Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Still Discovering My Home Town

Durham is decidedly a different place from the town that I left so many years ago. Of course, I'm decidedly different too. 

When I was growing up in my hometown my travel radius was pretty small. In fact, most of my destinations were outside of the city limits in the "county". Tobacco fields were a staple for the area. Pastures of horses and cows were sprinkled through out the area. 

It did not seem odd that the town I called home was known nationally as the "City of Medicine". Duke University Hospital and UNC Medical School are ten miles apart. I was fairly comfortable visiting the campus of both schools and felt that they both are a part of my home.

The schools brought professionals and academics from all over the world. My home town had a small town but diverse flavor. 

While "I was gone" I lived in several places. I spent ten years in the state's largest city which is a banking hub. This is less true today than it was ten years ago. Mergers and reorganizations have changed that landscape. But, when I was there I felt I was living in the heart of the South's metropolis. Looking back I realize that the population in the Bank Town was not nearly as diverse as my home town. 
I also lived in the Seattle/Bellevue, WA area for seven years before moving back to my home town. That was such a great experience. We lived in a downtown high rise and loved it. I had my first Turducken courtesy of my friend that relocated from New Orleans.  

When I relocated back to my hometown I paid very little attention to its foodie hype. I figured it was a sort of city self promotion. Many of my work colleagues had relocated from the Silicon Valley. One was from DC and one from Boston. I remember they talked about Chicken and Waffles. I don't think I had heard of this before and I could not imagine what this combination would taste like. I like chicken and I love waffles, but I had no desire to combine these.

But then I got curious. When I decided this was something I wanted to taste I found that the "Almost Famous" Chicken and Waffles restaurant always had a line. I mean always. But one afternoon one of my friends took me there. We got in because it was something like 5:00 (maybe earlier?).

Okay...I loved it. And I need to go back. 

I love that I am still discovering surprising experiences without leaving town.  




Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Unofficial Start to Autumn

Autumn Sunshine 
Lots happening in my world. I clearly have not kept my blog readers up to date. Both Hubby and I continue to clean out and donate things we don't need. We are also going through years and years of papers. Oh my gosh we have a lot of paper. 

Last week I gave myself permission to "not keep" a momento that I've been carrying around from place to place for the last eleven years. I kept this momento because I wanted to use it as inspiration for a possible project. And, I didn't trust myself to remember what I need to. I've decided that I have what I need to remember. Giving up the paper reminder was freeing. In fact, I have given myself permission NOT to complete the project I had in mind. You know what? Not every good project has to be done. This is something I need to explore more. 

I was mourning the fact that some of my ideas and projects will not be feasible soon. But, now I'm feeling a little relief too. 

PS --I'm going to give this a whirl:



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Daze

Hi, Hello, Have you missed my bright, shining face? I've missed you.

Did I tell you I found letters from my Grandmother? Of course I had not lost them...but when I had boxes and boxes of un-labeled papers they were quite inaccessible. Anyway, I found them and read each of again. Those are keepers. I don't quite know how best to "keep" them. Do I make a book with them? Right now they are in their original envelopes. Reading these letters felt like getting them anew. Letters from Grandma! What a treat.    

The letters included fun memories of antics we got into at her house during the summers. I think I've mentioned that my sisters and I spent summer days at her house. Mornings usually consisted of scrapping new potatoes (outside) under the trees where a nice breeze could keep us cool. The potatoes were for lunch. Grandma sliced them really thin and seasoned them with salt, pepper and paprika and then fried them in the electric frying pan until they were just the right amount of crispy. 

Lunch also included things fresh from Grandpa's garden. Things like tomatoes.  Nothing better than a homegrown tomato on a tomato sandwich. Mayo on white bread and just a hint of salt and pepper on the tomato. That is what summer tastes like. 

Grandpa usually worked his garden in the morning before the summer heat became unbearable. And Grandma usually made a big lunch to feed him after he had worked so hard. They ate the big meal at lunch time. By the dinner time, they just wanted a small light bite. 

*Techno Disclaimer* I've seen a few Pinterest or FB posts that say something like, "I'm glad my childhood was before technology or social media....things were simpler, etc."  I want to be sure that my trips down memory lane don't imply that my childhood falls into that category. I have a very different opinion. 

Technology was part of my youth and I have no regrets about that. I had a small transistor radio that I listened to. Loved its portability and the fact that I was never far from my music. I had a Swinger Polaroid camera. LOVED IT. I also had a Kodak Instamatic and took tons of pictures on that. I had a tape recorder and loved to tape random soundbites that I could replay over and over. And the telephone! I had a telephone in my room. I had the phone numbers of my besties on my bulletin board and usually called one friend after another (under the pretense of getting help on homework). 

If there were cell phones I would have tried to have one. If I could talk my Dad into it, I imagine I would have used all of the minutes within a day or two. I would have loved to take pics with a smartphone and see them instantly! And be able to share instantly. How cool I would have thought that was. 

I think I enjoyed both the technology that was available in the '70s (and beyond) and summer days outside. I'm enjoying my adulthood with technology and social media and I STILL enjoy sitting outside on a breezy sunny day. That's the cool thing about having our technology...we can engage or disengage from it at any time. The added cool thing is that we can use technology to engage MORE with others. When I got on FB, I lived on the opposite coast from my sisters and cousins. FB helped me stay in touch. Now that I'm back on the east coast, I love to stay in touch with my WA friends via FB. Postcards and letters and even phone calls just don't have the same immediacy.

My take: If you want to enjoy a summer day by making home-made ice cream...use the hand crank machine (or an electric one...it's up to you). Take pics (or don't). Post pics (or don't). Eat. (Definitely eat).  The ice cream will taste as sweet with a pic or without. Either way, home made ice cream is a treat. 

That's just my two cents. (That lion didn't invent the phrase. He just overuses it.)