I never win anything. But the other night at a local tech function I won this mega pack of jelly beans. Lucky me.
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time pondering the meaning of home. You know, the home that people refer to when they say, “We’re going back home for the holidays”.
I don’t really have a home in that sense. My parents don’t live in the house I was born in, much less the house I grew up in. We moved so much that my siblings and I really don’t have a place we identify as Home in that sense. I wonder, is it the place I was born? The place we lived the most years? The place my parents live now? The place I lived when I got married?
I was born in Managua, but since my family moved away from there when I was 6 months old I have never thought much about it. Other than that it’s where I was born I’ve never felt much of a connection. If you ask me where I am from my heart answers Panama since that’s really where I spent my formative years. I imagined I would never visit Nicaragua and I wasn’t that concerned. I cavalierly passed up the offer of citizenship when I was 17 or 18, thinking, why would I do that?
When I got the opportunity to speak at the upcoming WordCamp in Managua I jumped at the chance. Mostly I love to travel. But a chance to do what I love (talk to people about WordPress) and a chance to travel back to the place where I was born? Count me in.
As the trip gets close and closer I find myself getting more and more nervous. Why, I wonder. I’m not quite sure. I’ve begun to call it home in my mind, which I find funny as I know nothing about Managua. I have no memories or connections of the place, other than the people and places my family might mention from back in a day.
It will be interesting for sure. Even as I am nervous I am so excited for this full circle experience I get to have thanks to my fantastic job.
For a bit of fun, here are some pictures I dug up from my parent’s things:
We tried to hike on the Crest today, but it was a bit too cool, so we took the van down Las Huertas Canyon instead. We haven’t done that in years and it was quite fun. Spring flowers are all gone, but it is so green (for New Mexico). There were a lot of folks out enjoying Las Huertas Canyon and Sandia Man Cave, including a woman who told us her last visit was 40 years ago. She told us that back then there was no semi rickety metal staircase, just a rickety ladder. Gulp.
A few years after we moved to Albuquerque, I was working as a contractor for a small print and web shop. The owner was a long-time Albuquerquean with a million stories about people he had run into over the years both famous and not-so-famous.
One day he said, “I knew Bill Gates.”
“You did not,” I said.
“I did,” he said, ”he lived here when he started Microsoft!”
“He did not,” I said.
“Yes,” he ascertained, “he really did.”
And it’s true! Bill and Paul Allen messed around with computer equipment only a few blocks away from where I now live between the 1965 and 1979 and my old colleague delivered print material to someone in the building or something like that. Can you imagine how different Albuquerque and Seattle would be today if they stayed in New Mexico?
There is an amazing permanent exhibit at the natural History Museum that showcases and details the story of their time in our fair city. I recommend you check it out, it’s pretty cool. But there is also a plaque which I didn’t know about until the other day, when my husband and I practically tripped over it on one of our neighborhood strolls. It’s on a street corner just off Central and California, next to a little old nondescript building where they presumably worked on their stuff.
I heard a really cool story from my mom and dad the other night. We were going through some old correspondence from around 1970. In the pile was a card from an artist called David Silverberg.
I asked who he was and how they came to run into an artist at Machu Picchu. Mom told me that once, long ago, while they were living in Lima, she, my grandma, and my oldest sister, Johanna, went to Machu Picchu for a sightseeing trip.
They ran into a friendly fellow tourist, who happened to be an artist from Canada. He was in Peru for a showing at a gallery. They exchanged addresses, he invited them to his showing in Lima, and later he sent them a really nice note about how it was great to meet them.
Here’s my mom and my sister, perched on the mountain:
I told my mom that next time she is on a mountaintop with a famous artist she should have someone take a picture of her *with* him
For the last year and a half or so, my husband and I have watched almost one movie every night. Mostly he is watching films with actors that he enjoys, but he also gets movies that he thinks I missed out on as a result of my growing up outside of the US. Which I appreciate, we have watched a ton of great oldies.
Two nights ago we watched Jaws. Now, let me say that I have had the opportunity to watch Jaws, but watching a shark eat people is not my idea of a good time. Also, I skip movies that I am sure are going to give me bad dreams. Cheesy effects or no, I don’t care, it makes no difference, I have a very creative, imaginative, and convincing dream state.
But, I watched it Yes, I did. I covered my eyes a few times. All in all, I think it was a waste of a movie. Although, I did enjoy Richard Dreyfuss. He is adorable.
Then last night, we watched American Grafitti. I’ve heard of this movie, but have never seen it. I guess I heard it was some sort of classic, but I must have missed the part that made it classic. Really. Now, that was a waste of a movie. I’m willing to hear arguments to the contrary, although I cannot imagine what they would be.
I will say it was interesting to see so many actors from their pre-famous days. And Richard Dreyfuss? Still totes adorbs.