THE OTHER DAY my husband exploded an unsuspecting frog with the lawnmower. He found the back legs on top of the motor, a hunk of frog at the back near the pull cord, and a bit later we saw one of the chickens running off with a swingy thing in her beak.
I’m guessing she found the head and a dangling eyeball, or maybe one of the front legs.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky
Ray Charles does a nice rendition of that song, and I love this YouTube comment:
That made me tear up a little and I ain’t even sure why.
Anyway, here’s my first ever official stance on Jen and Cameron Gamble and their somewhat comical but also probably quite serious role in the Sherri Papini case.
1) Jen and Cameron are down to earth people. They are also fancy people. They enjoy and aspire to a beautiful lifestyle, they adore their children and each other, and they are passionate about their work.
2) When you feel passion for what you do and believe in it with all your heart and might, you seek opportunities. All the business greats will say to do just that.
3) Jen and Cameron aren’t content being green. It makes them vulnerable to lawnmowers and such. But they didn’t seek involvement in this case. Rather, they were approached, as asserted by Lisa Jeter — and they said yes and got royally trashed.
4) Cameron has male peacock tendencies. Doctorate-level government training, anyone? But passion will do this to you. The duck blind thing was weird, but conviction in your truth will do that to you, too.
5) Jen powered through relentless attacks and was unwavering in her defense of her husband. She persisted, and even though I’m sure it was crushing her, she stayed that course for months, and then we stopped hearing from her.
6) I’m guessing there wasn’t much more to say. But I also suspect something is in the works that will vindicate them. In an email a few months ago, Jen told me as much and said they know what really happened to Sherri. She also alluded to something similar in an Instagram post I can’t seem to find.
I’m seeing strength and conviction in her, and I’ve given both of them a wide berth because of it.
7) There are oodles and layers of weird in this case, and I do question why Cameron would get involved a good several days after Sherri disappeared, knowing most women don’t survive a genuine kidnapping. Wouldn’t that have made him look foolish?
8) This is why I feel Cameron knew Sherri was still alive — but it doesn’t mean he participated in a hoax. I think Sherri’s family needed a scapegoat to facilitate her return home, and that’s why a ransom was offered when none was requested.
9) As for the anonymous donor, I could say a lot about that, but my thinking has shifted, and I now feel he deserves his privacy. On Reddit someone asked if I could be any more vague about that, and I responded:
Yes, sure. Fluffy pink dancing elephants.
Strangely, both my mother and husband saw pink elephants while under the influence of pain medication. Decades apart, different cities, different meds, but the same state.
Yet another reason why I want to leave California.
10) ABC’s Matt Gutman says he vetted Sherri’s skinhead blog post and declared it fake. He talked to family and cross referenced the content with police records. But in his assessment, he made no mention of Sherri’s possibly narcissistic personality.
With Jen and Cameron it’s been Personality City, all right there in the front row, and I’m telling you: While opportunism may be in the batter, the frosting is 99.98% pure passion — and that’s the best part of the cake.
WOULD YOU LIKE a little morsel to chew on while we count up the hours since Keith called 911 and reported his wife missing? Okay, then. How about this.
In Keith’s ABC 20/20 interview on December 2, 2016, he describes what he comes home to everyday after work:
I open the door expecting our son comes running 100 miles per hour right at me, and then usually our daughter Violet right behind him. And we do what we call our family snuggles.
Family snuggles, said with an odd little laugh, one of many throughout his interview.
I love Jen Gamble’s Instagram account, especially her posts that pre-date the Sherri Papini case. She was more relaxed back then and her posts less coachy but still uplifting and inspirational. Here’s a fun one she posted on October 15, 2016, a few weeks before Sherri vanished:
I love fall. I love soup and baking and hot chai tea. I love warmth from a woodstove and pumpkin cinnamon candles. I love family wrapped up in snuggles and rest.
More family snuggles. Hmmm.
So, this is a thing? Like, if I go down to Target will I see little jute trimmed chalkboards with We love family snuggles! written in perfect supermom cursive? Pillows, maybe, and t-shirts for the kids? A coffee mug for mom?
Or do we have ourselves a copyfrogging pond frog. I don’t rightly know, but it’s something to ponder, that’s for dang sure.
And now that that’s done, I’m off to Starbucks, folks.
This is not a Sherri Papini essay
This is a Sherri Papini essay
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Sherri Papini: The Jen and Cameron Gamble edition