We were on a date. I didn't know Nyle very well. It was one of our first dates. A couple walked by and said "Hello" in unison. Their voices were friendly. I returned the salutation with a "Hello," of my own. Imagine my surprise when my husband who spoke with the accents of a man that grew up in the Western United States said, "Howdy."
After the couple had walked away I turned to Nyle and said, "Wait, what did you just say?" He looked perplexed and said, "What do you mean?" I said, "Just now, the couple said, "Hello," I said, "Hello." You said, "Howdy!" What was that all about? He said with surprise in his voice, "I did?" "Yes" I responded, "You must certainly did say 'Howdy.'"
Then came out the fact that between being born in California (I knew that part) and growing up in Salt Lake City, (I also knew that part) there were several years of living in Texas. (That was a surprise to me).
Wisely, Nyle married me. Wisely, I married Nyle. Together, we were a dynamic force. As we went through life together I learned that Nyle had a few "Texas" words that never went away. "Howdy," was his greeting to others. "Y'all was his way of referring to more than one person. "All y'all" was his way of referring to a group. I especially enjoyed the fact that there was a z or Zed (If you are British or Canadian), in words that actually were spelled with an S. "Greazy," referred to things that were....well...."GreaSy." "Blouze" was referencing the upper portion of woman's apparel.
What pieces of places have a bearing on your life? Were you born, raised, and now live in the same place that these activities happened? Did you like me, move around quite a bit in your life? I joyously claim California, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Minnesota, and Oregon. In California I learned that life should be "chill." A laid back existence that eases frustrations. (It was long before "Roadrage," made it's ugly arrival.) Think surfing movies, Annette Funicello, and Bobby Darrin."
Utah brought me the experience of heritage. My family were directly involved in the creation of this place. The sacrifices that they made to create Utah were monumental. That includes one beloved 2nd Great Grandma who left England, literally left behind all her possessions, crossed the American prairies with a handcart holding their few belongings. She gave birth outside, with no Doctor attending her. The baby died. She died several days later. Some may think that her contributions ended there. They would be wrong. Her son went on to build a home, create a successful business, and raise six children of his own.
Idaho, again that heritage thing. I will never understand how my great grandparents faced the brutal ruthlessness of the seven to eight month long winters in Idaho.
Oregon was a place that demanded determination to create. When I moved there as a relatively young bride with two small children I felt the need of creating our universe. I had always lived close to family, and there we were our OWN family.
So, now I've included the lessons and definition that my living places have helped to give me. I didn't include Wyoming or Minnesota. Maybe those places will spawn a "Blog" post another day.
Please do give me some of the places and spaces that define your experience. As always I LOVE to hear the contributions of others.