Home is…

Between September of 2010 and September of 2011, our lives have undergone a lot of changes.  I quit my job of 13 years, my 2nd and youngest child graduated high school and started college making us that dreaded demography, and led us to the much looked-forward to phase of our lives known as emptynesters, Raj took on a position in the senior leadership team of the company that acquired his previous company, and last but the most important of all, we moved!  From the cornfields of midwest which we called home for the last 20 years, to the marshy swamps of Florida!!

It’s been 3 months and it’s finally starting to feel like home!  I had had a mild panic attack while packing up in Indiana about having to start all over and making a new home at this age!

Home!  What makes a place home? This is my 15th home where I have lived more than 3 months – and not permanent as we’re building a house while renting this year.

As I think about this,the  following pop up in my head:

  • I have 2 neighbors who are very very nice, and have made us feel very welcome.
  • Raj and I saw a snake on the beach by the boardwalk but we were so cool, and unfazed.  Now alligators, well that’s a different animal! I have seen one alligator so far, a baby one.  I am not sure I am ready to cohabit in peace with the alligators yet as most Floridians do, but will cross that bridge later!
  • We met a bunch of Tamil folks – one of whom used to work with me back in 1985 – 90 when I first started my career with CMC in Chennai!  What a nice surprise!  We are so happy to be able to converse in our mother tongue, and have our pick of Tamil people – by age, by interests, because we speak the same language, by whatever!  Back in Indiana, there was one other Tamil family.
  • I am kicking off the Cross Cultural Book Club next week with ‘Persepolis’ – a story of childhood in post-Shah, Islamic Iran told from a child’s point of view.  See here for details.

 Okay so my bookclub has only 2 confirmed members (one of them being me) and a tentative one, but hey, it’s a start!  The idea is to read only books on other cultures (other than American) and written by a non-American author.  I am excited to be able to continue this tradition from Indiana, and hope to meet some cool interesting people!

  • Our house is coming up nicely!
  • It’s been a year since I resigned – on the upside, I have not gone insane.  It is, in fact, the opposite of insane!  My kids and Raj can tell the difference – I am more patient and less harried!  My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner, when my kids were still at home!
  • I still dress nice and haven’t fallen into the ‘frumpy housewife’ trap.  On the downside, I have gained some weight!  With such wonderful stores like Publix and Fresh Market so close by, and an Indian grocery store only 15 minutes away,  it’s hard not to!
  • I do exercise more – yoga twice a week, bollyaerobics taught by a fellow Tamil girl – it’s a great workout!
  • And have had one lesson in carnatic music – one of those dusted off dreams of mine!  Also taught by a Tamil lady!
  • But the number one reason,  the king,  the one thing that lets me  know without a doubt I feel at home is, drumrolls please…

 I’m starting to get annoyed at the folks who share the road with me 😉  Initially, it was “oh look at these drivers – so nice, and driving under speed limit.  I really should start driving the speed limit.  Maybe Florida will cure my road rage”.  But now, it’s “ok lady – are you hoping to get anywhere today?” My daughter used to say I need a bumper sticker on my car that says “Angry Driver”!

         Home sweet home, baby!

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