CAST OF CHARACTERS


FAMILY
ME:
Carrie. See my bio page.


ERIC:
My husband. He's in SAP (please don't ask me!) for a multinational heating/cooling systems corporation. The funny thing is, he has two degrees in music, too. One of these days, I'm going to make a huge list of the various careers people can break into with a degree or two in music.
Eric is from the deep south of West Virginia. Both of his parents and his brother have extremely prominent Southern drawls. (That's a bit like saying that Brooklyn has a prominent bridge.) How he escaped it, I'll never know. Eric is the baby of the family.


SAMUEL:
My older son. He was born at home in June of 2001 after a long struggle to conceive. You can read his birth story here.


GABRIEL:
My younger son. Gabe was also born at home; he was a surprise to us, but he's completed our family and made it perfect. Read his birth story here.


RITA AND RONNIE:
My in-laws. He's retired; she passed away on December 9, 2005. Rita was a 22-year survivor of aggressive lung cancer that claimed one of her lungs when Eric was a child, as well as congestive heart failure. The lung cancer returned in 2003, and this time it won, though she put up an amazing fight. We'll miss her dearly.


DIXIE AND DENNY:
My parents. They both work for a large credit business back home in Maryland. Well-noted for their reluctance to offer any opinions on anything in my life. This started the very moment that Eric told them that he had proposed and I had accepted; it is in stark contrast to my relationship with them up until that point.


CORY:
My baby brother. He works for the Carolinas PGA as an event coordinator. Making a living from golf in Myrtle Beach: life sure is tough for some. Great kid.

BRYAN AND LINDA:
Eric's brother and his wife. He's a surgeon; she's a nurse. The two of them sometimes tend to make Eric and me feel quite self-conscious, though they've never been anything but wonderful toward us. They live back near Eric's family.


HAILEY:
My little niece, Bryan and Linda's daughter. She's only six months older than Sam, and she's her type-A father incarnate. Precious, but with the attitude of a pop star diva.
JAXON:
My little nephew, born in 2007. I haven't met him yet!



FRIENDS
PROTHO:
One of our closest friends. Eric, Protho, and Laurie formed a sort of centrifugal "triumvirate" among our friends at West Virginia University, and were close long before I ever came into the picture. When I came up to audition and WVU, Protho and Eric actually flipped a coin over me. Protho is now a band director in Pennsylvania and hasn't touched his clarinet in ages.


LAURIE:
Another WVU friend, and the third of the main trio of friends there. She was a music theory student, and she also spent long years of healing away from the clarinet before returning to it. She's teaching music too.


ALYSIA:
One of my closest friends back in Ohio and former owner of a children's clothing store where I sold my knitted hats. She's the mother of Sam's best friend, Zach, and she and I supported each other as attachment mommies in a town that sometimes seemed to regard us as the kookiest of the kooks. We frequently fantasize about running away and forming our own homeschooling, gentle parenting, cooperative living establishment in the middle of nowhere.


AMY:
My best childhood friend (since age 5, actually). We competed all through grade school, trying to outdo each other at everything we tried, until we finally realized that our interests were at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Amy's working on her doctorate at Duke in biomedical engineering now. (When I think of all the time I wasted studying chemistry trying to keep up with her...)


KATHY:
Another great childhood friend. She's a very quiet person, and it was one of my goals throughout school to draw out her inner madwoman. I think I've succeeded admirably. She's currently teaching, trying to build up her portfolio and eventually become a school psychologist.


BARBARA AND JOY:
Our midwives for Sammy's birth. No, they're not Certified Nurse-Midwives; no, they don't work out of a hospital, overseen by doctors. These are Direct-Entry, Certified Professional midwives, trained through apprenticeship and solely attending homebirths. They're super.


MARY ANN:
Our back-up midwife for Sam's, who would have been our primary midwife except that her contract with her OB says that she can't attend homebirths. She's the one who referred us to Barbara and Joy. If something had gone wrong and we had to transfer to a hospital for the birth, Mary Ann would have been our birth attendant.


ANDREA AND DEBBY:
Our midwives for Gabe's birth. Andrea is a nurse-midwife who attends both homebirths and hospital births; Debby is a Direct-Entry Midwife, and she ws Andrea's "backup" in our care (though she does have her own practice as well).



TEACHERS
DR. BEALL:
My undergraduate composition teacher. A really great guy and a wonderful instructor.


DR. SHRUDE:
My graduate composition teacher. Somewhat more strict than Dr. Beall; she worked me like a dog, and I liked it!


DR. DEPUE:
Another graduate composition teacher, and the professor I assisted during my second year. Known somewhat derisively as Bowling Green's "resident conservative," he was one of my greatest cheerleaders. We argued about my future; he wanted me to go on to doctoral work immediately.



FORMER COWORKERS
BOSS-LADY:
My direct supervisor; head of youth services.


BOSS-ZILLA:
The library director. I called her this in my head because, frankly, she intimidated the crap out of me. I never saw her at her harshest, but the way everybody seemed to tiptoe around her made me nervous.


MR. SKITTISH:
One of the reference librarians, and a fine example of the strangeness of male librarians. He grew on me quite a bit since he was hired.


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