Welcome to my Author Blog ~
I'm Mary Ellen Gambutti, a 69-year-old forever flower child. I came of age in the Vietnam Era, an adoptee daughter of an Air Force Intelligence officer; you might say I was a borderline troubled teenager in a suburban New Jersey town, in a life that felt uncertain, and woeful.
Writing began in childhood: as many have said, "I've always written." Mine were little essays, often about nature or gardens, and poems for myself and other children. I later wrote angst-filled teenage poetry and songs.
I married at 19 in New Jersey, and have a precious daughter from that union, and two wonderful grandsons. I did stints in healthcare and in marketing and sales in N.J., re-married, and returned to school for horticulture training at Temple University Ambler Campus, near our Pennsylvania townhome. Garden-making, plant collecting, and writing had long satisfied my creative urge. I added watercolor, field-cut flower growing and marketing, and fresh and dried flower arranging. I thrived on the hard work and aesthetics. I enjoyed writing proposals and describing ideas to clients. Although I was an independent contractor with no financial backing, with my husband, encouragement, and his weekend help, and with subcontractors, I was able to continue my passion and a sole proprietorship for fifteen years. Approaching retirement, I published a lively and colorful newsletter for my age 55+ garden club.
A brain hemorrhage at fifty-seven was one of my life's major losses. Recovery has come to its probable conclusion, with pretty good balance and use of my right hand and arm. I've never driven since the stroke, nor will I garden on my knees.
I aver, the outcome of my personal tragedy has been more patience and understanding of the importance of connecting with people. These became skills of necessity, as I had to rely on first responders, emergency room help, hospital and therapist staff, and always and still, my husband as a kind caretaker and true friend.
The computer became a life link; social media for reconnection to people in my past, and online writing courses to stir my memory and cognition. Several years later I self-published "Stroke Story: My Journey There and Back," and eventually, "Coming to Terms, My Journey Continues." I've had many personal essays published in literary journals, (see my website portfolio). I self-published "Permanent Home;" a memoir collection of these stories. You've seen that I write about my adoption and childhood memories. My adoption memoir is in progress with a goal for indie release early next year.
Phil and I have spent six years of our retirement in Sarasota, Florida. We began with the goal of permanent residency here, but find we are now ready for a change. Our destination is Lewes Delaware where we'll be closer to our N.J. family, and still enjoy sunsets over the water.
Until next time,