I write this to share a little about how I was raised. This was my intended purpose of starting this blog, so that my family would know who I was and who I am.
I was raised in a very small town of Cedarville, Ohio. I have spent my entire life as a resident here, graduating from a class of fifty-two fellow seniors. To say we were sheltered from the world is putting it lightly. Oh, don't get me wrong, I got to do things and go places, and yet today, I would call it a sheltered life.
Funny now how closed minded we were brought up to be. Our town is very small and yet there are five churches in our little town. Also, a Baptist College. It hasn't been that many years ago that the girls from this college were still required to wear dresses or skirts unless they were involved in an athletic event. There are no judgements here, just trying to explain the influence of the community I grew up in.
I am almost embarrassed to write about this and please know my education about life and living has changed greatly since I was in high school. I remember graduating and going to a local community college and in my class were other students from other communities. I was involved in the secretarial program, in those days that was about the only option for girls who didn't go on to a four year college. The other girls in my class seemed so worldly, they seemed to understand things I'd never heard discussed before and many of them smoked! I'd never been exposed to a smoking culture and if the kids at my high school smoked, I didn't know them or they were "labeled" as hoods. (I'm just telling how it was.) We didn't see it in the high school but if people had tattoos I would certainly know I was in danger. I'm not sure what kind of danger I was suppose to be in, I was very cautious.
I know much of this thinking carried with me throughout my young adulthood. I didn't stray far from my upbringing. I was part of the Hippie Generation, although I wasn't a hippie. I wasn't a part of drug experimentation's, drinking or smoking that seemed to come about during this time. I saw it from afar, I was never a part of "it". I married two years out of high school to my high school sweetheart and we did what was expected of us. Jobs, kids and life happened and years have passed and so have so many of my sheltered ideas about what is good or bad.
I'm in my early sixties now, my favorite drug of choice is Advil, I have never experimented with any of the hard drugs. I don't really care for drinking, although wine is sometimes good and the occasional mixed sweet drink. I don't smoke and never had the desire. People with tattoos don't bother me anymore, I can now see the person behind the tattoo. Imagine what a shock it would have been for a girl to have a tattoo when I was in high school! I'll bet she might not have been allowed to attend regular classes with the rest of us. I only say that because of an unfortunate event that forever stays in my mind and how unfair it was. A senior two years ahead of me got pregnant and she couldn't attend classes with the other students, she had to sit in the office day after day doing her studies, and yet the boy who got her pregnant continued going to classes and playing sports. I knew then that things were not right with the way men and women were treated. We were on the edge of the women's revolution and bra burnings! Hip Hip Hooray!
We all have come a L-O-N-G way since those days in the sixties and seventies. I see so many people sporting a tattoos and some I really like. I love when the tattoo isn't the first thing I see about a person and can tell you that I had the most amazing experience in this regard in Eureka Springs, AR about four years ago.
I was in a wonderful store that sells many beautiful things, many related to the Native American culture. Into the store walks this man, in his forties maybe, he had a black shirt on with images of horses and eagle, feathers and such. This man was alone and he looked at everything in the store, I had my gourd work there on display and we talked about them a little. He continued to walk around, I have to say he was gorgeous, not only in the way he looked but his spirit was gorgeous, you could feel what he was about. When he sat down to play the flutes, I thought I might swoon! Hahahaha! He purchased a leather bag to carry a flute and ask when the store closed, he wanted to bring his wife and daughter back. Just before five and when I was packing up my gourds to return to Ohio, he and his family came back into the store. I talked with them about gourds and enjoyed the visit.
My friend, Jayme, who had come with me on this trip had gone to get the car while I packed up the gourds. I was out front waiting on her when this man in the black shirt came out of the store. He had already put the flute bag to use and was carrying his flute across his back. I ask him about his flute and how long he'd been playing and of course, ask him to play something on his flute. (Swooning again!) We had a little time to talk before Jayme came with the car.
When Jayme arrived, I loaded the gourds and ask he if she'd seen the man in the black shirt with the flute just now. She said, yes and then told me how strange that this same man stopped her on the street as she was going to the car and ask her if she bought the flute she had been playing in the store. She said, "no" . He told her that when a flute sounds and feels right to the player it is the one you should purchase. They went on their separate ways.
I said to Jayme, "Did you find it odd that this man would stop you on the street to say that and did you notice his tattoos?" She looked at me puzzled and then said, "Oh, he did have tattoos, didn't he?" The point of the entire story, his tattoos were so obvious, his arms were covered, his neck but even more unusual were the dots going from his temples under his eyes and across his nose. And yet that wasn't what we saw first, we saw the essence of a beautiful man who had the most kind and gentle spirit!
While chatting with this man on the street, I found out he used to be a tattoo artist and now does detail work on motorcycles. I also found out that he'd been playing flute for about four years and he also explained the history of his flute. What a gentle soul he was. I will always remember this as an ahaaa moment in my life.
So you see I have evolved through the years, I hope that I'm a more open minded person that I was forty years ago. I hope knowing all of this you won't be too surprised to know that I also have tattoos!!!!! Hahahaha! I know some of you are stunned! I'm giggling as I write this! Most who see me everyday don't see my tattoos and they are in plain sight! Shall I share? I have tattooed eye liner! I just had it redone last week and love it! Are you shocked and surprised? Hahaha!