“So, you’re cheating,” Mom said, sitting back against her chair. She looked at me, tapping her fingers on the chair arms for what seemed like a very long time. Then, she folded her arms in front of her chest. I waited for the other shoe to drop.
The nomadic life of my youth taught me four things: 1) be at home where you are; 2) let go when it's time; 3) settle in fast; and 4) forget there's anywhere else to be. This cycle puts you right back at 1) being at home where you are.
Before Hispanic Heritage Month 2018 comes to a close, let me jump aboard with this declaration: I am half-Norwegian, one-quarter Scottish, one-quarter German ... and 100 percent Hispanic.
The question was posed casually to my mother by a woman not quite retirement age on Cape Cod, where Mom and Dad had retired to in the 1980s: "What did you do while you were overseas?" Here is her answer, which she wrote out instead of saying, leaving the record for me to discover some 40 years later....
I wished that Mom could have been with my husband and me during our visit to Amsterdam (too late to see tulips in bloom, but found some in a vase) and Paris in May, and especially when we visited Claude Monet's home and gardens .
When I was nine, I thought I’d become an archeologist when I grew up. We lived in Rome, and so the evidence that such a job existed was all around me. One of my friends had her birthday party in the Forum.
One Sunday, I was doing my homework in my room when I heard a clanging coming from the street. I pulled aside the sheer drapes covering my window and saw a small group of cochinos in front of the closed candy and newspaper store across the street going through the contents of some garbage cans. One of the older kids handed a piece of something to a very small boy who put it in his mouth and sat down against the building, slumping like an old man. Garbage for lunch.