Deborah W. Craton, M.D., welcomes you to her humble armadillo burrow on the web

Neon Armadillo   Neon Armadillo





About Me

Me Hi! I guess since you clicked to this section you want to know something about me. The problem is, there’s not much to tell. My name is Debbie Craton, and I’m a retired physician. Many people think being a doctor is glamorous. I suppose it is if you work as a doctor on TV, but in real life it’s not much different from being, say, a plumber — you can get real satisfaction sometimes from a job well done, but it can get awfully messy getting there.

I was born in Lebanon, Missouri. (You’ll pardon me if I don’t tell you the year this great event transpired.) I only lived there the first six months of my life before moving to Bedford, Indiana, where I grew up and where I coerced convinced my husband to move after I finished my residency.

Smokey Bear My mother was a nurse in the hospital here in Bedford for many years, and my father was a research forester with the Hoosier National Forest, which is headquartered in Bedford.

I specialized in family medicine and practiced in Bedford for 38 years. Earlier in my career I also did obstetrics, but I gave up OB several years ago because of escalating malpractice insurance costs. I officially retired on June 30, 2022.

In addition to healing the halt and maim, I also helped herd a household of three boys (four if you count my husband), multiple cats, and other critters from time to time. We also had the privilege of “borrowing” several daughters over the years through an international student exchange program. Between all this, teaching local Zumba classes, a ladies’ Bible class at church, and sitting on several local boards, I guess I can say I stayed pretty busy during my practice years — we now shall see if I can keep up half the pace during retirement.

My Family

For the past 44 years I’ve been married to a wonderful husband whose name is John Douglas. (Half the people who know him call him John, the other half Douglas; I sometimes call him other names, but we won’t mention those here.) He is a composer and violin teacher. I’m very devoted to my husband and would never leave him for any reason — unless, of course, Jamie Fraser came calling one day.

We have three sons: Ben (38) who lives in Lafayette, Indiana, with his wife Nyssa and their three cats; Jonathan (36), who lives in Snohomish, Washington, with his wife Annie; and Stephen (33) who works for an international web-development company and currently lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Now it’s okay to start feeling sorry for me: Have you ever noticed that TV mothers of three sons always tend to die? Witness the old 1960s show “My Three Sons” and all three mothers of the Cartwright boys of the “Bonanza” series. (Wonder what that means for me?)

For several years we hosted foreign exchange students from Spain, Germany, Japan, Finland, and Russia. Two of our daughters (Inge from Spain and Anna from Russia) are now attorneys. Anna now lives in Israel. Our Japanese daughter, Ryoko, is a homemaker in Tokyo. We have lost touch with our German and Finnish daughters, but it’s nice sometimes to think about how we have family all over the globe. It makes the world seem much smaller.

My Hobbies

Dancing. My favorite hobby is dancing — ballet, tap, and ballroom. I actually came to the dance scene rather late when a friend and I decided we needed to spice up our dreary lives. We decided that what we needed to do was either to have affairs or take tap-dancing lessons. Since neither of us knew any men we’d ever consider inviting to our bedroom, we opted for the dancing lessons. I began tap lessons 22 years ago and later expanded into ballroom and ballet since.

My husband always told me he would never take ballroom dancing lessons with me, so while he was out of state one week visiting his mother in Alabama I signed us up for lessons. I didn’t know whether he would go to lessons with me or not, but he agreed to take with me for the eight weeks I’d signed up for. After that I guess my lower lip managed to convince him to keep taking lessons with me, since he knows he’ll have to live with me whether we take dancing lessons or not — and as I keep reminding him, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” He listens well ... though he does remind me from time to time that he was never given the option of taking dance lessons or having an affair.

Sadly, our dance instructor recently retired and closed her studio, but it remains a favorite activity even if we don’t get the opportunity to practice it very often.

Armadillo Collecting things. I do have one rather unusual hobby: collecting armadillos. I have well over 600 different little armadillos about the house (not live ones, mind). There’s a story behind that which maybe I’ll post here one of these days, but for now just let it be said that I think armadillos are so ugly that they’re cute ... much like my husband.

Barbie I also collect Barbie dolls, a much more “normal” avocation. At least it would be if I were younger. Maybe the reason I collect Barbies is because I never had a Barbie doll when I was a little girl. My favorite doll is “Dr. Barbie.” After a hard day at the clinic she merely turns her coat inside out and is immediately transformed into a gorgeous lady. Would that it were so easy!

Spectator sports. Although I have been accused of being a “sports hater” by our local newspaper (that was because I wanted to emphasize the importance of academics while I was on the school board a few years ago), I enjoy watching baseball, hockey, and gridiron football. And being a Hoosier I’d be strange if I weren’t also something of a basketball fanatic.

Reading & Writing: A number of years ago I got hooked on romance novels. Funny thing, that, considering I used to make fun of people who read such “trash.” But when you live in a town like Bedford, it’s nice to escape to Regency England or some other exotic locale and experience the thrill of romance vicariously. You can visit some of my favorite authors’ websites from the links below. And now that I’ve retired I may actually try my hand at writing one of these days. Though I’m skeptically optimistic about eventual publication, I have been working off and on for some time on a Romance novel and also jot down a lot of random thoughts in various essays. Many of the latter are posted in assorted places online, and I hope soon to have a site devoted just to my musings.

Zumba: A few years ago a friend and I started leading Zumba classes. After participating in classes for nine months, we broke out of our comfort zone and got certified to lead others in the Latin-inspired aerobic exercise.

Television viewing: Between reading, dancing, leading Zumba, and teaching Bible class, I don’t watch nearly the amount of television I did when I was younger, but I still have a few favorite shows I try never to miss. I’ll link to them in the list of obligatory Links below.

Home to the Armadillo

Armadillo Music
A Backwoods Bard Sings the Praise of His Favorite Armadillo
Texas Parks & Wildlife Fact Sheet on the Nine-Banded Armadillo
Draw an Armadillo

Mary Balogh
Suzanne Enoch
Alina K. Field
Diana Gabaldon
Madeline Hunter
Eloisa James
Lisa Kleypas
Lynn Kurland
Julia Quinn

Barbie Collectibles

Other Favorite Links

Blue Bloods
Call the Midwife
Forged in Fire
Hallmark Movies
Young Sheldon

John’s Home Page
Craton Genealogy Page
My Ancestry Page
Wolfhead Music
The ’Possum Pages
Official Zumba website

Last update: 21 July 2022