About Eclectic Evelyn


Evelyn Dortch is EclecticEvelyn.com

My name is Evelyn Dortch and this is my midlife crisis… I mean blog. I’m a hormonal mess going through a midlife crisis who was too busy raising 4 children, founding a statewide nonprofit, and trying to save the world to ever “find myself”. So now I am on a journey to find myself and I am asking you to tag along.

A little history

I am a cosmic possum, the first generation born outside of Appalachia to return to the mountains. My mother was born in West Virginia but left as a small child. My grandparents moved for work, like so many other Appalachian families that were part of the Great Migration out of the hollers and into the cities. At the age of 24 pregnant with 3 children already, I moved back to West Virginia and have been here ever since.

I’m a social worker, community organizer, and activist. I am also a writer, photographer, and artist. For years I have put my creative side on hold to fight the good fight for poor women and families in Appalachia. After nearly 20 years of fighting, I found myself angry not only at the system but at the people for allowing it to happen. I no longer found joy and purpose in the fight only despair and anger. So in this second part of my life I am trying to find my joy, my purpose, and my creativity. That is where this blog comes in.

Eclectic Evelyn is a blog about finding creativity, experiencing life again, and trying to figure out exactly what it means to be middle-aged. It’s about making a drastic change in my life and for once putting myself first, something we women rarely do. It’s about waking up one morning and realizing, the kids are grown, life has changed and now what.

10 things about me

  1. In my house, I currently have 2 dogs (Vinny and Chiquita) and 3 cats (Little Edie, Belgian, and Shortstack).
  2. I hate to fly. I have flown in the past but after that incident in Cleveland, I will never fly again so don’t even ask. Not even to Hawaii or Jamaica, but I might take a boat. Jamaica is where Stella Got Her Groove Back.
  3. My favorite color is Azure blue.
  4. I love New York City at Christmas time but not so much in the summer. As a friend once said, “New York smells too loud in the summer.”
  5. My favorite flowers are the tiny violets that grow all over Appalachia and irises. I also love redbud trees and magnolia trees when they are in bloom.
  6. I have four children – 3 daughters and 1 son.
  7. I enjoy long books on the beach, eating pizza in bed, and not having a man to clean up after.
  8. I love a good muscle car show except for the fact that all the cars I wanted as a teenager are now considered antique.
  9. I hate shopping at Walmart but I love their fried chicken in the deli. Guilty pleasure.
  10. I love cannoli and will travel hundreds of miles for a good one.

Want to know more? Leave me a good question in the comments.

21 thoughts on “About Eclectic Evelyn”

  1. Hi Evelyn sorry it has taken a while to get back to you but it been a hectic week. It sounds like you have lived a full and useful life. Now it is your turn to do your own thing. It sounds beautiful where you live. I look forward to reading your blog. Thanks for the follow I am grateful. 😀

  2. Nice to meet you Evelyn! Look forward to following your journey. I’m 47 and sort of in a “mid-life” thing myself. Not a full blown crisis but trying to get myself back, and photography and blogging are part of that!

  3. Love your introduction Evelyn. Great learning things about you. I have never been to NYC but would love to go sometime. 🙂 I am not flying anywhere every either. Mine sarted with JFK Jr. Would love to go to Paris some day, but probably not going to happen. 🙁 Thanks for sharing!

  4. Glad to meet you, Evelyn. You retweeted one of my tweets & I saw in your Twitter profile that you are also a midlife blogger. I blog at MySideof50.com. Following you on Twitter & looking forward to getting to know you better!

  5. Love the honesty in your words. And the humor. Thank you for twenty years of trying. I’m certain you brought about change in many lives, and probably yours most of all. Happy to meet you and excited to see where your midlife discovery will take you! I plan to ride along.

  6. Nice to make your acquaintance, Evelyn. My mom was trooper like you, through WW II and its aftermath, although in the city instead of “the hollers.” I’m just putting the finishing touches on her autobiography, finally finished and co-authored by me, since her writing was always put “on hold” for one reason or another. Hopefully it will appear later this year, “Radio: One Woman’s Family in War and Pieces. ” Peter H. Green See more at http://www.peterhgreen.com.

  7. “…in this second part of my life I am trying to find my joy, my purpose, and my creativity.” I can relate! I recently wrote a post about my divorce, and common question about whether my MS caused my marriage to end. I can honestly say that it was actually my desire to be HAPPY that lead to the marriage’s demise. I am loving finding myself again and being true to who I want to be, not what other’s expect me to be:) I look forward to reading more!

    Thanks for the Twitter follow!:)

    Meg (aka BBH)

  8. I love this, EE–“The most important thing we can do for ourselves is to find what makes us happy.” It seems so simple, yet it takes such a long part of our life to realize this! I look forward to spending more time reading your blog! A neck in the woods that I can relate to. Thank you.

  9. Hi Evelyn,

    I love your list of “10 things about me”, you have a great flair for writing. I would like to get in touch, but the contact page doesn’t seem to be working and I don’t see your email address.


  10. Hello Evelyn. I’m a 50+ blogger from the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. We are practically neighbors! Love your blog.

Leave a Reply to Peter H. Green Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.