About Rachel Bicha

Rachel, her husband, and dog

Rachel Bicha didn’t find out where she was born until she was 27 and enlisting in the United States Navy. Always before she thought she had been born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but the day she enlisted she found out she was actually born in East Ridge, Tennessee, which it turns out is quite close to Chattanooga.

After being born she did the usual thing and grew up. But she always felt like a tumbleweed since her family moved around so much. Before she was 16 years of age she’d moved 14 times, attended 9 schools, and lived in 6 different states: Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, and finally Illinois again. At this point her family decided enough was enough and stayed in Danville, Illinois, where her parents still live to this day.

She had three brothers and no sister but always wished she had one. Since moving around a lot doesn’t lend itself very well to making or keeping friends, she read books a lot. She loved reading and still does. And she made up stories but never really tried writing them down, except for that one time when she was eight, until she was 14. That’s when she decided she wanted to be an author someday.

After high school she went to college, but instead of studying writing she studied French. (Oui, Je parle le français.) She did, however, continue practicing writing and reading about writing and publishing in her spare time and learned a lot. After college she worked at a school and decided to become a teacher, so she went back to school. While learning how to be a teacher she worked as a substitute teacher and met a lot of wonderful kids.

But before she got her first teaching job she decided to enlist in the United States Navy. After Boot Camp the Navy sent her to Monterey, California to learn Arabic. Even though she studied really hard she didn’t pass the final exam. They let her study some more and re-take it, but she still didn’t pass. So she had to change jobs. The Navy decided she would be an Operations Specialist, which is someone who helps to fight the ship and uses radar to track anything else around the ship, so she was sent off to school in Virginia. After this she went to her first ship: CV 67 USS John F. Kennedy. It was an aircraft carrier. While there, she decommissioned it, which means it’s no longer an active ship in the fleet. After this she went to Bahrain, which is an island in the Persian Gulf. She really enjoyed living there.

It was around this time, though, she finally decided she wanted to pursue her dream of being an author. So she quit the Navy when her enlistment was up and came back to the United States with her husband whom she’d met in California and married while going to school in Virginia. They settled first in Maryland but then decided they’d rather live in South Carolina. After living in Bahrain, Rachel was used to and preferred warm weather.

Now Rachel is in the Navy Reserve and writes and crochets full time. She has two fur babies: a dog (Pomeranian mix) named Baby, a.k.a. Doggy and a black and white cat named Cimorene, a.k.a. Kitty. She used to have a betta fish, Basim II, a.k.a. Fishy, but he died. He was over three years old, which is very old in fish years. She has moved to Illinois, still lives in an old house (as she did in South Carolina), and is looking forward to many more adventures.

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2 thoughts on “About Rachel Bicha

  1. Thank you for your story on Cimorene and her recovery from her stroke. My Peaches had a stroke 6 days ago and still is unable to stand or walk. She is otherwise intact, sometimes more irritable. I was wondering how long it took Cimorene to stand and walk following her stroke. I understand all are different, just wondering if this is something she should be doing if she is going to.

    • It was definitely longer than 6 days. The stroke “rebooted” her brain; it “reset” her to newborn kitten status. She had to relearn everything, including how to regulate her body temperature. She spent the first 8 days in the hospital, and when she went home, she could barely walk. She looked drunk and kept walking into things. The recovery is slow and is measured over the course of months. Most of her recovery was in the first two months, but there was some slight improvement over the course of about a year or so after that. Of course, my cat was a kitten at the time of her stroke with, presumably, a “plastic” brain. An elderly cat may not be able to reroute brain functions and so may not recover much. As I’m not a veterinarian, I can’t really say. I hope your Peaches has recovered.

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