At heart I am probably a nomad, although if humans do have previous lives I wouldn’t be surprised to find that I was a tea-swilling cook in Victorian England who made outrageous comments to the family’s children as they came into the kitchen to sit by the stove in the winter. Here in the present, though, despite feeling comfortable while traveling and exploring new places (or while drinking tea), I am not what one would call an extrovert. When a stranger casually speaks to me, my first inclination is to run: my god, they want an unedited answer! Very dangerous they are, unedited answers.
I came by my nomadic tendency honestly: this is the 50th house/townhouse/apartment/duplex in which I’ve lived: My father was a career member of the Air Force; I was in the Army until after I met my husband; and my husband was a career soldier. I don’t remember my place of birth, other than two short visits after I was an adult, one of which was to give birth to my youngest child so I didn’t get out much that time. No one to whom I am related lives there, and I don’t like the climate of that part of the country, so I don’t miss it. I am not living in any of the places where I did like living, but people to whom I am related live here, so it’s a happy enough place to be.
I’ve spent twenty years of my adult life and a few years of my childhood living in Europe so some of my ‘original corners’ have been worn down and replaced by new ‘corners.’ I can entertainingly mangle German, but I’m not amusing in French. I’ve forgotten Czech so thoroughly that I probably shouldn’t have bothered learning any of it. From hobby immersion in language courses I can remember more Chinese and Russian than I can Czech (which isn’t much). I can say, “the lady eats the apple” in Spanish.
Another few years of my early life were spent in Bermuda. On time-wasting Facebook tests, I score as ‘native’ in Bermudian. “Hey, vuffless! He’s do’n de rood, b’y.”**
Apparently, what you pick up during the junior high school years sticks with you — perhaps I should have studied Czech then?
The balance of my time (thus far) has been spread around the contiguous United States. My accents come and go.
Home Education Magazine News and Commentary blog posts, 2005 – 2008