Passport to Poconos – Returning Home

 

Dear Claudia

 

When you told me you needed a vacation from a vacation after returning from Colombia, I laughed with relief when I realized it didn’t only happen to me. First you go through the anticipation of filling all the orders for gifts from the US. Cosmetics, blue jeans, and sports wear usually lead the list. By the time you get on the plane you are already exhausted from shopping. Once you get there, it becomes a marathon of trying to see everyone and accomplish everything before going back home.

 

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Is going back to your hometown a vacation? It’s not, at least not for me. And where it was home long ago, it’s not home anymore although it’s still very familiar. I know so many people that I want to see them all so we don´t forget one another. And there are always so many tasks to tend to; from foreign residency filings to bank papers. I´m so busy it doesn´t feel like I ever left. And the time I have there is so limited that I am filled with stress when I come home to Pennsylvania.

 

Since I moved to the States I’ve been lucky to be able to go back to Spain at least once a year and sometimes more. At the beginning, it was great as it made the transition of moving to my new country smoother. I was so connected (well I still am) to my old life that I would Skype my friend Chuss daily and tell her things like, “Did you know that Rose is having a party tomorrow night?”.

 

I was the first one delivering news about my friends among my friends. The irony is that they were all in the same city and I was living 6,000 miles away. But this close connection I maintained was stopping me from learning about my new country and making new friends. I was afraid of letting go. Afraid my whole past would be erased. Recently, a very practical American friend, Caren, told me, “You don’t share the same life anymore and you’re not there in their day to day. They’re not in yours either and if you don’t accept that, you won’t be able to live your new life fully.” 

 

I think she’s right.  During the first years in New York and later in the Poconos, I was trying to adjust to my new life by concentrating on my old life. Skype, Facebook, email and free text apps have made it easier to keep living a virtual life with old friends. So when I had the chance to go back home to Spain, I would stress myself by making a list on the calendar, filling in every hour, fitting in everyone I wanted to see. I ended up coming back exhausted and needing a vacation from my vacation.

 

This last year I went back more than once. My mother is elderly and I´m willing to suffer the inconvenience and the jet lag to see her happiness when she sees me. My visits are for my mother, not for all the other things that used to occupy my time. I felt for the first time in eight years that I didn’t have to run a marathon scheduling tasks and seeing friends. I´ve relegated my old friends to non-current status.  I see them as time permits.

 

My new friends in the Poconos have taken the place of those daily Skype gossip sessions and  text messages. Now when I am in Spain I can relax and show my husband my city. As to my old friends: our feelings remain intact; when I visit it seems that time has never separated us.  But I’ve finally accepted that I am now a visitor. We start up where we left off the last time. But home is where the heart is, and my home now is in the Poconos.

                

Thanks for reading, more next week, your Latina Poconovian. Have a happy day, Christina!

 

PD… I will post this letter in Spanish in a few days!

 

 

 

 

 

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Passport to Poconos – Visita a Nueva York (Spanish version)

 

Querida amiga,

 

Me dijiste que a veces visitas la ciudad porque todavia tienes amigos y familia. Disfrutas de estas escapadas porque significan una transición en tu nueva vida en los Poconos. De esta manera consigues lo mejor de ambos mundos.

 

Estoy de acuerdo. La ciudad de Nueva York es el corazón del mundo donde todos vienen a disfrutar y en pocos días hacer lo máximo. En los Poconos estamos a un paso de esta gran ciudad, donde nos encontramos en un lugar completamente diferente; de la naturaleza pasamos a la ciudad: dos mundos tan contrastados y tan bellos a la vez.

 

 

 

Antes de que los Poconos fuese mi hogar viví en la ciudad de Nueva York y antes en Barcelona, España. Me trasladé a EE.UU. hace ocho años y anteriormente, visitaba la Gran Manzana, la ciudad que nunca duerme, siempre que podía. Y durante mi estancia, hacía lo máximo en una semana, aprovechando cada minuto del día, y la mayor parte de la noche.

 

Después de un par de años de vivir en Nueva York, entré en una rutina y mis ojos dejaron de ser los de una turista; no podía creer que había dejado de hacer todas esas cosas que anteriormente me habían incitado con entusiasmo a viajar a Nueva York. Viviendo, allí empecé a notar que Nueva York es un lugar que te ‘invita’ a gastar en todo momento. Desde alguien que te ayuda con la maleta, o te abre la puerta, hasta alguien que te pide una moneda y no hablemos de las compras que están en cada esquina.

 

Esto no me pasó en los Poconos. Nadie te cobra por ser amable. Y además los precios de todo son mucho más económicos. Desde el maquillaje hasta una copa!

