First of all, I have to confess that I’m a figment of John Gordon’s imagination. But I’ve gotten over that. You probably can, too.
My business card reads “Penelope Summers, Owner, Summers Breeze Gardening, Annapolis Maryland, Master Gardener, Sleuth, Storyteller.
I’m actually all of those. I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, the daughter of Curtis and Evan. That’s short for Evangeline, though I cannot imagine my Grandmother naming anyone Evangeline. Dad taught history to midshipmen (the term includes those you might imagine would be called ‘midshipwomen,’ but, trust me on this, there are no midshipwomen.). He professed at the Naval Academy for about twenty-five years before he retired and moved to a private island community north of Naptown. We don’t talk much. Mom ran away with a hippie when I was ten to live in a commune somewhere, and to this day, neither Dad or I, or my brother Spencer, who’s a physician in Baltimore, know her whereabouts. Understand, I’m permitted to call Annapolis Naptown since I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy back in 2000.
Growing up without a mother has undoubtedly contributed to my personality. But I’m unable to see myself as others see me except to know that I don’t suffer fools gladly or any other way. My dad helped arrange my appointment to the Naval Academy. (Thanks Dad!) After six years in uniform as a public affairs officer, mostly on the aircraft carrier Enterprise during Iraqi Freedom, and after my fiancé dumped me for a high school friend of mine who wasn’t on a Navy ship half a world from him, I left the Navy. I hung my lieutenant’s uniform in the back of my closet and went to work for a PR firm here in Naptown. That was almost four years ago. Since taking Master Gardener training last year, I’ve decided that public relations doesn’t help the world go round and probably hinders it.
That’s what led to my starting a part-time business: Summers Breeze Gardening. I’m developing my skills as a gardener and garden designer. And thinking about getting a landscape architect degree at the University of Maryland. Probably in their two-year masters program.
The last thing I should tell you is that I had the misfortune on my first gardening job to find a friend dead in a garden pond. I had the dickens of a time figuring out whodunnit. The local police department, I hasten to add, still haven’t figured it out. And I hope they never do. You can read my version of what happened in KATELYN’S KILLER. It’s available wherever books are sold or at Amazon.
N.B. In case you missed my disclaimer at the top of the page, I’m actually a figment of John Gordon’s imagination.