this list started as a "50 things about me" project. Free time is a luxury these days and this is as far as I've gotten on my list.
1. I was born on January 22 and my parents’ anniversary was on Jan 21. My mother tried to convince her doctor to change my birthdate to the 21st, so that I could be their “anniversary present”. Thankfully, the doctor said no.
2. My oldest memory is my 3rd birthday party. I had a huge bunny pinata, and I was mad because I didn’t want anyone to hit it. It was MINE after all! Needless to say, I still get teased about it.
3. I hate being late, and most of my family is “in time” rather than “on time”. Growing up, I fought with my sisters every morning because we were always late for school because of them. To this day, when I plan things at my house, I tell them it’s scheduled for 1 hour earlier than it really is. That way they can always be on time.
4. I have an irrational fear of the ocean. Can’t explain it, I just get very anxious when I’m near it. No cruises for me!
5. I had my first job when I was 13, wrapping presents during Christmas at a store back home. December in Panama = HOT. The area where I worked was outside so I spent the entire month wrapping presents for $5.60 per day. Yes, per day, it was minimum wage. I thought I was rich.
6. I chose my career early my senior year in high school. Never hesitated. My junior year in college, I was feeling burnt out so I went to the career counselor. Took the test, and the counselor told me I had chosen the one that matched me the most. The only other option would have been chemistry. It figures.
7. I absolutely loved school. I looked forward to going to school and learning new things. Yes, I know, I’m a geek. I’d love to go back and get another degree on something completely opposite of what I do now, like English literature, or History.
8. I want to be a lawyer one day when I grow up, probably environmental law. That way I could use all my degrees.
9. I was in Panama during the American invasion (Dec 89). Years later while in college, I met Robb, who had been in the army, and had been deployed to Panama for the invasion. The stories he told me about it plus my memories of it paint a very different picture from what was reported here about it.
10. When I was 15, my family moved to Costa Rica because of the political turnmoil. We were considered “political refugees” while we were living there.
11. A year later, my family was homeless. We had lost our home in Panama, and didn’t have a home in Costa Rica anymore. We met an Episcopalian priest and his family, and they gave us a place to live in a small apartment adjacent to one of their chapels. I learned then God is always looking out for you, and help will come from places you wouldn’t expect it.
12. The day I arrived in New Orleans, everything Glenda and I owned fit inside one medium size suitcase. Many years later, the same size suitcase isn’t big enough for one week worth of clothes. I’m truly blessed.
13. When I was seven, I wanted to be an astronaut.
14. My first car was a ’79 Montecarlo. It was a great car, and I proudly parked it for 4 years alongside BMW, Mercedes, Acuras that were prevalent at my college campus.
15. I worked 2 jobs the summer before I entered college so I could save enough to take with me. I had $700 to my name the day I arrived at Ole Miss. I had no clue how I was going to make it, but I knew I was not leaving campus without a degree.
16. I was a resident advisor in college, to help pay for my food and other college expenses. I worked in a freshman dorm, and the other RAs became my friends and to this day, we still keep in touch.
17. I have very few close friends, but once someone enters that category, they will be my friends for life.
18. I have not spoken to my father in 10 years. I love him and understand his silence to an extent. Forgiveness isn’t easy but I have my kids to thank for teaching me to forgive my father’s shortcomings.
19. I have 3 other siblings from my father’s first marriage. A brother who is a policeman, a sister who is a SAHM of five kids, and a late sister, who died before I could meet her. I have a bunch of nephews, and some of them are old enough to have kids too so I’m a great aunt!
20. I didn’t know I had other siblings until I was 15. I had a dream I had a brother and mentioned it to my mother. That’s when she told me. My brother and living sister say I look a lot like my late sister. Even her sons were taken aback when they saw me for the first time.
21. If I could talk to one person who has passed, it would have to be the first one of my ancestors who came from Spain. I'd like to know why he/she made the trip.
22. When I was growing up, I was part of a dance company that performed traditional Panamanian dances. I enjoyed it very much, and often wish there was a regional group nearby so I could still participate.
23. At the age of 10, I participated in a public speaking competition. All the kids from 4th-6th grade were allowed to enter. My dad and I wrote the speech, and I still remember the first line from it "El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz"-Benito Juarez (Peace is respecting someone else's rights). I won that competition.
24. I played basketball and softball in junior high, and played in an intermural basketball team in college.
25. I do not know how to swim.