Monday, March 19, 2012


Filipino Banana Ketchup

The rumors of the demise of my blog have been greatly exaggerated.  For whatever reason I have been suffering from a terminal case of writers' block, although occasionally I have come across articles that make me think "Gee that would be great for the blog."  For whatever reason, I never got around to posting.  Christmas came, with all of its connected busyness.  More importantly, I started a part-time job, which at first was more full-time than part, and I had to learn new skills like how to look cheerful when my feet were about to fall off.  (Yes, it's in retail!)  After the first month or so of griping (to myself) about working in retail again, when I swore on a stack of bibles back in college that I would never do so again (never say never!) I have to admit I have become quite fond of the group of ladies with whom I work, and even more fond of the customers that I meet.  You never know what will happen day to day.  Recently a lady came in who had lost her home in the Labor Day Bastrop fire.  As we started chatting, she told me that her husband had been in the State Department and they had lived all over the world.  Sadly, all of their cherished souvenirs from their various posts had been lost in the fire.  I had a mental picture of all the stuff my mom has in her house, and it made me very sad.  I asked about her children, how they had coped with being Third Culture Kids, and we had a long talk about that.  I really wanted to chat longer but my boss was giving me looks, and I had to move along.  Another lady came in who was obviously French, and I stunned her by speaking to her in her language.  That started another great conversation.  

Not my store, but close.

The after-Christmas slump has resulted in me going back to genuine part-time status, and I'm afraid my paycheck has gone mostly to buying the clothes that they sell.  On the other hand, I have a little pot to buy plane tickets to visit the children.  

Then my mom decided that it was time to sell her house and move to Austin.  We are still in the middle of the real estate roller coaster, looking at some houses here, and putting hers on the market in Baton Rouge.  Right now she has an offer, with two back-up offers, so I think (crossing fingers) that the move is imminent.  That will be an epic adventure, cleaning out her house after 30+ years, so I may be AWOL for a while this spring and summer.

Not my mom's house.

In the meantime ... I have been reading a hilarious series in The Displaced Nation (an expat blog) called "Libby's Life."  It is a (fictional, I think?) account of a British woman who moves to New England with her husband and young son, and all the hilarity that ensues.  I think there are 39 episodes now, but you really must read it from the beginning to appreciate it.  But I warn you, once you get started you will be sucked in!!!  

Also got caught up in the Downton Abbey mania.  I downloaded both seasons from Amazon and watched it all in 2 nights.  It is simply amazing.

My children's father has a new love in his life.  I get all the dish from my youngest, who is the proverbial telegram, telephone, tell-A-Melanie.  I have to admit that I am thrilled.  I know that my leaving was a staggering loss for him, but the fact was, among other things, we were so unequally yoked (in church speak).  I'm not sure this is relevant to a Third Culture Kid blog, but in a way it is.  Having lived immersed in so many cultures, I am almost cripplingly (is that a word?) open minded and cannot with any certainty claim that any one religion is right or wrong.  I feel that we humans are all the same, and perhaps we have the same supreme being, but call Him by different names.  In his church it was "our way or the highway" and I was offended for all the people of different faiths and creeds that I have known in my peripatetic life.  I will always love my ex for the amazing children that we produced (and adopted), and I have long prayed (ironic?) for him to find someone to share his faith and his life and to make him happy again.  I think that person has finally arrived and I am crossing my fingers and toes for them both.  Is that weird?

Good night to all of you Third Culture friends, wherever you are!

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