Janet Feduska Cole
Growing up with little television, but ready access to fields, streams, and woods, had turned me into a young, female Tom Sawyer of sorts. My childhood companions, Marsha, Mikey, and I spent the summers exploring, playing in fields, woods, and streams, doing our best to stay out of the clutches of our mothers with their long lists of chores, which included seeding, then weeding huge gardens, hanging clothes out to dry on washday (Mondays always), ironing our father’s starched white work shirts, or pulling weeds out of the huge lawns.
When we grew old enough to attend school and become boring student drones, I, who had developed a love for music, was given a flute for some birthday or other. Through intense practicing, with a smidgeon of talent, I became quite proficient. This love for music, because it allowed me to be individualistic—creating a signature tone and style, accounts for my spending one semester as a conservatory music student in an urban Pittsburgh University.
But, I was a country girl, and missed the wide open spaces, and trees, and streams. Nor did I have a vision for myself as a musician. So, I transferred to Penn State in countrified Happy Valley, where my brother and sister also happened to be students. There, I studied Microbiology, a field in which I worked for more than eight years. During this period, my love for the outdoors and addiction to adventure led me to participate in scuba diving, rock and mountain climbing, and hiking adventures.
After taking a few years off to start an all-boy family (two sons and a husband), I re-evaluated and returned to school to earn an MBA. My resistance to working full-time during my children’s tender years lead me into project work, which included technical writing—a field that I currently pursue full-time. It is only in recent years that I have begun to harness my imagination and quest for adventure, channeling these traits into creative skit productions, a short story, and now my second published novel.