I grew up in a small town in north-central Idaho, surrounded by forests and rivers and
mountains and wheat fields and cattle pastures (and nary a potato field in sight, despite
what you may have been led to believe). I graduated from high school in May 1991, promptly
married my high-school boyfriend, and moved to southern Idaho to go to college.
I attended the College of Idaho, a small, private liberal arts college in Caldwell, Idaho, and I was extremely
happy there. I majored in history with a minor in religion, and graduated summa cum
laude in 1995. I had planned to go to graduate school and pursue first a master's degree
then a doctorate in European history, but as we all know by now, life is what happens when
you're making other plans ...
During this period of my life, my first marriage fell apart and I rebounded almost
immediately into a very, very bad relationship, the only good thing about which was the
birth of my daughter in September 1996. That relationship lasted a little over
three years, and by the end of 1998 I was a single mother, twice-divorced at the ripe old age
The next couple of years I spent just maintaining and doing my best to raise my daughter
while also working full-time. I wasn't especially unhappy, but I was far from happy and
fulfilled. In April 2000 I got a large tax refund and was torn between spending
it on fixing the gap between my front teeth that I have always hated (though some say it's
"charming"), and buying a computer. I was leaning heavily on the side of fixing my teeth,
but my friends and family were pressuring me to buy a computer, and I caved. A simple twist
of fate ...
I began using the instant message program ICQ, and before long was chatting with people all
around the world. On May 2, 2000, I struck up a conversation with a guy in Stockholm,
Sweden, and I knew immediately that there was something special about him. To make a long
story short, we soon began talking on the phone, then talking on the phone a couple of times
a week, then talking on the phone for a few hours a day every day. On January 18, 2001, my
daughter and I arrived at Arlanda airport outside Stockholm for what was supposed to be an
extended visit to Olof, and what turned out to be the rest of our lives.
Now Olof and I are happily married, and we live in a big old house in a small town in
northern Sweden (surrounded by forests and rivers and mountains and wheat fields and
cattle pastures), just down the street from where he grew up. We have a houseful of kids
and pets and love and contentment and security and happiness and all the things I once
expected only to long for and never to have. Truly, my cup runneth over.