 

Recientemente fui a la ciudad, ya que nos invitaron al estreno del show de Billy Crystal ‘700 Sundays’. Fue una ocasión super especial verle en carne y hueso. Recuerdo algunas de sus películas que había visto en España, como ‘Cuando Harry encontró a Sally”. También vi a otras celebridades que sólo había visto anteriormente en la televisión o en el cine. Me parecía estar en un sueño. Billy Crystal hizo un espectáculos sobre su vida, haciendo gala de su humor y radiante energía.  

 

Luego fuimos a Sardi’s el lugar para ir antes o después de un show de Broadway. Había otros visitantes como yo, de los suburbios o de otros lugares. Me encantó sentir la vibración de la ciudad, aunque luego me alegré de poder alejarme de las masas y volver a casa.

 

Ya no era una turista ni una residente, sino una espectadora por un  día, lo cual lo hizo mucho más especial. Me preguntaba si echaba de menos algo de mi vida anterior; lo que sí  tenía claro que es que no necesitaba ir a ‘Central Park’; ahora tenía los Poconos y su fantástica naturaleza. En el autobús de vuelta a casa entendí que tenía lo mejor de ambos mundos.

 

Gracias por leer las historias de esta latina Poconoviana…. Por favor escríbanme cartas con sus historias que compartiré con las mías a: chris@tuvozconchristina.com

 

Feliz año y que disfruten todo lo que puedan con personas amadas, sean con o sin lazos de sangre. Que el año nuevo les traiga salud, paz y armonía…. Con cariño siempre, Christina!

 

PD… Tienen una versión en inglés de este capítulo en el blog.

 

 

 

 

                                    

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Passport to Poconos – Graduation

 

 

Dear Sonia,

 

I remember us talking about education and how important it is to study as much as you can or learn a profession that will let you get ahead and pursue your dreams as much as possible in a new country.

 

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Can you imagine going back to college as an older adult? I never expected to go back to college after I finished school many years ago in Spain. But here I am, graduating from ESU. For all of December I was in a marathon finishing assignments and studying for final tests. Just before finals we went to Massachusetts for a weekend birthday party of an old friend of my husband´s. I spent most of the time in my room, writing and writing. It felt as if it would never end. And then I delivered my papers and it was over. The outcome wasn’t in my hands any more. The result: all A´s. My feeling of accomplishment was amazing.

 

I didn’t intend to go back to college, but living in the Poconos gave me the opportunity to study at ESU and extend my communication studies with another degree. Being in college was also a way to be part of our community. I got to live an American dream that I had only seen on TV: being a student on an American college campus. Where I came from, you normally go to college in your hometown and live at home. I was fascinated by the ESU ‘town’ called a college campus where young adults could study and at the same time transition to adulthood by living on their own and all grow up together. I think it’s a wonderful way to let go of the family nest and learn to be independent. It was refreshing to be in class again with younger students and discover the trends of a motivated younger generation. It also made me feel sad to see some of the students wasting the opportunity given to them by sleeping in class or constantly checking their phones. I guess that being an older student has its advantages. I was never very motivated when I was in my twenties.

 

More maturity has given me a focus and a discipline that I wish I had had earlier. And knowing that one class for a semester would cost me as much as one year of college in a public university in Spain was also a big incentive to do my best.

 

Going to college as an adult immigrant also helped me understand the American culture better and learn more about the new career that was opening doors in front of me. I couldn’t have just come from Old World Spain and start a new career without blending my knowledge with New World ideas. That was why ESU was so important for me. It got me out of my Spain ‘bubble.’

 

As I graduate, I want to thank Kizzy Morris and her team who made possible the tedious transfer of my college credits from Spain.  I´d like to give a nod of gratitude to some of my favorite professors: Joseph Ashcroft, Andrea McClanahan, Robert McKenzie, Kathleen Duguay and Adrain Wehmeyer.  Special thanks also to professor Patricia Kennedy, my fabulous internship tutor, who was so happy to see me progress. I thank them all for their help.

 

ESU taught me to develop my writing skills, to embrace a wider community, and provided the opportunity to discover a new passion in broadcasting. However, one thing I won’t miss will be the difficulty of finding parking spaces!

 

 

Thanks for reading, more next week, your Latina Poconovian. Have a happy day, Christina!

 

PD… I will post this letter in Spanish in a few days!

 

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Passport to Poconos – Moving and Anticipation

 

Dear amiga Anita,

 

Thank you for sharing your story when you told me how exciting it was for you to move from the grimy landscape of the Bronx to your weekend house in the Poconos, which you made your permanent residency.

