5 things about me you probably didn’t know

So my friend Pam Hogeweide shared her 5 things and asked us to do the same… this is my gesture of friendship to her & you!

1. I returned home from college without my piercings. My mother pierced my ears – twice each ear. I always hated wearing earrings since I had sensitive ears and couldn’t wear fun ones. So while away at school I took out the studs and gold hoops for good, letting my holes finally close. Mom was appalled. She was even more chagrinned last month when I returned from Canada with my nose pierced!

2. I am married to the former Anderson Cooper of Burundi! Claude graduated with a degree in journalism from a university in France, returning home to a job as news anchor for the Burundian national television station. (He’s also a recipient of a Guggenheim Award in Poetry… for a poem he wrote in French and still hasn’t translated for me!)

3. I’ve been a hand model. The only kind of modeling I could really ever do, my long fingers and strong nails perfect for the job. The shoots involved multiple polish changes, photos with rings, without rings, holding things and just resting on folds of satin (my hands…). These days my hands are a tattered mess – frayed cuticles, uneven and unpolished nails. I need a manicure!

4. I once spent the better part of a day with Madeleine L’Engle in my beloved hometown of Santa Barbara. It was a set-up. No, really. My mentor, Bart Tarman, was chaplain of Westmont and knew of my affection for Madeleine. So when she agreed to come to the college and speak, he arranged for me to host her for a day. I drove her to my favorite seaside eatery, took her on the scenic drive through the foothills winding down by the Old Mission, breathed in deep the subtle aroma of her perfume. She was delightful and so kind. My only regret was being too young and a tad too timid to ask brave questions and share my own wily fascinations in her company.

 5. I collect icons. I love icons and, as Madeliene L’Engle said, find them to be windows to the divine. The few friends who know this about me have graciously brought icons from their travels – Rome, Greece, Ethiopia. When I pack for Burundi every summer, I always have a few tucked into my carry-on. So there is some orthodoxy stitched into my soul…

So this is my Sunday fun… thanks, Pam, for the prompt!

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14 thoughts on “5 things about me you probably didn’t know”

  1. Christiana
     ·  Reply

    Oh, I am so delightfully jealous of your meeting with Madeleine L’Engle! I would love to hear more about it sometime. I love that you recall the subtle smell of her perfume.

  2. Pam Hogeweide
     ·  Reply

    Love it!

    I also have an affection for icons with several scattered around my home. I must have some orthodoxy stitched somewhere in my soul as well!

    How cool about Madeline and you getting to hang with her. I keep intending to read more of her books. Tell me which one you think is her signature work?

    You’re married to a poetic journalist ? So cool.

    Thanks for posting these. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you a bit more. Did you use the Linky tool to link at my post? Can I link you? Would live for my readers to get in on this!!

    • kelleynikondeha
       ·  Reply

      Pam, I did the Linky tool, so we are all linked up now! Regarding L’Engle’s work, her signature piece for writers is Walking on Water (a reflection on art and faith), but my favorite is Circle of Quiet, the first in her trilogy of journals. Claude wouldn’t see himself as a poetic journalist now, that is part of the humor of it all! He is an advocate for the poor and pot-stirrer in Africa, which is also so cool!

  3. Pam Hogeweide
     ·  Reply

    And I’m subscribing to your blog. As of now!

  4. Pam Hogeweide
     ·  Reply

    PS… I’m not one for piercings but it’s hilarious about your ears and nose and your mom. I’m more of a tattoo kind of woman. andy mother has never liked them nor approved but somewhere in my 30’s (or was it my 40’s?) she finally just accepted that I get to be in charge of decorating my body 🙂

  5. Amy
     ·  Reply

    Love knowing these things! And I have to tell you that jack and I got engaged in Santa Barbara, at Butterfly Beach. We then went to the mission, where we bought a kind of iconic print of all the people who founded missions in California. It still hangs in our house today.

    • kelleynikondeha
       ·  Reply

      Ah, Santa Barbara, my favorite place on earth. I took Madeleine to the Biltmore, so the other end of the SB shore!

      • Diana Trautwein
         ·  Reply

        Actually, the Biltmore is ON Butterfly Beach, ‘my’ beach, just a short drive down the hill from where we are blessed beyond measure to live. When did you go to Westmont? My son was there and the amazing woman he married. He graduated in 94, she in 96. They’re both doctors now and living in Carpinteria and we get to help with their 2 little girls. I pastored at Montecito “Convenient” for 14 years. What a fascinating life you’ve lived! So grateful to Sarah Bessey for introducing me to you.

  6. d.l. mayfield
     ·  Reply

    you are seriously so interesting. and claude! i must know what is in this poem.

  7. Helen Burns
     ·  Reply

    I LOVE knowing these 5 things about you. So fun!!!

  8. Syd Shook
     ·  Reply

    OMG #3! I never knew, but it all makes sense now! #5 – I stopped in every shop in Istanbul to seek out an suitable icon for you, but my anxiety about which ones you already had overtook my intentions. I promise to be more risky in the future! #2 I have heard of this translation-less poem and I think it’s time for a revealing. This from the man who, not too many summers ago, asked us “Why is that man’s boot so big?”

    Thanks for sharing your 5 things – loved every moment of reading them!

  9. idelette
     ·  Reply

    I didn’t know about the icons! We were meandering through some beautiful Orthodox shops in Serbia two years ago … Had I known, I would’ve chosen one for you.

  10. Jana_kaye
     ·  Reply

    I too am so deliciously jealous of a day with Madeleine L’engle, one of my favorite authors! I live in the same town as poet, publisher, and friend o’ madeleine’s, Luci Shaw, and I love the chance to hear her read poetry and talk about Madeleine now and then at a retreat or conference!

    These are all delightful things to know, in fact. Thanks!

    • kelleynikondeha
       ·  Reply

      Ah, I love Luci, too! I went on a writing retreat with her and learned so much from her instruction and her sweet spirit. You can see how her and Madeliene were such kindred spirits!

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