Back through the USA, # 3: Decompression [in] Sandpoint


Why do we come home? From the macro perspective, I imagine there are lots of common reasons; reconnection, responsibility, renewal… recycling? Not totally sure. Sometimes I think it is just a question of good [COLD] beer and a killer taco. Still, that seems limited.Awesome, but not the whole picture.

I arrived in Spokane, Washington in the afternoon on 7 September 2009. It was the first time I had seen my mom and step dad in more than a year. That is simply NOT acceptable. And anyone who knows my parents would agree for myriad reasons, but as their kid I am not letting this happen again, I don’t care what the Asian work ethic says. I was so excited to see them, and to have a place to chill for just a little bit amidst a wild tour of a vast geographic reason that I call “home” simply for the people and energy that I find within and throughout these beautiful places.

But it was fucking cold.

Hmmm. Not part of the plan. The previous evening Matt Hoover, Hug High Class of 1999 (kind of), had told me he heard it was snowing where I was headed, I laughed at him with my know-it-all attitude. And now I was freezing my ass off outside of GEG. [Sorry Hoover, I shoulda known better.] But my padres were there and in spite of the cold, I cannot really articulate how it continues to be so great to be back in a part of the world where you cannot feel and taste the air that you are breathing going down your esophageal passage.

My parents live in a very interesting place among equally interesting people and circumstances. It was a great place to cool out. [Literally, as it happens.] I got to sit around in front of a fire – yes, for real – and share stories and laughs and lamentations. And then the sun got serious and the company started coming in.

I watched movies (score one more point for the good ole US of A) and ate fresh Coho salmon. Oh, and I drank very, VERY good beer. [Woo hoo Lagunitas imported specially by motorcycle!] Surrounded by good energy and fun people, and then the Walker infusion! There were mani-pedis (a good first step in the Post-Burning Man foot repair protocol.) And let us not forget our main man Brad going off to get ‘im some Nazi scalps. Good times.

My parents have deer that are practically pets who come into the graden and eat off the fruit trees. And also a cat. On hearing that there was a cat Max Walker wondered if it was one of those kinds of cats that you see one time and then never see again… I fear the only breed of cat he knows. [The troubles of being five.] There is a pond [with mud that actively contributes to the delinquency of minors apparently, at least according to Max] and a fire pit. I ate s’mores for the first time in I don’t know, 15 years? I drank G&T by the pint on the deck with Jill & Alex who I realized I have known for more than 20 years. [There is that funny memory thing happening again – twenty years ago? And I can remember? Frightening. I suppose until I realize I can no longer remember, then that will be the more frightening. Thanks for that Will.]

As we packed up to head off to Santa Fe, I saw a garment bag hanging on my mom’s armoire. I had a brief moment of panic as I realized that I had nothing even remotely that nice to wear.

“Uh, mom?”
“Yeah, honey?”
“Um, I don’t have any nice clothes for Santa Fe, are we needing something nice?”
“Um, no I don’t think so.”
“Ok, so what is with the dress in the garment bag out here?”
“Oh. That. Um, well, I wanted you to see that dress.”
“Oh. Right. Ok. Why?”
“Well. It is a dress I got for a wedding, and I never wore it and I think my time to wear it has passed.”
“Oh.” I looked at the dress, a classic sheath style in black with white detail and spaghetti straps. It was nice. “Whose wedding?”

Mom looked at me, “Want to try it on?”
“Oh my God, it was for my wedding, wasn’t it?”

Some awkward chuckling ensued.

So, I am now the proud owner of the mother-of-the-bride dress for my own wedding that never happened. Weird? Sad? Ironic? Whatever, it is a great dress and it is going to look great with my black suede heels. I can’t wait to get jiggy in it.

Maybe this kind of shift in perspective is why we come home. A little reconnection, responsibility, renewal and recycling. In one fell swoop.


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About Amanda

I am repatriating expatriate trying to work it all out. Well, to work some of it out anyhow. I am writing here for sanity, focus and general over-sharing.
This entry was posted in Family, Friends, Home, Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Back through the USA, # 3: Decompression [in] Sandpoint

  1. driss says:

    Twenty years is a long enough time to have known someone for the minor foulness which always pops up between any two people to be forgotten while at the same time bolstering the memories of all the smoothosity which occurred. I personally think that’s rather cool.

    Are you corrupting America’s youth in that photo, conducting an impromptu “how to use an iPhone” class in the backyard?

  2. U.T. says:

    Ames, I happened on your anecdote about the wedding dress. That’s funny and poignant. And you are a *good* writer.

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