 

 

 

This year we bought our own house: A real house with a yard around it. I have never lived in a house before, so leaving our rental townhouse; our first home in the Poconos, the place that grew on me and made me feel sheltered – feels like leaving a best friend.

 

We moved to the Poconos in the middle of winter. With no friends, to guide me around, I focused on the house as a safe place and a source of experience. I liked the sun in the morning. I liked the energy that emanated, I liked the kitchen and I liked cooking. It relaxed me.  I felt ‘a good vibe’ where we lived.

 

I am excited for the new move, but I’m also scared by the mix of the new and unknown. When our neighbor and friend, Maria (also our realtor), showed us the house she asked me: “ Do you like it? Why aren’t you as excited as I am?”  “I don’t know what to expect,” I told her, “What should I look for? I don’t have a clue. I’ve never lived in a house before, so I don’t know what works and what doesn’t.”

 

She was patient with me. She led us through all the paper signing and inspections. When the previous owner moved out my husband and I toured through the empty rooms. It looked lovely. But I still couldn’t see myself living here. The idea of residing in a real house like I had seen in American movies since I was little was too much of Hollywood for me. It felt so foreign.

 

When it came to packing, I told my husband I was too busy and he should start. And when the movers came one morning I was totally unprepared to see everything stripped out and put on a truck (we’re only moving two blocks away but it could be the moon). I sat on the mattress, now without bed frame, writing on my computer. I was hoping they wouldn’t see me and just keeping moving furniture out until it was quiet and peaceful again. My cats seemed to agree, snuggling near me.

 

We haven’t actually moved yet. That will happen next month because I’m working on my finals at ESU, I have my radio show to finish on WESS Radio (My show moves to Pocono 96.7 in February), and we’ve got to go visit my mother in Barcelona. So we have almost everything at the new house except us. This morning, waking up on the mattress on the floor, I realized part of my ‘basic clothing’ had been transferred to the new house. I had to ask my husband to go and get me some clothes. I felt like a gypsy, living from my suitcase ready to go to Spain, dressing in whatever I could get washed or rescue from the new house.  

 

I still have no idea what to expect. My friend Fernando insists we have to get rid of the leaves before the snow starts or the grass will burn! I have to figure out what this is about. I realize I still have a lot to learn: How to take care of your garden will be next in my list!

 

Thanks for reading, more next week, your Latina Poconovian. Have a happy day, Christina!

 

PD… I will post this letter in Spanish in a few days!

 

 

                       

 

 

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Passport to Poconos – Nuevas Raíces y Nueva Casa (Spanish Version)

 

Querida María,

 

Gracias por compartir conmigo como creaste tu nuevo hogar en los Poconos. Primero vivías en una casa en medio del campo pero convenciste a tu marido que necesitabas vecinos, y así es como os trasladasteis a un lugar donde sentiste pertenecer a una comunidad.

 

Como me dijiste: “Los animales y árboles no cuentan como vecinos. Necesito sentir que estoy rodeada de personas y no que estoy sola en medio de la naturaleza.”

 

 

 

Durante toda mi vida he sido inquieta, sin buscar raíces en ningún lugar concreto.  A veces me preguntaba como me sentiría si estuviese en un solo lugar. Comprar una casa en los Poconos significaba poner raíces, finalmente.

 

Estuvimos alquilando una casa adosada durante cinco años. En lo más profundo de mi ser, esos años me parecieron como si estuviese en transición. Nunca vaciamos la totalidad de nuestras cajas que se quedaron en el sótano. “Lo haremos pronto” nos decíamos. Mientras, cuando necesitábamos una lata de tomates o un rollo de papel de aluminio nuestro primer pensamiento era ir a mirar en el sótano; ¡Nuestras cajas estaban repletas de todo tipo de cosas!

 

El sótano nos permitía vivir cómodamente, sin pensar en nada; teníamos una casa alquilada y amueblada. A veces comentábamos que ya tocaba buscar algo más permanente y empezar a desempaquetar, pero el lugar o el precio nunca coincidían.

 

Yo siempre quise hacer un ‘hogar’ de nuestra casa, pero mi esposo me iba diciendo que no había bastante espacio. Y así pasaron los años.

 

Este otoño pasado nuestra vecina María, que se dedica a la venta y alquiler de casas, decidió que ya era hora de que encontráramos una casa y se propuso buscarnos la casa ideal. ¿Estábamos preparados? ¿Estaba preparada? Mi esposo bromeaba y decía: “Si compro una casa tiene que ser lo suficientemente barata que si me muero el miércoles mi esposa pueda venderla el jueves y volver a la ciudad”. Lo que el no sabía era que después de cinco años, me había acostumbrado a vivir en un espacio mayor y no quería volver a un espacio minúsculo en un apartamento en la ciudad. Encontré el equilibro perfecto entre mis visitas a la ciudad y mi nueva vida en las afueras.

