All About Michele

My life, up until I turned twelve, was quite ordinary. I was the oldest of four children -- three girls and one boy. I was born in Washington, DC, lived in Maryland, and read a lot of books.

Michele at age 5

Then, shortly before I turned twelve, I started on a great adventure. My father was in the Foreign Service (that’s the part of the government that sends diplomats to other countries). On the Fourth of July that year, we got on a propeller plane (it was my first plane trip and a very long time ago) and flew half way around the world to India to live.

First we went to Madras, a city in south India. We lived in a hotel for three months before moving into our house. Then my sister, Diane, who was ten, and I were sent 400 miles away to a boarding school at a hill station even farther south. Kodaikanal was an American school especially for the children of missionaries, although there were kids from a lot of different countries whose fathers did other kinds of work, too.

Michele at age 12 holding a puppy
in the front yard of her home in Madras.

Because it was many years ago, at the school there were no TVs, no computers, cell phones, CD players or even telephones. What did we do for fun? We hiked in the surrounding hills, had skating parties and dances in the gym, watched movies sitting on folding chairs under the basketball nets, went for rowboat rides out on the lake, put on plays, and had taffy pulls.

If you’ve never had a taffy pull, they’re a lot of fun, especially if you’re a kid. First you start out with warm, thick, dark stuff that sticks to your hands if you don’t butter them first. Then you pull the taffy, fold it back together and pull it some more, until it turns a light, creamy color. After a while it’s too cool to pull, so you cut it up and eat it. Yum!

I liked going to the boarding school, although I always felt sad the day my parents left us there and went back to Madras each semester.

The second place we lived was in Bombay. By then I was 15. It was a very different experience because I went to a girl’s school in a former maharajah’s palace. Actually, it wasn’t all that glamorous – the maharajah and all of his fancy furniture had moved out long before the school was there. The many rooms were just classrooms filled with desks and girls in green and white checked uniforms (kids at all of the schools in the city wore uniforms – nobody wore regular clothes).

Walsingham House School in a
former maharajah's palace in Bombay.

My school had a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea and a grand marble staircase to the second floor that only the teachers were allowed to use. My three friends and I spent most of our free time at the local swimming pool, and we’re still friends today, even though one lives in Maine, one near Seattle, and one all the way in England. We even had a mini-reunion in Florida in 2002.

After my family left India, I was the new kid for my senior year at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. The school was bigger than any school I had ever attended; in fact, the senior class was bigger than the entire student body of any school I had ever attended. But I managed to survive the year, and after I graduated, I spent the next four years at the University of Maryland, majoring in psychology.

I married my husband, Don, while I was still in college (I’d met him when he was a college student visiting his parents in India). We’ve been married a long time and have a grown son and daughter, and two little granddaughters.

I live in Florida and do a lot of writing. Sometimes I write articles for police magazines with a retired police lieutenant. We get to do lots of interesting things and I’ve learned a great deal about police work. I really appreciate everything the police do for us.

I love to hear from my readers, so if you’d like to send me an email, you can write to me at and  I’ll try to answer you as soon as I can.

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