July 21, 2007


Today's post on my other site is the seed for this post. Please read it first. Some of my ramblings may not make sense.

I am constantly amazed at how interconnected this world has become. My parents get to watch their grandson play at "school", because they have cameras in each room hooked up to the internet. In less than a four-hour plane trip, we can be in Dallas. I can rant and rave and have a word wars with my oldest and best friend as well as a new friend I have not met in person. And because of City Photo Blogs, I get to share my home with others as well as see the places they call home.

With all that said, I don't feel as connected to Orlando as everywhere else. I am sure I have said this before, but when we lived in New Orleans I did not allow myself to get close to anyone or get involved in any groups or such. I knew it was a temporary stop and was not going to invest the time or energy into futile endeavors. But now, those are habits for me that I cannot seem to break. And with a 16 month old, it has been even more difficult to search out good friends or groups.

I am not trying to complain. I was hoping that writing this down in such a public-type forum, may help spur me to break the habits. First step is admitting you have a problem. The second step?


Dubber said...

Doing something about it. Or so they say. I wouldn't know though because I don't have problems. ;)

I have to admit that despite living here for seven years and making lifelong friends (no, Kelley & Jack, you can't get rid of us... EVER!), St. Louis just doesn't feel like home. Part of it is culture; this place is whack on baseball and fried Twinkies, and I don't like baseball or Twinkies (but frozen Ding Dongs rock). Part of it is holding near and dear in my heart an idealized sense of what home was back in good ol' Plano. I know Plano (or Dallas, for that matter) isn't what I remember it to be. It's a little bigger, a little meaner, probably a lot dirtier, and I have no roots to the place other than my memories. Yet, it's still home.

We'll be going back to Dallas next week for summer vacation. At some point I'll find an excuse to head to Plano. I'll drive down Park Boulevard and look down Avenue N at your parent's house as I'm passing the street. I might remember with a smirk that Robin Gibson lived a few houses down from you and how I had such a crush on her in the tenth grade. I'll swing by my mom's house to see how it's holding up. I'll curse how narrow the street is with all the cars parked in it... how the neighborhood has gone to hell. And I'll remember. Everything. I'll drive by Bowman and remember how I used to race you and your mom in your tan Ford van. I'm not sure I could really run 20mph or whether your mom was going easy on me. I'll swing a right onto Jupiter and make my way to the cemetery to try and find my grandfather's marker. Someone should remember that--where he's buried--and I get the impression I'm the only one among my grandfather's grandchildren who has any clue, so it's my job. I'll look across the street and see Dickey's and remember October 7th, 2001 more vividly than I want. Then I'll go.

I think Orlando has probably grown on you more than you know. We went back to Shreveport a few years ago. I despised that place... hated it with a passion, yet I found myself strangely nostalgic about it on our return, thinking about the eight years of our life spent there. I bet if you were to move today, you would remember all those places you photographed and think fondly of some of the more mundane places that are a part of your life. You would think of friends and coworkers, and some part of that would feel like "home." But I'm betting nothing feels like home like Avenue N.

Kelley said...

You guys are making me all weepy. Truly. Firstly because you're both being sappy (in a good way, I mean). Second because I don't have a Plano.

What happened on 10.07.01? Should I know this already and I'm a putz for having a sucky memory?

Scott said...

But it's NOT a romanticized view of Dallas. Yes, I enjoy going back and being swept up in memories. I cannot even think of "bad" times. I have so many great memories and cherish them. But they are not so much a place, but who I am. My parents' place is no longer home.
And you are correct about Plano. I have tried to convince my parents to move for awhile. The kicker is if they did, they would move to Alabama near where my brother lives. Then they could still travel to Kansas and Texas, but be closer to me. Go figure.

I have many fond wonderful memories of NOLA, too. Talk about culture shock. My big city boy mentality was so at odds with that small town. And yes, it is truly a small town when you compare it with other cities. It is just such a high profile place. It has a charm though that Dallas can never achieve. Even if they do try to rewrite some of their history, they have one. And it still seems to be a personal thing, too. It does make it hard for "outsiders" to fit in. You really have to establish yourself if you want to be a part of the community.
And NOLA is nothing like what the tourists see or tell stories about. Mardi Gras is one of the most family oriented events I have ever seen. I cannot wait for Chase to be old enough so we can do that!

Orlando is somewhere in the middle. It is sprawl. It is still rather new. They are trying to find the right ways to grow. But there still is such a small town feel. People crack me up when they are unwilling to drive someplace because it is "too far". I know gas prices are high, but when did 10 miles become such a great distance?
And while NOLA thought they were an international city, Orlando has them beat. I meet so many, both tourist and resident alike, that are from distant points on the globe! The dollar is so weak against the pound and euro that Brits and other Europeans are buying up this area in large chunks.
But one aspect that is very different from Dallas and NOLA is that so many that live here are new to the area. I know of only 3 people that have lived here for 20+ years. And 2 had moved here then.

In truth, if I went back to Dallas I would have to start all over again. It would be no different as here. I would feel disconnected.

Kelley, you are probably the most normal of the three of us. You had to learn to adapt, correct? How did you connect?

Sorry for the ramblings. Thanks for taking the time to read them!

Dubber said...

I think my memories are romanticized, but then I'm just a shiny happy person. ;)

It's true that if you moved back to Dallas, you would have to start over, but I think you would find yourself more quickly rooted because you grew up in this "culture," if you want to call it that. I think culture accounts for a fairly large percentage of one's rootedness, surpassed only by friends. We felt much less rooted to the area before we started going to Morning Star, and now while it may be more convenient for us to live closer to the city, I can't imagine moving further away from our friends. So what about church?

Kelley, 10/7/01 was my mom's funeral. I think. I try not to go there and that week as a whole is pretty fuzzy.