 

Un día, María nos encontró la casa perfecta. Me sentía feliz pero a la vez aprehensiva; tal como me sentí cuando nos mudamos a los Poconos. La primero que pregunté fue: “ ¿Que hago si un oso aparece en el jardín mientras estoy allí? “Metete dentro” respondió mi esposo.

 

Nos mudamos el próximo mes. Felizmente estaremos cerca de nuestros antiguos vecinos. Espero que no se olviden de mí ya que se han convertido en mi familia en los Poconos. Todavía no conozco a los nuevos vecinos, excepto a la ‘señora gatuna’ que se ocupa de los gatos que rondan por la comunidad. Espero que a mis gatas les guste la nueva casa. Y como dice mi esposo sobre mi temor a los osos: “¡Mientras no empieces a dormir fuera en el cubo de la basura, los osos no te encontrarán apetecible!”.

 

Esta es una nueva aventura donde crearé nuevas raíces.

 

Gracias por leer las historias de esta latina Poconoviana…. Por favor escríbanme cartas con sus historias que compartiré con las mías a: chris@tuvozconchristina.com

 

 Que el año nuevo les traiga salud, paz y armonía…. Con cariño siempre, Christina!

 

PD… Tienen una versión en inglés de este capítulo en el blog.

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Passport to Poconos – New Roots and Buying a House

 

 

Dear María,

 

Thank you for sharing with me how you made yourself at home in the Poconos after you found a place where you felt comfortable to live in. First, you lived in a house in the middle of the woods, but you convinced your husband you needed neighbors, and off you went to an area where you got a sense of belonging to a community.

 

You said: “Animals and trees don’t count as neighbors. I need to feel I’m around people and not ‘alone’ in the middle of nowhere”.

 

 

I’ve been kind of a gypsy all my life, and I’ve always wondered how it would feel to settle somewhere. Buying a home in the Poconos meant I couldn’t deny putting down roots.

 

We have been renting a townhouse for the last five years. In my heart, these years felt as if I was in transition.  We never unpacked our New York boxes that have been sitting in the basement all those years. “We´ll do it soon”, we kept telling ourselves. Meanwhile, whenever we needed a can of tomatoes or a roll of aluminum foil the first response was, “look in the basement.” I think we had more stock down there than Amazon!

 

The basement had allowed us to live in a comfort zone in our cute furnished little rental house. Meanwhile, our furniture sat in storage over near Delaware Water Gap. We´ve talked about getting something more permanent when the right place and right price appeared, but we had never been in much of a rush.

 

I’ve always wanted to make our rented place ‘my own home’, but my husband kept telling me “There’s not enough room here.” Even if we had wanted to buy this townhouse over the last five years, the prices had fallen so low that the owner would need to be desperate or destitute to sell. So we stayed renters, waiting for the right time to buy.

 

This fall, our neighbor Maria, a realtor, made it her mission to find us a house. Were we ready? Was I ready? My husband kept joking with people saying “I need to buy a house so cheap that if I die on Wednesday my wife can sell it on Thursday and move back to New York City.” What he didn’t realize was that after five years, I had gotten used living in more space and I wasn’t going to go back to the tiny rooms in a city apartment. I had found a good balance between visiting the city and embracing my new life in the country.

 

One day, María found us the perfect house. It even had a little garden around it. I found myself excited about the new, but scared of the unknown. It’s the same feeling I had when I first moved to the Poconos. The first question I asked my husband about the new house was, “What if a bear comes into the yard while I’m out on the back deck?  His answer: “Get in.”

 

We will move next month. Fortunately, it isn´t far from our old neighbors. I hope they won´t forget about me. They have become part of my Pocono family. I haven’t met the new neighbors yet, except for the lady across the street they call “the cat lady” because she takes care of all the strays. I hope my two cats fit in. As to my worries about the bears, my husband says, “As long as you don’t start sleeping in the garbage can, they probably won’t you find very appetizing!”

 

This is a new adventure as we put down our own roots in the Poconos!

 

Thanks for reading, more next week, your Latina Poconovian. Have a happy day, Christina!

 

PD… I will post this letter in Spanish in a few days!

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Passport to Poconos – Fargo y Como Conocí a mis Vecinos (Spanish Version)

 

 Querida amiga,

 

Me dijiste que una de las cosas más difíciles para ti fue conocer a gente y crear nuevas amistades. Recién llegada de Colombia y viviendo alejada de vecinos era difícil conocerles.

