Author's note: I'm sorry that this is my first post of the week. Last weekend was nice! Spent with my friend Rebekah, but I didn't take many pictures. Most of my weekday pictures come from fun recipes, but it's been a week of leftovers and lacking innovation in the food department. But that's OK too. Last night we had roasted broccoli and potatoes, which are always delicious and simple, and even though this post might sound a little sad, I'm actually REALLY, REALLY happy. So happy that I have to find things like this to complain about, so...read on, or not.
Homesickness is a feeling that sneaks up on me too often these days. It washes over me and then settles with a prickle in my eyes and forces a downturned smile, the same one I tease my dad for making all the time.
It's 100 degrees today in Arkansas for the first time this summer, and I'm thousands of miles away wearing leggings under my dress. Everyone in my office is complaining about the air conditioner being out in our building. I'm still cold at my desk. I never minded the heat back home too much, and I liked the way the humidity felt like the air was giving you a hug.
I was talking about the air conditioner problem with a coworker earlier. She's a transplant from Atlanta and maintains a slight drawl. I told her about one of my favorite feelings: Leaving a freezing cold, air conditioned building and hopping into a car that's been baking in the sun for hours; then turning on the air conditioner and slowly cooling off again.
She and a few other coworkers looked at me like I was crazy. The enjoyment of this feeling is not a Southern "thing". It's just something I like. Aaron understands it, and he likes it too, and I guess that's why I married him. I can't even further explain what I like about this feeling, I just do, so I don't think I should have to.
A few hours later, I had the office all to myself, and decided some blast some Maylene [and the Sons of Disaster], which is a Southern metal band from Birmingham that Aaron introduced me to. Their song 'Raised by the Tide' knocked me over (even though I don't appreciate the reference to Alabama sports...): I've covered this country far and wide ... BUT I'LL ALWAYS BE A SON OF THE SOUTH ... I'll fight to the death to make our name proud ... Cause I ain't got nothin' to lose!"
I don't know.
I've been craving Mexican food lately. I'm not sure if that was a subconscious kind of homesickness or not. This morning Aaron and I were talking about our expectations. I said I thought our first Mexican food experience in Oregon would be good because, well, there are a lot of Mexicans here. But, then again, maybe not, because Mexican food, in my experience is a little like sushi. When you eat sushi, the quality decreases the further you get from the coast. Same with Mexican food and the South.
I at least know that when we go out for Mexican here, I will have to ask for chips and salsa, and cheese dip won't even be on the menu. And that kind of brings back the prickling feeling in my eyes again. Stupid...
The thing is, I love it out here.
But I still want to die on Petit Jean. I'll be surprised if that ever changes.
For a story I'm working on, I'm talking to a lot of writers about what having a "sense of place" means. I'm going to eastern Oregon in a couple of weeks to talk about "writing in the West," which I guess is what I'm doing now, but really all I can think about is summer in the South...
Fishing & not wanting to get into Lake Catherine
Cheerleading camp in Fayetteville in gyms with no AC
Sleeping on the futon on the porch
Sitting at the computer all day, writing, with Crystal Light & Lipton pasta
Nighttime drives with my dad in his old Camero
Outdoor pools...the smell of chlorine
Drinking on the river in 100 degree heat
The Maumelle River pullouts on Highway 10
The levee in Riverdale
Horseshoe Canyon Ranch
Driving down Cantrell hill with all my windows down
Heber Springs, Sugar Loaf, Sandy Beach, Greers Ferry
Seeing oil rise off the pavement in traffic on I-30 toward Dallas
...That's all I got...