Thursday, June 6, 2013


While preparing my dinner this evening, which consisted of canned tuna fish, mayo, pickles, french bread, cheddar cheese and a toaster oven, I began to reflect on the fact that I really do live here and this really is home. 

One of the most important things that I’ve set out to identify on this journey, is what really, truly, deep down in the depths of my vast, wide soul, do I need to feed my spirit and please my heart, body and soul.  I began to think about all of the indulgences I’m looking forward to during my visit to the US; I even thought to myself ‘going to visit home right now is the equivalent of going to visit a rich friend or family member, with all the wants you could ever dream of fulfilled.  (ie: eating delicious American food, drinking wines from places other than Chile, spending quality time with my family, my friends and my puppy dog, traipsing gorgeous waterfronts and bustling city streets) make me feel RICH.

I’ve always felt fortunate, and blessed, no matter where I am, but this time it’s different.  The old cliché  ‘Don’t take what you have for granted or you won’t miss it till its gone’.  But this time I feel privileged.  Even to visit a land that offers everything at your fingertips.  

Let’s say you’re sitting on your couch at home on a random Wednesday night, watching an early evening sitcom, and you decide the commercial that just played for Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse sounds like it would hit the spot for a perfect dinner tonight.  So you shut off the TV and shuffle into the kitchen, check to see if there’s anything to go with this meal you desire.  Canned green beans don’t sound good tonight.  Corn on the Cob is great this time of year, but you already had it twice this week.  Broccoli and cheese might be good, but you only like the microwave kind with the cheese already in the pkg, and for some reason the grocery store has a conspiracy against you and quit carrying it.  So fine.  Asparagus and fresh chive & sour cream mashed potatoes it is.  Grab your keys, hop in the car, plug your phone into the stereo to rock out to your latest itunes download.  Open the sunroof, grab your shades, let’s roll!

THANK god your dry cleaner, located 3 doors down from the grocery store in the same strip mall, stays open until 7 on weekdays, since you’re passing by already, you swoop in and pickup $60 worth of dry cleaning.  Thank god they take debit.  You stay parked in the same parking spot, unlock your car and neatly hang your dry cleaning on the back hook.  Lock the doors halfway between the car and the entrance to the grocery store.  Barrel thru the produce section, thinking you may as well grab a few things for your morning shake and a few more things for the BBQ you’re headed to tomorrow evening AND the potluck at work on Friday.  Shit!  You have plans to go camping this weekend, supposed to leave first thing Saturday morning, so you may as well kill 3 birds with one trip, grab a steak for tonight, pre-marinated chicken breasts for the BBQ and some ready to grill skewers for the weekend.

It’s amazing how full your trunk is, thank god for all the space.  Hopefully you can fit all your camping gear, 2 coolers and beer in there this weekend!

Head home, fire up the oven, decide you’re not in the mood for steak, so you throw in Marie Calendar’s Lasagna instead. 

You get my drift.  Note the words underlined above.  The underlined words represent things that you either
a)       cannot do or get here or 
b)    take an act of god to accomplish. 

The grocery store is a $6 round trip ride, and takes about 20 minutes each way.  As the sun falls, it grows harder and less safe to venture that far.  The sun goes down this time of year at 6:15, and in the winter before 6.  You never want to ‘stock your fridge’ partially because you cannot carry that much at one time, and partly because power goes out regularly here.  The basic system runs faults regularly, causing blackouts that only improve with time.  Should the ‘time’ take hours, your food grows more and more questionable in 90 degree heat.
I know going home to visit, and experiencing all if these things, and more, will bring me so much joy and happiness.  The ease of life in the states is something to be spoken about.  BUT, then again…

When you park your car in a tow zone here, they don’t write you a ticket.  They stand next to the car and blow a whistle.
When you want something or need something, but don’t have correct change, or any money at all, you can take it and pay later, almost always.  No questions asked.
If you’re just having ‘one of those days’ and can’t face the music or need a mental health day from ­the grind; that’s it.  It’s yours to have, and no one will think more or less of you.
When your shorts caught snagged in the wash, and now have a small rip in the pocket on just one side, you won’t throw them away.  You embrace the fact the important parts are still in tact, and their character just got better.
When you gain business that perhaps your friend was after as well, chance are, they’ll buy you a beer to celebrate, because in ‘this life’ we’re all here for the same reason; and money ain’t it.
Everyone has a story to tell.  Most here will tell you because they know you’ll never ask.  Some will never tell, because they’re not here to flaunt it, or re live it.  They’re simply here to be at peace with it.

And that is one thing you can find anywhere.  If you haven’t found it, keep looking; it’s deep down in there somewhere… I promise.

And by the way, I must say, that was hands down, the BEST Tuna Melt I have ever had the pleasure of tasting!!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic! Your writing just keeps getting better and better :-)