Saturday, March 14, 2015

#SoL15 Day 14: on the move & places along the way

When stuck writing, make a list. Here is a partial list of times in my life and places in my life that I would write about and want to get down before they slip my mind again. It's the story of how I got from all those theres to here.

Fragments. The thread that connects them, jotted down in no particular order, is moving and living in different places. Here they are ~ volume 1 in a manner of speaking ~ put in a semblance of order:

Madrid to Alexandria,: I drove to Marseilles to embark for Alexandria because all the ships out of Spanish ports at that time went to Haifa.

The train trips from Spain to Munich and back again. The trip there was to Paris, a day wandering around and then the Orient to Munich. After completing two Goethe Institut courses I returned to Spain on a open ticket via Geneva, no itinerary, just a destination, which, Paris and the Orient Express not withstanding, was. for lack of structure. by far the superior adventure

The next episode took me from Lafayette Louisiana to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the first place we lived in Spain.

Growing up on a doodle bugging crew (my father was a seismologist or doodlebugger and crew chief) and moving around, I ended up in Lafayette in the summer of 1954 when I turned 10 and -- excepting six months in Santa Barbara in the middle -- stayed there through the summer of 1962. Before Lafayette, six months was the longest I had lived in one place, two weeks the shortest and three months the average.

We lived in the Evangeline Courts (far more lushly overgrown with colorful flowering bushes, trees and vines than the picture shows), in a house on what, at that time was, the south edge of town (just past the university farm and not far from the first 50s style subdivisions) and walking distance from our Lady of Fatima, in an alley apartment on the wrong side of the underpass, in Mouton Gardens, which had a central mall with a memorable tree, and then outside town -- first just across the Vermilion Bayou and then further out, well in the country and with a barn. Even staying in one place, we still moved more than most. Doodlebug ways linger.

Girl Scouts and camp were part of growing up there, the evolution of  my mother's sure fire formula for integrating me into strange communities on short notice.

Going to movies as child, the first one I really remember was in a revival tent in rural Texas. Most doodlebug destinations were small towns -- a lot of them in Texas.

Volume two picks up in Egypt and ends in New Mexico.

Slice of LIfe I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: blogging a slice a day for all of March.  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Visit the site to read some slices


  1. Vanessa, this slice is so interesting. Since I never heard the term, doodlebugging, before I was excited to follow your leads to the back channel stories. Doodlebugging is a fascinating profession and I thank you for broadening my knowledge of life. I have to say that your childhood was filled with a variety of experiences so different than mine. Let's stay connected.

    1. At the time it seemed normal to me... not until much later did I realize just how effectively my parents kept my environment as normalized as possible -- and buffered me from possible ill effects. In so many ways, it was also a grand adventure.

      With all the discussion and controversy about standards, I find myself thinking back on my own middle school experience ~ across multiple states and school districts.

      Yes, happy to stay connected...

  2. Fasinating life! I look forward to the next post.