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My Ink Stories Part 2
2006-09-20 - 8:34 a.m.

First I want to say why Iím writing these stories in particular. Since I have 3 tattoos now and I get a lot of ďwhat does that stand forĒ or ďwhy would you want thatĒ? Well, for most people I think, the tattoos they choose have a special meaning or story behind them. Itís usually not just a whim. These are my answers.

My first memories were from when I was about 3 years old. We lived in Kansas at the time and Iím guessing it was late spring or early summer. I remember being out on the railroad tracks behind my paternal grandparentsí house. It was night time and I was chasing down and catching the frogs on the tracks. Iíd hold them a bit, fascinated by the little critters, and then let them go. I was careful not to squeeze because I knew it would hurt or possibly kill them. Seems like there were numerous times I caught the frogs. But again I was only 3 so maybe just a few. I remember one particular night when my sister came up to my mom with her bucket of frogs. I noticed all of them were belly up and stiff and I knew she squeezed them too hard. I felt so sad for them.

When I was around 5 we lived in California near my maternal grandparents. There was a shared adoration between me and my grandfather. I spent as much time with him as I could, forever on his lap as he made up silly songs. His nickname for me was toad. I think it was from some long ago actress named Toady or Tody or Todi something or other. But I always thought of it as I was his little frog girl. My favorite colors were shades of green and to this day still are.

Around the age of 9 I was living in Oklahoma. In the spring after heavy rain there was always a huge puddle at least a foot deep in the center, next to the metal balancing beam at the elementary school. Within weeks it was swarming with tadpoles. I would come on a weekend or after school and cup up a few to take home and raise. The first year I wasnít successful. The second year I got smarter. I had a big metal bowl with dirt and water from the puddle and rocks. Everyday Iíd come out and check on the tadpoles and be amazed at how they transformed. First growing back legs, then front as their tails seemed to shrink up and form a butt. One day they crawled out onto the rocks and the next day they were gone. I felt like I did my job.

In high School when I was back in OK again we had a pool. I swam in it all summer. In winter it was drained but not completely. In the spring my friends and I would sit out in the half empty pool to talk. Or my boyfriend and I would sit in there to talk or make out without my parents eyes upon us. I just remember coming out one day to see that the deep end was covered in a large assortment of frogs and toads. There had to be somewhere between 50 and 100 of them in there. I often sat at the edge to watch and listen to them.

Years later back in Cali. when I married G, I wanted to fix up the front bathroom for the kids. I discovered you could decorate bathrooms with frogs. I feel in love and did a frog bathroom complete with frog towels, soap dispenser, shower curtain with frog hooks, frog-shaped bath mat, pictures, mini statuettes etc. I had everything frog you could think of. I think you get where Iím going.

When I decided I wanted another tattoo it had to be a frog. I think for me, frogs represent love, new life, innocence of childhood and possibly some sort of earthy tranquility for me.

This summer I went to get it done. I looked at many cute little frogs but decided on a tree frog clinging to bamboo staring straight forward. Itís in the center lower part of my back and about the size of my palm. In a place often hid where only I and my family see it. Since its very personal thatís ok with me. I didnít do it as art for everyone else. I did it for me. I love it and the many shades of green it contains.

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