As I child, in the mountains of California, I went by this name. I was never called my proper name. Garland was my late step-father's sir name, and for reasons I am not completely sure of, my brothers and I use to use his title as our own. They had wanted to change our names legally to Garland, but alas, he died and I remained legally an Andrus even though I didn't know how to spell it. Elizabeth has only been my name when I was in trouble; it usually was accompanied by Margaret.
The Sierra Nevada's In the winter
When my family moved to Belize, I was forced to use my proper sir name for immigration reasons. The government and social services didn't care if I felt like an alien with the weird name that everyone mispronounces and mistakes for the more common "Andrews" and a that name that doesn't feel like me. When I was twelve years old, I decided that when I grow up and become a writer I was going to abandon Andrus and re-become Beth Garland as sort of a pseudonym . Doing so, I reasoned would pay tribute to my dad and to the little girl I am.
The Hawsworth Bridge Between Santa Elena and her Twin Town, San Ignacio (aren't they a Saintly family?)
The other day I was thinking... Now that I am growing up should become Beth Garland again? If I do so for sentimental value, to pay tribute to the little girl I "am" and the man that fathered me, what about the other names I have used in the years and the other men who have been my fathers? For different occasions and times I have been Bet, Betsy,Bethie, Betty, Bethie Lou and a number of other nicknames. And then, Elmer Martinez and Javier Muñoz, although they never legally became a my fathers, they both, in their own special and powerful ways, have fathered me in some areas. I belong to the hills of Cayo as much as I do to the mountains of California, maybe even more. I can't be, Elizabeth Beth Betsy Bethie Betty Bethie Lou..... Margaret Garland Martinez Muñoz, can I? That would be worst the Baron Bliss' real name! So in tribute to all of the mes I have ever been and my dads' who have supported me in all phases of my life, I will be Elizabeth "Beth" Andrus. For now, anyway....
Me, Elizabeth Margaret Andrus, in neither place(... in serious thought)