The blog Old Hwy Six West gets its name from where I live today as well as from my family’s old homeplace abutted by Spanish Land Grant property, where generations have lived. Most of my life has been spent on the El Camino Real that runs through No Man’s Land, sometimes called The Free State of Sabine. Situated between the Red and Sabine Rivers, this area has a rich history; colorful as the clay we find beneath our feet. The people who live here invented going rogue, and the Borg would find us difficult to assimilate. This place is as much a part of who I am as my DNA.
I’m also a child of Louisiana. My grandparents on the other side came from opposite corners of the state; the far northeast in the desperately poor Mississippi River delta and the deep southwest Bayou country. My grandfather was a large, outgoing football player, and elected as Mr. NSU. He married a tiny, quiet librarian who sent me wonderful books with shiny gold seals (Caldecott Awards) throughout my childhood. These diverse extremes also describe my state. The dour Protestants in the north don’t really get their drinking and dancing Catholic cousins in the south. This is probably what makes my state so interesting– the conflict.
All of these elements of place have played a part in molding me. Many people think I am a natural extrovert. Not true. I am really an introvert with excellent extroversion skills. I like to participate and observe. While I make every attempt (weather and schedule permitting) to exercise daily, I also love to read for hours. I read Stephen King, Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, Randy Wayne White, Greg Iles, Neil Gaiman, Barbara Kingsolver and many, many others. I jam to country music (Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks), rock & roll, jazz and hip hop; dance Zumba and the Texas two-step . I enjoy attending Broadway shows just as much as watching SEC football. I am an accountant, but I have a sense of humor.
I met my husband, Dr. Mark Swanstrom, when I asked to borrow his chalk for my classroom. We have two lovely children, Lyle and Leah, two cats, and two not so lovely dogs, with whom we share our home. In 2005, 20 years after I left my parent’s house, we bought our home… right here on Old Hwy 6 West. So, I am right back where I started. The circle is complete and we begin again.