Michelle Asher has always called herself an artist, from the time that she could conceptually grasp the profession. She felt so strongly about this identity, in fact, that she wound up with a B.F.A. in Studio Art (following a few aimless years as a journalism major).
Another early certainty that she had was a deep love of Nature. Forests and oceans held infinitely more appeal than theme parks and roller coasters.
Being born in Aurora, Nebraska, but primarily raised in San Diego, California, before returning to her parent's home state to finish high school, gave her a different perspective than most. Although she misses the opportunities that San Diego provides, she prefers the easily accessible natural world that Nebraska gave her.
Michelle proudly lives in one of Lincoln's oldest neighborhoods, in a 103 year-old house, with her soul mate husband and two cats. She works at the Journal Star, writes compulsively, and enjoys improv, getting together with friends, travel, thunderstorms, fencing, clever comedy, Neo-Lithic structures, and perpetual dreaming.
The past few years in Nebraska haven't been kind to those who draw spiritual comfort from the greening of a barren landscape. Droughts have taken an ugly toll, and much more than peace of mind suffers. Our agrarian livelihood hurts.
I'm not one who micromanages my modest little landscape. Whatever grows will grow, and deserves to grow, is my philosophy. Fescue, crab grass, clover, and the odd flower planted by prior residents all have a place on our plot. We let rainfall alone dictate the watering of the yard, and last summer was particularly stingy. We sent a lawnmower to the shop for a post-winter tune up, only to use it once! The pleasure of feeling green grass under one's toes wasn't to be savored that year.
This rain barrel is my hope made material. A fervent wish for stormier skies and greener yards. Its mossy, ivy-clad stones evoke a damper climate, and the weather-worn shingles are meant to inspire the prevailing winds to deliver much needed rain.