“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.
I am writing today as a daughter whose father, Robert C. Amerson, also served a mission to his country, a place organized around inspiring ideals, our best selves affirmed by principals worth defending, an America that is generous, welcoming, bold, resourceful, and secure because of our capacity to inspire others
In 2016, I had one day to show my husband the Eternal City. Should we wander the city on our own or hit the highlights on a tour? I chose NOT to be the one to hurry us along, leaving the nagging (and the guiding) to the professionals. It was a wonderful day!
Here I was on July 4, 1955, expected to assume duties as Press Attaché and Information Officer, American Embassy, Caracas, Venezuela - after only two months of practical orientation in Washington, preceded by five years of corporate public relations, a BA from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, courtesy of the GI Bill, and roots reaching all the way back to a one-room schoolhouse on the prairies of South Dakota. Not exactly elite.
Sometimes our group of six friends - five of whom were born overseas - hits on a topic to talk about over tea. This one was my suggestion: incidents that took us by surprise as we moved into other cultures. What I will mention are three episodes from Caracas, our very first post:
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....
July 3, Hotel Potomac This is our first report from Venezuela. We are set up in an unpretentious hotel called Hotel Potomac, accent on the first syllable. Looking out at the afternoon sunshine from our hotel rooms we can see why Caracas is called beautiful. The city is situated in a high valley and all…
on Venezuelan Independence Day, she set down in another letter about how the American Independence Day seemed to be done in Caracas. She was an outsider, sharing her observations with perhaps more enthusiasm than she could yet feel.
Nonetheless, Bologna it was to be, and down the Autostrada from Milan we went in our little pale-blue Fiat 1100, “la millecento.” For housing, Mom and Dad opted for the downstairs floor of a hillside house on Via Putti where it was reported the Nazis had their regional headquarters during the War