My mom. Born May 8, 1947. Lived in Charlotte, North Carolina until she was 8, then Atlanta, Georgia. She spent a lot of time in very rural Alabama on her grandparents' farm. Her mom had grown up on a cotton farm, and her dad was first a chemist at an ice cream company, and then a minister. His natural inclination to a spiritual path made a deep impression on her.
In high school, she won the International Science Fair (in Girl's Biochemistry) in 1965 for a project on kudzu. 6th place in Georgia for a play she wrote. 3rd place at the Emory Barclay Forum for Southeastern US for a dramatic reading. (She was assigned Hawaii.)
Then she went to New College in Florida but dropped out after two years, along with 40% of her class. The 60's hit her hard, and it took her a while to find her own way through all the cultural upheaval.
She followed a band up north. After a few months as a hippy in the East Village of NYC, she ended up at the Rochester Zen Center. Her father died suddenly of a heart attack a few days later, she married Frank a few months later, and I was born the following year. My mother says that my birth and the birth of my brother a year later, changed her life completely forever. She eventually divorced Frank and was married to Steve Kitts from 1976 to 1989. Now she's married to my current step-dad, Norman Richey.