Although she returned to the States, Marilyn wrote this about her divided sense of self:
An Outback child at heart am I,
In culture and language, until I die.
Two cultures war inside of me,
Each one wishing to be complete and free.
RETURN TO THE USA
When the family returned to Seattle, Marilyn, then 12 years old, remembers having to learn to eat with utensils and how to deal with U.S. currency. But she settled back in, and went to school. After high school, while at college in San Francisco, a friend persuaded Marilyn to join her on a trip to Arizona where they would get jobs and save money for school. She came to the desert and liked it, describing the place as almost like “being back in my beloved Outback.” The two friends found jobs with Motorola and while the original plan had been to save for college, Marilyn decided her savings were for a goal faraway, to return to Australia.
But, then, along came John Osborne, a technician in the same unit of Motorola. He asked her out for a date and she turned him down, later writing, “I was not going to let myself like or get serious about any man, for I had been kept from Australia long enough.” But she hadn’t allowed for Cupid getting involved, or maybe it was just John’s tenacity, for before long he was driving her home from work and stopping at [those of you who grew up in Phoenix will appreciate this] Bob’s Big Boy on Central.
The two eventually married, and it was a happily-ever-after story for decades. The two retired from Motorola in the late ‘80s and that’s when Marilyn attended a woman’s retreat and came home wanting to write about her experiences. She says, “I wasn’t what you’d call a writer, but something compelled me.” She started with her Australian experiences and later wrote on Bible study topics.
(Photo: John and Marilyn circa 2011)