Home and Family (Part 1)

The feeling of belonging there was overwhelming.  I felt like I was home for the first time.

Hello dear reader.

I had a topic in mind for today, but then I read a post called Home is Where the Heart Lies on a blog called Wayward Scribbles. It brought up a ton of thoughts and memories. So the other topic will have to wait for another day. Naveena Shruthi, AKA Nathi, got my inspirational juices flowing.

I lived in the Northeast part of the country (Connecticut) until I was 13, at which time my mother and stepfather (for reasons I still can’t fathom) moved our family to the deep South (Louisiana). I dealt with severe culture shock. Everything was completely different. For example, I learned about the Civil war in school in Connecticut. I was taught when it happened and the basics of why. It was history, like the Revolutionary war. When I moved to Louisiana I discovered that for a lot of people there the Civil war had never ended. People actually disliked me (to put it mildly) because I was a “yankee” from the North. They flew rebel flags and had bumper stickers reading, “The South’s gonna rise again!” What was considered polite was also different. I grew up calling adults Mr. or Mrs. last name. In the South, the polite way to address an adult was Ms. or Mr. first name. In the Northeast, saying “yes” or “no” (as opposed to “yeah” or “nope”) was polite. In the South, the polite response is “yes or no ma’am” or “yes or no sir.” I actually got paddled because a teacher asked me a question and I answered “Yes.” She responded, “Yes, what?” and I had no idea what she was asking me. I think the worst of all was when kids at school would gather around me and say, “Talk.” I usually responded with, “What do you want me to say?” at which everyone would laugh hysterically ay me.

Thirteen is a difficult age. The last thing you want to do is stand out. I was a laughing stock because of the way I talked and an enemy because of where I had come from. Teenagers tend to group up. There are the jocks, the nerds, the potheads, etc. There isn’t a group for “yankees” and I didn’t fit anywhere. It was lonely, confusing, and traumatic. I desperately needed a place where I felt safe and loved, but didn’t have one. Things at home were rough, to put it mildly. I didn’t feel safe or loved there either. Eventually I made a few friends and things got easier, but I never felt like I fit in Louisiana.

I got out a few times, but always got pulled back. My sister is the only one of my siblings that never left. My three brothers eventually got out and stayed out. 27 years after moving to Louisiana, I came to the Rocky Mountains to visit. It was incredible! The feeling of belonging there was overwhelming. I felt like I was home for the first time. During my 24 hour visit, one afternoon to the next, I rented a house. I went back to Louisiana for a month to prepare for the move and was homesick the entire time. A week before my 40th birthday I moved with my husband (at the time) and my youngest two children to a tiny village in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado called Twin Lakes. I didn’t know a soul. I got a job in the General Store/Post Office in the village and began attending church in the closest town (Leadville) and quickly made several friends. Finally, after all my years of feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere, I was home.

This is turning out to be a longer story than I meant for it to (imagine that!) so I think I’ll continue it tomorrow. Have you ever felt like an outsider? Have you ever found a place that you know was your home? There’s a comment box below where you can tell me your story. I’d love to hear it!

Until next time…

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About Me

Since we’re going to be spending quite a bit of time together, I believe it’s only fair for you to know a little bit about me.  I want to tell you about the person I am now. The story of how I got here will come later and in bite-sized pieces.

I am 48 years old and live in (I believe) the most beautiful place in the world.  It’s an old mining town in the Rocky Mountains with a population of around 1500.  I’ve lived here for about nine years now and I’m still constantly amazed at how incredible it is.  I have four children, two boys and two girls, who are all grown.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss them.  I also have five wonderful grandchildren.

I am engaged to the love of my life. I’ve had other loves, but nothing like this. We’re getting married the end of July, so look forward to lots of pictures!  The story of how he proposed to me is one that I promise to tell.

I have a fairly rare genetic disorder called Arnold Chiari Malformation.   You can follow this link to learn more about the disorder:  What is Chiari Malformation.
I’ve had five operations on my head so far.  The chronic pain, as well as other issues from the disorder, have left me disabled.  I was 40 years old when I was finally diagnosed.  I was told that I was crazy, that I was under too much stress, and that I should take peaceful walks and long baths and I would be fine for 40 years while my brain stem was being pinched off. 

Because of the Chiari, there are days that I simply can’t function.  That makes it impossible for me to hold a job.  That does not, however, keep me from doing fulfilling things with my life.  I do volunteer work.  I volunteer as a CASA .   You can follow this link to learn about that:   What is CASA .   The church I attend serves meals to the community five days a week and I cook there. We serve an average of 50 people a day.

I love to do “crafty” things like crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, and knitting.  I adore reading and listening to audio-books,  but I have to confess that writing is my true passion.   I’ve been writing ever since I can remember…stories, poems, and journals.

So there’s the brief version of who Lynnette is.  I’d love to know a little about you as well.  Feel free to tell me about yourself and/or ask any questions you’d like about me.

Until tomorrow-