I grew up on 85 acres of rural farmland in the middle of Wisconsin.  — WAIT!—   I know this is intriguing and you have a million questions about my riveting origin tale.  Let me go ahead and anticipate your next few questions: Yes, I love cheese and the Green Bay Packers; ‘muddin’ is something you do with a 3-wheeler (or 4-wheeler if you’re a pussy); and tipping cows in infinitely harder to do than you think.  And yes - my bangs were the rival of the entire 8th grade.  

After high-school, I moved to Minneapolis to attend college at the University of Minnesota.  I graduated with a theater and history degree and worked for the next several years doing virtually every performance-related job there is in the Twin Cities.  Commercials, voice over, live theater, event emcee, improv, characters, pod-jobs...  No kidding, I even dressed as a piece of toast and handed out butter coupons for a day.  Chaotic a living as it may have been at times, I was proud to live comfortably without a ‘day job’ for over 10 years.  

‘Comfortably’ needs some clarification. To be fair, I need very little to be comfortable.  I am what is affectionately known as a ‘River Rat’.  Oh yes, bonafide.

I lived aboard a houseboat on the Mississippi River in St. Paul for nine years.  I have a bit of a love affair with the River and although the winters are brutal, I became a year-round live-aboard in 2006.   I learned as I went, I almost died on a regular basis and I’d be glad to tell you all about it over a beer sometime.  Or you can read all about it on The Old Boat Blog.   Those entries are the early years on my boat ‘The Road’ when I’m alone and a train-wreck and… lets just say you’ll know a lot about me and boats if you’ve got some time to kill.  

The Big Trip chronicles a journey I took with my fella, Melby, when we piloted ‘The Road’ from St. Paul to the Gulf of Mexico.  1,800 miles and just as dangerous, gorgeous and full of weirdos as you’re guessing it was.  Harrowing tales and stunning pictures at the very least.  

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We came back to St. Paul from that trip and remodeled a big old beautiful riverboat named ‘Toad Hollow’.  Then came the winter of 2014 when we had record-breaking cold, on several occasions dipping below -40 degrees.  I wish I was kidding when I tell you that it was colder than the surface of Mars.  

It may not be a coincidence then that in 2015 we put houseboating on pause, packed up our 1971 Avion Camper, and moved to California.  Melby is a director, I am an actor - winter sucks and we love avocados…  Done deal.  

Check back for updates - your guess is as good as mine!


Dawn the Writer!  © Dawn Brodey 2012