It’s been said that Jerilee Wei is a native Californian chameleon, who was born to the teenaged children of the long forgotten ones. As a child, she was instructed in how alligator grease relieves asthma, a buried potato cures warts, how a cactus cures sugar, and so much more. This kind of old world knowledge, made her stand out among her peers, not always in a comfortable way.
She’s traveled to scores of far away places and encountered many of her own kind, along with some that might belong on another planet. They weren’t Cajun, Irish, nor Native American, like she is, but she was not deceived. Young, old, rich or poor, famous or infamous, the recognition was mutual. None of them, were not nearly as fascinating as the ordinary people she still bumps into everyday.
Now, it’s true that she’s rode the spiny back of an elephant and kissed his hairy knee, had an angry camel spit in her eye at the thought of carrying her across the sizzling sands, and flew on the gyrating back of an ostrich. She’s also been chased by a bear, stalked by a panthera, and tethered by her boot to a rabid raccoon. She’s served in an unpopular war, tagged the great right toe of those being placed in body bags, and lived so far back in the woods, that only the deer spoke her name.
Jerilee has also been the wife of a millionaire, a major television network editor, and for the last twenty plus years, the wife of a farmer who is no longer on a farm. She’s additionally been homeless, a single mom, conned by a notorious conman, and fled for her life more than once. She raised five children, two being her own, and three of another’s.
Professionally, Jerilee Wei has been a legislative aide on Capitol Hill, a health care lobbyist, a political speech writer for more than one Congressman, beside a President’s wife on the day he was shot, a legal liaison in hospital administration, legal liaison for international agribusinesses, a market research analyst for Fortune 500 companies, antique shop owner, and a teacher.
If that wasn’t stimulating enough, she’s whispered in the ear of God while standing down two heart attacks and invasive breast cancer, and lived to tell the tales. She holds degrees in Horticulture from the University of Florida; Business from the University of Colorado; Humanities from The George Washington University; and Marine Biology. Jerilee Wei is of the opinion that her real life education in living an adventure filled life, pales the satisfaction found in meaningless degrees of her once academic life.
These days, in Jerilee's real tame and somewhat saner life, she’s a published freelance author, Internet junkie, part Cajun traiteuse, Cajun music and history preservationist, daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. She lives with the sun on her back underneath the tender breezes only found beneath giant old growth oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, where she sits and writes beside the pool, still talking to squirrels and birds who stop by to remind her of all that is important.
Here at Eye on Life Magazine, she will be sharing the wild and beautiful bounty of knowledge that she was privileged to learn from generations of master gardeners, just so she could share that with others, as well as contributing to other sections of the magazine.