 

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Los Poconos, en medio del invierno, me recordaban a la película “Fargo” que vi años atrás en mi ciudad de origen en Barcelona, España. Nunca había visto tanta nieve en mi vida. Para salir de la sensación de aislamiento tenía que hacer amistades lo antes posible.

 

Durante toda mi vida había vivido rodeada de vecinos. Tanto en Barcelona como en Nueva York tenía vecinos, enfrente, arriba y abajo.

 

En Barcelona, la viejecita de la puerta de al lado parecía la ‘Vieja del Visillo’ en una comedia negra. Lo sabía todo de todos, opinaba sobre todo, y nada le parecía bien. Menos mal que en Nueva York conocí a la vecina que sería mi buena amiga Gia, (al menos mientras fuimos vecinas).

 

Por eso, lo primero que pensé cuando me trasladé a los Poconos era conocer a mis vecinos.  Pero eso era más difícil ya que vivía en una casa adosada en una calle, por llamarlo de alguna manera, donde todas las casas parecían iguales y se diferenciaban por los coches que estaban aparcados enfrente. Si conocía a alguien, no recordaba a que casa pertenecían. Además había mucha rotación de gente que iba y venía. ¿Quién vivía en la casa 64? ¿Estaba ocupada o vacía? Como era invierno, sentía que todos estaban hibernando.

 

Un año más tarde, organicé una fiesta de Navidad. Bueno intenté organizarla porque fue la experiencia más patética que jamás he vivido. Invité a los vecinos de mi calle y estuve días organizando la comida. Mientras, mi esposo me iba preguntando: “¿Estás segura que van a venir? ¿Han confirmado?”. Le aseguré que todos dijeron que pasarían.

 

Esperamos y esperamos con la comida en la mesa y nadie se presentó. Cuando digo nadie, me refiero a absolutamente nadie. Me senté en mi salón con mi bebida navideña de ‘egg nog’  no comprendiendo nada, y preguntándome si había hecho algo para ofenderles.

 

Finalmente, en el tercer año tuve una idea. Me di cuenta que el verano era el mejor momento para conocer a mis vecinos. Con el buen tiempo todos estarían fuera y les podría conocer. Mi vecina Hillary es la ‘alcaldesa’ del barrio. Lo sabe todo y de todos. A los demás los conocí en la piscina de la comunidad, Gaby, Levin y algunos otros. Sin embargo, lo que marcó la diferencia fue la fiesta en el matrimonio de nuestros vecinos Jay y María que celebraron su boda el 31 de diciembre, por lo que hubo una doble fiesta.

 

A partir de entonces, sentí pertenecer a aquel lugar. Ahora nos vemos en la calle, cuidamos de nuestras respectivas casas, hijos y mascotas. De vez en cuando nos reunimos para una celebración.

 

He descubierto que mis vecinos son maravillosos: compasivos, amables e interesantes. Tardé bastante en descubrirlos pero valió la pena.

 

Gracias por leer las historias de esta latina Poconoviana…. Por favor escríbanme cartas con sus historias que compartiré con las mías a: chris@tuvozconchristina.com

.

 Que el año nuevo les traiga salud, paz y armonía…. Con cariño siempre, Christina!

 

PD… Tienen una versión en inglés de este capítulo en el blog.

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Passport to Poconos – Fargo and Meeting my Neighbors

 

 Dear amiga,

 

You told me that one of the hardest things for you was to get to know people and create new friendships. Coming from Colombia it was hard to get to know your neighbors, as you didn’t have any neighbors close by, and you didn’t know where to meet people.

 

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 The Poconos in the middle of winter reminded me of the movie “Fargo, “which I watched years ago in my hometown of Barcelona, Spain. I had never seen so much snow in my life! To get out of the feeling of isolation, I needed to make friends as soon as I could.

 

I had never lived in anything but a city apartment all my life, and the first thing I wanted to do was meet the neighbors. In my apartments, both in New York City and in Barcelona, there were always neighbors across the hall or on the floor above or below.

 

The elderly lady next door in Barcelona could have been the nightmare tenant in a comedy show. She knew everything about everybody and disapproved of us all. In New York I met Gia, who became the best girl friend across the hall (for a while, at least until I moved out).

 

But in the Poconos it was more difficult. We lived in a townhouse attached to many other houses on a street where everything looked the same. If I met someone once, I couldn’t even remember which house they lived in. The only way to tell the houses apart was by the different cars parked in front. And people moved in, and moved out faster than I could keep count. Was unit 64 occupied or vacant? