Earrings and Memories

Saturday, July 18, 2020
I got my ears pierced before I went off to college. Back then, if you bought a pair of earrings at a jewelry store, you could get your ears pierced for free. They had a nurse come in once a week to do that, and she’d put your brand new earrings in the holes she made.

I tend to collect earrings from places I go, both because I like them and because they provide a reminder of different times in my life. When in doubt as to what to buy me for Christmas, earrings are always a good choice. I rarely wear any other kind of jewelry, so I make up for that with a variety of earrings.

Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse Earrings
Back in the 1980s, I was in a miserable marriage. My husband and I fought all the time, and even when we weren’t shouting at one another, there was always tension in the air. So when we finally got a divorce, I knew I wanted to do something special for my son to make up for some of that.

I took him to DisneyWorld. It was one of the best trips I’ve even been on and just what both of us needed. The minute we stepped inside the Magic Kingdom, all the worry and stress of the past few years slid away.

I don’t wear these earrings often, but I look at them almost daily and smile at the memory of that trip.

Seagulls

Seagull Earrings Purple Clamshell
Several years later, I started dating a Polish man I met online. He lived in Massachusetts while I lived in New York, but he drove down to see me almost every weekend. When he learned there was an annual Polish Festival in Riverhead, he insisted we go.

We enjoyed the music and dancing and the food. There were also vendor booths, which is where I found these earrings made out of clam shells. What could be more perfect than seagulls made out of clamshells?

Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf Earrings
The two of us stayed together for a lot of years. At one time we thought we might get married, but there were too many reasons for me not to and not enough to go ahead. But one summer, we took a bus tour of the Canadian Maritimes with a bunch of senior citizens. In our fifties, we were probably the youngest of the group, but it was nice to have someone else do the driving and planning and all we had to do was keep up with the guide.

One of my vivid memories was of driving through the blueberry fields. I knew about Maine blueberries, but didn’t realize Canada also raises a lot of them. And the lobster dinner. This was funny. Both Ted and I were from the east coast of the United States, so we’d had lobster dinners most of our lives. But many of the tourists were from the middle of the country, and the guide had to give a lesson on how to eat a lobster.

But best of all was going to Prince Edward Island and being immersed in the world of Anne of Green Gables. This was another fairy tale experience because we were seeing up close what I’d only read about or seen movies of before.

Fused Glass

Glass earrings green and purple
Seeing these earrings is now a bittersweet experience for me. Right around the time I moved to Tucson, my writer friend Sheila Connolly got a contract with Berkely Prime Crime to write what’s called a work-for-hire series about a glassblower amateur sleuth in Tucson.

Work-for-hire means the publisher comes up with the concept for the series, the main characters, location, pets, hobbies, etc. and generally the plot for the first book. They also decide on the name that will appear on the cover of the book. Then they hire an author to write this series. They usually get a flat fee for each book, meaning no royalties for each sale. It’s a good way for an author to break into getting published. And as you might know, Sheila went on to have a fabulously successful career as the author of several mystery series.

Anyway, since Sheila had never been to Arizona, it was convenient having me here who, while I didn’t know a whole lot myself about Tucson, had plenty of people I could ask questions of for her. In the second year of writing this series, she came out for a visit so she could see Tucson herself.

Since the series was about a glassblower, we visited the Philabaum Glass Studios as “research.” We walked through the gallery, then spent some time watching the glassblowers at work through a window partition. And then we each bought things. Of course, I had to choose a pair of earrings.

Oh—and they’re a bittersweet reminder for me now because Sheila passed away this year. I was privileged to know her.

Silver Spoons

earring made of silver spoon handles
As I’ve been working on the Shipwreck Point Mysteries, I’ve become engaged in the Victorian Age. Reading about what people wore and how they acted and what they did for enjoyment has been an interesting experience. Due to the popularity of romances set in this time period, you can find all kinds of clothing and things available for purchase. I seriously considered buying a Victorian dress to wear at the Tucson Festival of Books, which I didn’t because I was afraid it would be too hot to wear all day in Tucson.

But I also ran across this pair of earrings on Etsy and thought they would be perfect. When the Tucson Festival of Books was canceled, I put them on my Christmas list and received them as a present from my grandson.

Anyway, there you have a small selection of the earrings I own. I hope you found this post interesting. Or at least different.

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