In high school my teenage boyfriend would pick me up on a school night and we'd go to a coffee shop to do our homework. The first time I did this, it blew my mind. I was sixteen years old and felt like I was thirty. In hindsight, what really blew my mind is that my parents were ok with this arrangement and I was, in fact, at a coffee shop doing my homework. (Am I going to feel the same way when my kids are sixteen?) I think I learned a lot from those experiences. For one thing, my boyfriend was extremely smart. He helped me with AP Calculus and AP Physics, topics I sadly have no memory of today. And I learned that ambiance matters.
The memories I have of my home town look like paintings in my mind. Old buildings. Amazingly old houses with huge columns and ornate balconies. There are rows and rows of these houses lining pot holed streets with enormous live Oak trees in the back yards and two blocks over the houses are falling down and people sit on the stoop waving as you pass. At some point in my teens it hit me that New Orleans architecture is one of a kind. I've lived in a few places since moving away, and nothing comes close to its charm and beauty.
I often think about how my children will have a totally different palette in their minds growing up in the Pacific Northwest. They will grow up with the trees. The rain and the fresh air. The rivers and the mountains and the ocean. Wherever they end up as adults, they'll see and feel the elements that surround them here in the core of their bodies, kind of like how I hear the music of the all night brass bands, and see the rows of old houses like paintings in a museum. Every year I think about taking them there, but I'm not sure they'll get it. In many respects this is deeply sad to me. I can see why people choose to raise their kids where they were raised themselves. On the other hand, we don't live there anymore and this place where we live now is a gift in itself. And I'll take them to Mardi Gras one day, and we'll do it right, and they'll love it.
One decaf Latte enjoyed in a reusable cup.
Cups and Bags Challenge: up to $14 for Bring! (If you use a reusable cup to buy a drink, email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll donate $1 to Bring Recycling!)