Susan’s Story

5th-grade-school-photo-Sue-PaintedI was set up to become a writer. Maybe you can relate. Bookworm, glasses since the fourth grade, fashion-challenged. The iconic school-yard victim and future writer.

I was born and raised in Wethersfield, Connecticut–a quiet, peaceful little town in picturesque New England. Life was fairly predictable in Wethersfield. I went to school with my four brothers and sisters, was laughed at, picked on, bullied–all the usual things that happen to kids who don’t fit in. And then I went home and found solace in the pages of a book.

When I tired of reading, I grabbed my bike and took off for the village cemetery (I always was a little weird). But beside my attraction to the Gothic side of life, I was at peace among the tombstones. No one bothered me there. No one laughed at me. Happily alone, I read, wrote in my journal, and thought about the lives of those whose names were etched on the stone markers.

Even though I didn’t know it then, I was becoming a writer.

 

The Village Cemetery, Wethersfield, Connecticut
The Village Cemetery, Wethersfield, Connecticut

And one thing I learned in that old cemetery was that even though I had an extreme aversion to Wethersfield’s public schools, I loved my town–its history, colonial houses, churches, and cemetery. I had also learned to love the classics penned by some of New England’s finest authors: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Nathanial Hawthorne. So, after graduating from Wethersfied High School, I went to Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania to pursue a combined study of American history and literature. It was, at least for me, a logical next step. Get away from the town bullies and study what I loved.

It was at Gettysburg College that I discovered that I could actually write, at least according to my English Composition professor. At Gettysburg, I also learned to appreciate all things Spanish, from the language, to the literature, to the culture. I also discovered Federico Garcia Lorca, Poet of the Gypsies.

Federico Garcia Lorca, Poet of the Gypsies
Federico Garcia Lorca, Poet

That’s when life started getting really interesting.

After graduating from college, I started a masters degree in Spanish at Central Connecticut State University, worked as a waitress (post graduate reality), saved up some money, and then left the following year for Seville, Spain.

In Spain I fell in love–not with a Spaniard as I had secretly hoped, but with a philosophical scientist from India named Govind Nadathur. As my pastor said when he married us four years later at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wethersfield, “Our God is a God of surprises. Marvelously unpredictable.”

Some years have passed since I was a bride. I completed my graduate degree, developed a business teaching Spanish to childbirth professionals, wrote a few books, moved to Santa Barbara, California, and then to Puerto Rico. Each move brought with it trials, tears, challenges, and joys. Govind and I celebrated the birth of our daughter, Sita, in Santa Barbara, agonized over Govind’s ten-year battle with cancer in Puerto Rico, and supported each others dreams as I lived for extended periods of time with a group of Gyspies in Seville while he held down the fort in Puerto Rico.

I don’t quite fit into the culture of Puerto Rico, but in not fitting in, I belong. The legacy of Wethersfield lives in me. I remain a misfit in the colorful, chaotic world that has become my home.

Susan-with-lace-cropped.

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