I am a sucker for milestones and anniversaries. Especially long period of time ones sometimes bring a tear to my eye. But a happy kind of tear.
March through June are both fun and emotional for me for that very reason. First and foremost this June 18th is Lee’s and my 8th wedding anniversary. (She’ll be proud of me for remembering that LOL).
We married in a old stone chapel in the Ar. Mountains to which one had to hike, there was no road to it. She found it on a solo hike 9 years ago and came home yelling, “I found our chapel. I found our wedding chapel). Until she took me there (by foot), I hadn’t a clue what I was about to find.
Our Wedding Chapel
It was a charming 100 year old stone building in the middle of nowhere. Nature surrounded us. It was/is us. We hike back to it each year.
When we chose that day (it was our second pick), the 19th being our first, we had no idea
it was Autism Pride Day or even that I was/am Autistic. Lee sort of had a clue given she’d worked in high-tech many years around the world in the early days of technology. She’s still a wiz at it, even given all the changes. Back then HTML was considered high-tech. I still love her more than ever.
By the way I was not diagnosed for autism until 2015 at age 60. It was hidden from me as a child (was not diagnosed) and I was given an “attic bedroom” far away from the family core; quite a frightening way to live, with autism, at age six-age through age 17 (basically imprisoned with controlled friends). I am vocal about it because, a lot of parents, later entire families, and finally entire communities disown their autistics (or different) children. My greatest hopes are to help lessen this obscenity. I know I cannot alleviate it. But it is a form of torture and I plan to speak out. Whenever the opportunity avails itself.
Future children/later adults need not suffer like that, now that we know what it is, and was. It is well past time to get past the years of character assassination of “those who are different”, and often those of us who are autistic, fall into that league. Autism is who we are. It’s not a disease or ailment. It’s like being green-eyed or left-handed. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it any more than there is neurotypical people.
Monday, March 19th is also the 21st anniversary of the day I launched Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) in 1997. Most folks by now know the story of my living in a tin shed with no heat or air and only cold running water (for over a year). Electricity was installed and I bought a big old used IBM Clone 396 computer for several hundred dollars and a book “Internet For Dummies”. And my trusty rescue dog “Thor”. I had $300 more or less.
Thank you to all the wonderful souls who have been with me through this journey. There were times when I was certain it would not work, I’d stop knowledge of what I’ve learned, or people would simply forget about me. None of that has happened, and the works I have done have grown dramatically.
Thor The Wonderdog
I’ve published 4 cartoon compilation kindle books and one coffee table one available at bookstores worldwide. I have about 4500 full-color cartoons on my website. I woke up one day in early January 2005 and my site was #65 ranked on Alexa.com. While that didn’t last long, it stayed the #1 ranked offbeat cartoon (on both Google and Bing); it sometimes fluctuates to #2 but that’s okay given there’s about 10,000 offbeat cartoon properties competing for that spot on any given day. However 8 million people had visited my main website and now it’s closer to 8 million and 188K. It surprised me (possibly more than it does anyone else). It all definitely went beyond my bucket list.
Hemingway once quoted, “A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.” I might add, “…And write several more really funny books to be humbled by the blessings I have received”.
And if all that were not enough, we’ve got Amazon Prime and Netflix and the occasional GMO-Free Popcorn. Life is good.
To see my main site ranked Google & Bing #1 Offbeat Cartoons click here. Most suggest to then click on “New Toons”. You can find our most popular recent strange cartoons on Instagram here. To shop there’s several stores. Let me suggest this one which is Rick London Gifts full of comic tees, mugs, cards, bags, jewelry, home and office and plenty of other stuff.