Yes, that's what we are doing--becoming San Diegans once more.
When we exchanged our comfort level here at home for a year in a different land and culture, we knew it would be enriching but we didn't understand how deep in the psyche the experience would burrow. Now the transition is slow as we seek to blend our two lives into a richer whole. Sometimes these days I feel as if I'm neither here nor there--I've always known who I was but now I don't seem to be quite that person. So transition involves not only the physical and environmental but also the emotional and psychological.
During this process I have thought about another indelible year in our lives--a year like our last one, leaving memories that seem far too many for a mere 365 days. This was the year we lived in University City on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri.
Although we weren't leaving the country, it seemed as if we were as we pulled out of our driveway in Southern California, following the moving van to the "border state" between the two halves of our country. In our minds we were headed towards a great culture divide--the North and the South. In our inexperience and young naivety, we had a strong sense of embarking on an exciting adventure--as a biracial family what would it be?
That year became a treasured part of the fabric of who we are. We loved St. Louis as it was wonderful in every way we could want our life to be. This "border" state provided our children-black and white-with the healthiest, most accepting living experience of their growing up years.
During that year we became actively involved in the pulse and life of University City with a circle of friends from multiple races. Politics and public service were easily penetrated, providing ways to volunteer time and energies. Even today I regret that we could not stay there and call it home for many years. But--as all of us know, life tends to interfere with our wants and to change course on us--with or without our compliance.
So I know that leaving life's great and special times inescapably involves a sense of loss but I also know that new experiences and interests surface--that there is an unknown corner ahead of us with something new and exciting around the curve. It is the anticipation of that which moves me through the missing Italy phase-allowing me to again become a San Diegan--just a little different person than I was before our year away.
Tuesday school starts and I'll have time to search out that corner. I'm excited!
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.