Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gypsy Life - Home Is Where the Heart Is

After a long day at work, which felt like a Monday to me as it was my first day back since last Thursday, and a weird odd dream from last night, MTG came over and I cooked dinner.

I decided to pan fry some shrimp and make noodles with lemon butter sauce. (I can cook now, I've been learning and getting pretty darn good at it).

AD: I'm going to make you something more than soup for dinner.

MTG: Shut up wretched. (She says jokingly)

I'm forever teasing MTG about eating soup. If you know her it seems like that's all she ever eats. That or South Beach Diet or Weight Watchers crap. Yes I call it crap. Ok so maybe like that sesame taco South Beach thing tasted ok, but for the most part its crap. MTG seems to be always cautious about what she eats and runs every chance she gets. But still every so often I like when she eats food and not some tiny microwave bowl of soup or some diet stuff that smells god awful.

I take out the ingredients from the fridge and cupboard and set them in an order to easily be used and accessed when needed. I heat my pan for the shrimp and start some water heating to boil the noodles.

MTG flips through one of my books I have about and just stares at me smiling. I put some olive oil and a spat of butter in the pan to cook the shrimp in and let it get nice and hot before I sauté the shrimp. I watch as the butter and oil combine letting off a wondrous aroma.

MTG: Can I ask you a question?

AD: Ask of me anything and I will only answer in truth.

MTG: Why did you move so much growing up? You weren't military or anything like that. So I don't understand.

My gypsy life, it always comes back to me in one form or another.

AD: It's hard to explain. The easiest explanation is that I moved due to my parents work situation.

I'm always asked about my upbringing. It's a very odd story one that would take many pages and time to tell. Of course all of your stories would as well I'm sure dear readers.

Most people think that we moved cause of military life, which is not the case. Or that we were perhaps migrant workers. Not the case either. No my parents were never really happy were they were. They wanted the best for me and my brother there is no doubt about that. But in doing so uprooted us many times.

My mum really was the only one that worked. My dad had to retire very early on. He contracted polio as a child and in his late 30's early 40's he had what's called post-polio syndrome. Where he pretty much suffered as much if not more than the original disease. I watched him go from moderately strong physically to very weak in a matter of years. His muscles deteriorating more and more with every year. But he tried to work more and more, doing what he could. He even took a job after he retired from his original one. Only to be beaten by the disease into submission and eventually had to realize he couldn't work anymore.

This hurt him the most. But he was at least always at home for us doing what he could. My mom worked various jobs but eventually worked her way into the hospital where she's been working for countless years.

I explain to MTG that we've been moving from town to town for years in search of something better. My parents never quite satisfied with our surroundings, or moved due to work transfers from my dad's old job. Basically we've been up and down the I-35 corridor in Texas. Usually moving around Aug or Sept of every year since as far back as I can remember. Some moves good some ending really bad.

It's a learning experience never really calling any place home, having no roots to tell people about when they ask you. You learn to live differently and adapt to new places and people, especially as a kid going to a different school every year and always being the new kid. I've lived in just about every situation imaginable, meeting new people along the way, making friends and more, only to be ripped away from them in a years time. Or so it felt.

I could go on forever and explain in detail the things I've seen and done that some people would never experience in a lifetime. But it's too long and too late to type it all down.

MTG: Do you ever feel the need to move right now?

AD: I do. Very much so.

Moving has become part of me. I don't really call where I live now home. I've been in this place a little over 6 years now. It's one of the longest places I've ever stayed. But do I call it home, I do, it's a dwelling, but in my heart it's not home. I'm not sure where home is, or what exactly it would feel like. I'm sure when I find it I'll know. I hope I know. I often wonder this and for whatever reason think of Metallica's "Where Ever I May Roam" in my head as cliched as that is. Although I think I have lived a good majority of the lyrics. But times are when I'm "at home" that I look around me. Six years is a long time to stay in one place. Sure I could leave, but my things are no longer mobile. Everything is fixed and has it's place. But I get the itch sometimes. I get anxious and upset and itchy in my fixed environment. It feels like somethings not right, that I should be on the move, especially come Aug or Sept. It calls to me like some phantom beckoning me to the unknown. But I resist and deal with it. This is what it's like to have roots, I tell myself. No more running.

AD: I don't want to go. Not right now. I'm happy here. I'm making this home for as long as possible. Besides I feel at home here with you.

MTG: (Laughs) That'll get you some extra points.

AD: I know.

I take the shrimp out of the pan and drain the noodles. I take the lemon butter reduction off the burner and let it cool just a bit before pouring some over the shrimp and noodles.

MTG opens a bottle of wine and pours us some glasses and hands me one as I set the table.

MTG: To Home

AD: To Home, It's where the heart is.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Excellent post, AD; you told it well. I'm now fascinated and hungry.

I'm curious: Do you have minimal possessions, or are you a packrat? My mother was deserted as a child, and thus she's a minimalist who keeps very few sentimental things.