I admit that I’m one of those people who has seen a fair amount of the world, yet little of my own country. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I’m not interested in America or have never left my state. I have been up and down the east coast all my life, have lived in Chicago and have visited a few west coast cities. But I definitely fall victim to the feeling of choosing to travel far over experiencing one’s “own back yard”. I might not always be able to travel overseas at the drop of a hat, so feeI better do that while I can.
When Del and I became very serious, I had this weird feeling of being very impatient for a certain something. That something wasn’t a particular social or relationship landmark, it was just this feeling of not being able to wait until we had a long and detailed past. Like looking forward to being well into a thick novel, being familiar with the plot twists, able to look back at how far you’d come with the well-loved story, finding the author a dependable source for a good read. I love having 200 pages in my left hand over which I might feel nostalgic. (Gee, can you tell I like to read?) Well, that’s the thing I’ve come to have with moving back to the States. I am really anxious to get to know it in more detail. To know more of its individual pages. And finally, I’ve been able to get started.
First off, Del and I went to an overnight party at one of Del’s new friends’ houses on Chesapeake Bay. To me, Chesapeake Bay is like Martha’s Vineyard – it’s well known, but I don’t really know why, other than people saying it’s nice. To me, “Chesapeake Bay” sounds like some department store’s in-house label. Anyhow, we finally got to go, had a fantastic time, and I can see why it’s a familiar place even in name. What a lovely spot. A gorgeous house just an hour out of DC, on the water, with a refreshingly small town feeling.
I also (finally) visited my big sis in New Mexico. I’ve wanted to see the Southwest for years and after two years of sis living there, I’m finally (relatively) close enough to make it out there. And it wasn’t a disappointment! Albuquerque feels like a charmingly quirky and stylish city. We also took a road trip to Mesa Verde National Park, and I’m not sure I ever felt to patriotic. The land is just stunning. (Although, I’m not sure I could live in such dryness. My throat hurt intensely the entire time.) I kept thinking, “It’s just like in the movies!”
I’ve also always had a particular soft spot for Native Americans. It just seems they’ve never really stopping being ignored (certainly relative to what their cultures deserve from this country) and still pretty much get the shaft. We’ve come a long way, but a point of no return for their culture was passed long ago. (Nope, I won’t need the soapbox today…I’m done.) So I was really happy to learn more about their history than I ever have and to see some of their current land. Who knew they had adobe “palaces” 800 years ago? Not me.
I’m not claiming that my wanderlust for all things far and wide will telescope. But though I will always be happy to return to Europe, I am equally satisfied to expanding some new chapters hre at home. I’m sure I could learn a lot from that under-attended “back yard”.