Originally posted 8/1/06.... these four posts below are in chronological order from the top down (which may be pretty confusing for regular blog readers... I'll have to work out some other way as I put more posts back up). These are actually four out of my first five posts from when I was just a blogging newbie, but this is what I started with. :-)
There's a lot of information that I never really tell people about myself. I know that we all self-edit to one degree or another, but I intentionally leave out huge chunks of my life until I know someone a little better. I don't lie about it, I just don't offer up any information unless necessary and, even then, rather sparingly. One of the reasons that I wanted to start this blog is so that I could have an opportunity to just get it all out, as a way to talk about it for a change. Whether anybody is actually there to read it is entirely secondary.
My brother and I were born here (our parents were WWII refugees from Europe who actually met in NJ... funny, that) and we spent the first part of our lives in upstate New York. Life seemed pretty normal to me... y'know, blood sausage and sauerkraut for Christmas dinner (none of that for me, thanks, give me a hamburger, really), along with shredded veal in a meat gelatin with vinegar and/or hot mustard (yum... or not, but it's really not all that bad), Santa coming to our house on Christmas eve while we were over at the neighbor's or while we were at church (woohoo! presents on Christmas Eve hours before our friends got theirs!), and all those normal, assimilating kinds of things that immigrants do. You can bet that we were the only family on the block burning real candles on the Christmas tree as a treat. But we also had the cat, dog, fish, gerbils, all that typical kind of stuff and our parents had us doing lots of sports (though baseball and football were suspiciously absent from the list... hmmm). We didn't have much money because of the whole "war/refugee/immigrant" situation. Still, camping, hiking, kayaking and xc-skiing were mainstays and we spent an amazing amount of time in the Adirondacks. A kid could do a lot worse. Odd traditions aside, I had great hopes of becoming any one of the endless variations of a normal American.
Then, just as I was rounding the corner to 14, it happened: my father sat us down and announced that he had the opportunity to take a job in Saudi Arabia.
That was when I should have known that I could pretty much kiss any hopes of being "normal" goodbye...