Thursday, April 24, 2008

a while ago, a tag

Awhile ago I was tagged by my friend Shawna and I told her I would have to get to it later. Well, now is later and here are at least five things you did not know about me:

When I was born my mother and father gave me the name Julie Suzanne Wright. The name, they said, “…was given because it sounded good to us.” I never changed it because by the time I was old enough to do so legally it sounded good to me too.
I was steeped in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina the first 14 years of my life. Because my father was in prison for planning an armed robbery, and because my mother was not mentally or emotionally stable enough to care for me and my brother and sisters, “the children” as we were called, were cared for by “Nanny.” I was number four in our family out of five, and despite our situation, we had to have been the five happiest children in Buncombe County. We were bathed every night, dressed every morning, read to, talked to, and all our meals were delicious and hot. We knew we were loved, all because of our dear 80 year old Nanny, aunt of my father.
I stayed mostly out of trouble, playing in the creek below our century-old house; the very one in which Nanny was born. My three sisters and I picked cherries for pies and our older brother played “hut-hut” with us, a game also known as football. He never called it that though, knowing if he did, we wouldn’t play that “boy” game. We caught water falling from the porch roof with Mason jars during rain storms. We went to McDonald’s twice a year after our dentist visits.
By the time I was 8, my father had served his time, found employment and a new wife. She also had children from a previous marriage, so in one weekend, I got a new mom, and one more sister and another brother. It didn’t take long before dad’s dreams took us to California. I had never been more than 50 miles from that 100 year-old home on the hill, but as I was an adventurous sort of girl, I took advantage of the wider open spaces. At one point during the five day move, we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona for the night, right off Interstate 40. Requiring fresher air than the “roach motel” provided, I took a walk by myself, rustled a horse, rode it around bareback for about ten minutes, dismounted without much grace or style, and walked back to our little hotel room. No one was ever the wiser.
This was the beginning of high school for me. I spent my time in the Antelope Valley of the Mojave Desert, and by the time I had completed my junior year, my father and step-mother’s marriage had finished falling apart. It was back to North Carolina for me, just in time for my senior year. I did succeed in graduating high school there, though I did not care for the graduation ceremony, my graduating class, or any of the diversions surrounding them. Instead, I bought a rusty little 1977 Datsun B-210 for $333.00 and traveled the country for a few years.
I worked very odd jobs and occupied my free time with sundry enterprises. Once, in a town named Paradise, I snuck into a retired logging flume and snorkeled down it about five miles. I recall walking home in wet sneakers that afternoon. Other occasions found me on a train trip across the United States and deep-sea fishing in the Gulf Stream. I worked for a while as a professional rollerblader, and in the mornings I delivered newspapers. I have since decided
that I would rather eat a newspaper than ever deliver another one. However, my favorite occupation during this time of hodge-podge employment was counting and measuring paper in a factory filled with dust and din. Up until this time, I had not stayed with any one job for more than just a few months. My work ethic included the philosophy that life is too short to have a job you don’t like. The reason it was my favorite was largely due to the fact I actually hated it, but I had made a goal just prior to attaining this job, to work somewhere, anywhere, for at least one year, which I did.
None of my adventures or travels is more precious or beautiful to me than what I have now though. Some years ago I decided that it was time for a change, and I traded the name Wright for Crews. Life has never been better. Niel, the man I now call my husband, and I met in 1999. This was back in the mountains of North Carolina, in the green hills that I knew and loved so well. White water rafting brought Niel and me together, a slice of pizza opened our eyes and a few months later, a hurricane named Floyd closed the deal, well, almost. Once we were sufficiently in love, Niel went to Peru for two years, serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During this time, I went back to college. Once again, I drove across the country, this time to Rexburg, Idaho. Three month’s after Niel’s return, we were married in the Columbia, South Carolina temple.
I still believe life is too short to have a job you don’t like, but I have since learned an important lesson: There is a great deal more to life than just doing stuff you like. Currently, I am finishing my Associates Degree in Illustration through the BYU-Independent study program. At the University of Utah, my husband is either inventing things as he barrels toward a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, or he is burning holes in his pants and blowing things up. So, we live
happily in Salt Lake City, Utah and somewhere in all my bouncing around between the south and the west I have managed to produce three bewitching children. Nan, five years old, is my first child, an inviting and golden little daughter. She informed me at the age of three that when she grew up she wanted to be a snowman. However unrelated this insight to her future career goals may be, I would also like to mention she was born on Dec 25. Wesley, my delicate and delightful little son, trails behind Nan by two years and two months. When he grows up, he either wants to be a snowman like his sister, only shorter, a wacky scientist like his dad, or a horse rustler. And then there is Mallie, 7 months old, just trying to make any sense at all of this crazy mixed up world she’s in.


  1. Don't try to be like me. Your life is ever so much more interesting, and I love you art. You have some great stories to tell.

  2. Julie, you are a really good story teller. You have some great things you could write stories about. Your life has been so interesting and full of many adventures. Wow! I feel like a completely boring person compared to you! Anyway, thanks for telling that story. And I am sorry for the loss of your Nanny. I remember you told me she died, but I didn't know she had been like a mom for you. Sending lots of love your way. :)

  3. great story...thanks for sharing..

  4. This fits in pretty well with my earliest Julie moment - when I decided you were well worth a friendship. Little kids were asleep when I went walking across the court and you hailed me from the swings and gave me some forgotten but completely valid reason to stay and swing rather than return home just then. Had I known that I was in the presence of a horse-rustling job-quitting wild free spirit, I wouldn't have gone in for another hour on top of it... but perhaps I sensed a bit of that. Thanks for being my friend.

  5. Since you told Geoff I needed to comment, here it is:

    You have such an amazing life! I always get thinking that I maybe have done some interesting things in my life, and then you totally blow me away... you are the most interesting person I know. Keep posting such fun stories on your blog! You're a great story teller and it's so fun to get to know you this way.

    P.S. How's that for one-downing?
    P.P.S. Hope you enjoy your Ghirardelli's from Big Lots...

  6. you are loved and admired by many. including me.

    ps. that first bit sounded like a fortune cookie, you fortunate girl.

  7. Hi Julie! It's Maren Creswell. How are you?? It is great to see what you're doing with your art, and to catch a glimpse of the rest of your life right now! I'm so glad you have a blog. I haven't talked with you since our move, but I think you are one of the greatest people ever! You taught me a lot of things. I have a blog- Noah is a little boy now at 19 months. He started Nursery and I am LOVING it! So check out my blog if you ever get a chance! Take care!

  8. i really really enjoyed that! and i really enjoy you too!

  9. I'm not sure if I've commented on any of the other of your postings in the past few days since I found your blog (via Tammy's), but I have had fun reading your stuff. (By the way, why do you want to live without running water? Or is that how things are done in Louisianna? just kidding ) :) That was definitely the most interesting life story I think I've read recently (ok, so I don't go around reading life stories), but nonetheless, it was quite interesting. :) If you ever want to see what's up around our house, our blog is also on Tammy's list. ~Beth Bailey


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