    • Great to hear from you today! So happy you enjoyed the video. And it’s interesting to know that you all have this visual-verbal pairing thing going on. After reading these comments, I’m beginning to think that may be for common than I realized. My nephew is fine–loving Ecuador. I’m looking forward to your zombie-Hobbes post! NOW THAT’S a combination, if I ever heard one! Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by!


  34. What an awesome video, Kathy! So very special. And a very happy birthday to you! Writing is special in ways I never even imagined. For me, it helps me makes sense of the world around me. I helps me express myself better. And all and all it has made me realise how much we all have in common. It always amazes me when I bump into a friend who I didn’t even realise was reading my posts, and they tell me how much things resonate with them. People have a lot more in common than we believe, even across the wide divide of oceans!
    Wishing you a wonderful year of discovery and learning in the next year!


    • Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, Gertie. It was wonderful. Sara had planned a surprise party–which is long story in and of itself.

      I love hearing why your write. It fascinates me that you, too, write in an effort to understand yourself and the world around you, as I do the same. However, I think most folks who don’t write never imagine that would be the case–that writing would be about discovery.

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend!


  35. Happy Birthday, Kathy! You and Elvis have the loss of a twin in common. How do you think that’s shaped you? I’m intrigued and I hope you plan to weave that into your memoir. As for me, I love to write and paint. I also enjoy scrapbooking. But the writing is the best, my number one favorite thing to do in the world. How do you write down your thoughts? In the photo of you in the restaurant looks like you’re writing in long-hand? I take my iPad everywhere and have so many posts that I’ve started on it. They’re all in different stages and I just love the feeling of typing and crafting my words, feeling them pour from my fingers. I’m so glad you’ve found your bliss with Sara. Not all of us are lucky enough to find The One, so count your blessings, my friend. Sending you hugs from sunny SoCal!


    • Oh, thank you, Monica. Love hearing about your writing process with the iPad. I don’t have one, but am thinking about getting one. I am writing more and more on my laptop–moving away from long-hand. Sometimes, however, I revert to pen and paper.

      I didn’t realize that Elvis had had a twin. That’s interesting. Likely I will work it into the memoir. In fact, it’s in my draft now, but it’s not an issue I dwell on. It’s really not the focus of my memoir. I wonder sometimes if I won’t write an entirely separate book on that topic one day.

      Wonderful to hear from you, my friend. And hugs to you, too!


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  37. Happy Blessed Birthday to you! What a priceless gift to receive every year! I liked the post earlier, but needed some quiet time to watch the video. I’m so happy I was able to do that as I loved it! The photos are so beautiful ~ your soul shines through! Enjoy the coming year and may your every birthday wish be fulfilled ~ even though it looks like many of them already have been filled, make sure you make some even bigger ones! xo


  38. I always seem to be late to the party! Happy belated birthday, dear Kathy! It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year already since you left the U.S. Sara’s photo video in honor of your birthday is SO fun! What a great way to honor the passing of another year.

    As for why I write? It’s my release. I’ve never been good at expressing myself, my thoughts, my feelings. I’ve never been a great conversationalist or had extrovert tendencies. It took me a long time to realize, but writing is what lets me be who I am without fear of judgement.


    • There is NO such thing as late, Terri. Your comment allows me to extend my birthday celebration, and that is awesome. Thanks for the good wishes. And I will tell Sara you enjoyed her video. I thought it was pretty special, too.

      And it sounds like we write for very similar reasons. I would have imagined you were an extrovert. I, too, am an introvert–and not the best conversationalist in the world. Writing allows me to reach out in a comfortable way.

      Wonderful to hear from you, Terri. Hope you have a great weekend. Hugs to you, my dear!


  39. Wow, your first paragraph says it all, about me, Kathy. I do believe I was born to be a writer; I have a writer’s nature. It took me many years to accept that I could actually BE a writer, though, to actually write and publish and not fear readers would laugh out loud at my words (unless I intend them to do so). I am also a photographer, a would be performer in a major ballet company, and I believe my first love is music, especially classical at this point. I do love travel, too, and learning about other cultures and civilizations.

    Therefore, regarding music, I say that I love the soundtrack to Sara’s wonderful video. What is that music? It so perfectly suits.

    I have always felt like I have a twin, though I do not. As for a partner, presently I have none — except for my imaginary blog companion, Moriarty. He would be mortified to learn he’s imaginary, though; so don’t tell him. What a character he is.

    My boyfriend George, who died of a brain tumor (we had broken up but remained friends) in the late 1990s, perfectly complemented me, I suppose (he was from Pittsburgh, btw, Arnold). The son of a steel worker, he was a physicist and a very logical thinker, kept me grounded and keeping my priorities in order. We loved to laugh; he was of Polish heritage and loved Polish jokes.

    Thank you, Kathy and Sara, for this delightful post. Happy birthday, Kathy!

    Hugs from Delaware.


    • Gosh, I love your comments! Thanks for sharing about your Pittsburgh boyfriend. And, believe me, I wouldn’t think of telling Moriarty he’s not real. In fact, it’s a sacrilege to even suggest such a thing!

      Hugs from here in Ecuador, as well! Thanks so much for stopping by!


  40. What a great year you’ve had. Looks like the move to Cuenco was spot on for you.you seem to have exploded with creativity. Sometimes I wish I felt free to try an adventure like that, but I have too many ties here that I’m simply not willing to leave. Kudos to you two for following your hearts.

    Sorry I missed your birthday. Hope it was happy.


    • Thank you, Christine. I had a great birthday, and we just got back from the beach as part of late celebrations. It was gorgeous there. You’re right. It’s been an amazing year! I can hardly believe it. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!


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