Tag: Curacao

Books Without Libraries

Libraries were my drug dealers; books were my gateway drug. I don’t remember reading to escape my lonely childhood as much to people it with fascinating characters. Reading fiction scripted the movie that books created within my active brain. Reading non-fiction cast some light upon the world that I couldn’t understand. It seems like I... Read more »

A Curacao Christmas

Moving to the former Dutch colony of Curacao in February 1983, I wasn’t thinking about Christmas. Or Hanukah which was what we celebrated. Why would I? That was eons away, or so it seemed. But I quickly learned from my fellow expatriates on the island, a place where few things are manufactured, that everything had... Read more »

The Rocks In the Basement; The Solar/Aquatic Society of Curacao

When living in Curacao without the possibility of a work visa, a group of expatriate women went snorkeling every Wednesday morning. Despite 6 of the 7 of us having children–or maybe because, it was a child-free group. The chance for an uninterrupted, complete sentence conversation with a group of adult women was just too good... Read more »
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Gone to the Stars; Death and Friends

“It’s terrible to lose a friend when you don’t have many.” From The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society film I lost my first friend in preschool. She and her sibling were playing with matches in their home when the unimaginable happened. The next friend I remember losing died of childhood leukemia in 1964, a time... Read more »

The Placebo Effect; or The Karma of Things

  What is a Roman Catholic Church without the karma of its icons? So thought Maria when she learned that her hometown church’s icons had been stolen. Stolen! Can you imagine it? In Mexico! But with monetary donations from friends and family, a collection was raised to buy new icons. May I stash them out... Read more »

At home, abroad; the expatriate

Forgotten abroad, is the expatriate. Charles Dickens would have named the person sitting across from me, “the well-meaning relative.” Late into the night, the interrogator repeatedly hammered as to why we lived abroad? “How will your kids ever grow up to be real Americans, when they’ve never lived in the USA?” My overtired brain had no... Read more »
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Knitting Without Needles

Every week I go to knitting; yet I do not knit. And despite being offered a bag of yarn and some mismatched knitting needles to ‘pass’, I must confess that I have absolutely no interest in knitting. After all, if I’ve free time I read. Madam Defarge I am not. So why would I go to... Read more »

In praise of broccoli

Why–pray tell–disparage the winter green, broccoli? What Republican prejudice does the SCOTUS and former President Poppy Bush evidence, in deriding this most delicious of vegetable? Ah for that adolescent who once lived in our home–who’d complain, yes complain if I hadn’t made broccoli in the last 10 days or so. “Mom, can you get some... Read more »

The Rat in the Toilet

Leaves pile up at the foot of the dogwood tree where the bored 11-year-old girl sits perched like an eagle, gazing expectantly out to the horizon. If only something would happen, if only there was something new, something different. That evening she feels like she won the lottery when told by her parents that they... Read more »
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The Cocktail Napkin

It was a cocktail napkin. Just a cocktail napkin, in those heady days before spell check. When spelling was done the old fashioned way. By eye. And memory. And yes, my handy dictionary of the time. The napkin at some long forgotten cocktail party said, Bon Bini Ya’ll. Yep. Ya’ll. Not Y’all, but Ya’ll. You... Read more »
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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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