Please welcome today, Raylyn McIntyre from Reclaiming Raylyn! Thanks for agreeing to the interview Ray!
So, let’s get started, because the readers really wants to know…
Everything about you! Tell us, where did you grow up? Is that the only place you’ve ever lived or have you moved around? What is it you love about your town?
I grew up in a small town in Western North Carolina. And it’s definitely not the only place I’ve ever lived. I married Gavin when I was only sixteen years old and with his career in the Marines, we’ve been on the move every since. Currently, we live in Jacksonville, North Carolina. I love its proximity to the beach, all the local owned eateries, fresh seafood, and perpetual summer.
What’s your current occupation? I’ve been a career wife and stay-at-home mom up until now. Now I’m looking for who I am beyond that and taking a few college classes.
What’s in your refrigerator right now? Coconut milk, half a pizza that was delivered last night, honey blended yogurt, bottled water, and a lemon bar from my favorite bakery.
What smell do you associate with your childhood? Is it a happy smell? The smell of warm paper bags. This is the smell of a paper mill. They’re dotted all over Western North Carolina. My father and Gav’s father both worked in one. I have mixed emotions about that smell. It is happy in that it’s the smell that I associate with a paycheck. It’s what put food on our table, but it’s also the smell of being trapped in that world. While I didn’t plan my teenage pregnancy, it was the catalyst for us moving away and seeing what else there was in the world. Now that I’m older, I don’t think of it as a smell that means entrapment anymore. It’s morphed into security and family, so yes, way more happy smell than anything else.
What’s a typical Saturday morning like for you? I’m not sure anymore. My routine has been broken with the last of our children off to college and Gav deployed again. When the kids were all small, it looked like a lot of laundry and half-empty cereal bowls left all over the place. When they got older, I was able to sleep in occasionally while Gav went off to breakfast with his buddies. Now…now it’s just lonely.
What is your greatest strength? Weakness? Resilience. I’ve learned to roll with the punches as they come. That’s my greatest strength. It’s also sort of a weakness because it’s led to me acquiescing to everyone’s demands around me without thought to myself or what I need.
Did you believe in true love before you met Gavin? We were so young when we fell hard and wound up married teenagers. There really was no “before” Gavin. He’s the only one. I believed in true love then and even more so now.
Do you have any tattoos? What are they? If you don’t, would you consider getting one and what would it be? No tattoos. And I’ve never been interested in one. I mean, it’s so permanent and I can’t think of a thing I’d want etched on me for forever. What if I changed my mind later? That removal process doesn’t look pleasant at all.
What is your most treasured possession? I don’t know if this can be considered a possession because, technically, I don’t own it, but my most treasured thing is my family.
Do you have any regrets? What are they? Not anymore. Only lessons learned.
Do you prefer jeans or sweats? Flip-flops or sneakers? We live on the Carolina coast, so flip-flops for sure, but capris in the summer and jeans in the brief winter we have.
What is your greatest achievement? Managing to raise five pretty great kids in the midst of living through Gav being deployed more years than he’s been at home.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Ooohhh…this question…you’ll have to read my story to find out.
Describe the perfect meal. Sunday supper with all the family gathered around our huge table, laughter and hugs. It’s not the kind of food that makes the meal, it’s the love.
Is there anything you’d like to tell me, as your writer? I have more of a question for you…When are you going to tell my children’s stories?
Thanks for being here today Ray!
You can get her story, Reclaiming Raylyn, on sale for $0.99 for a limited time at Amazon HERE.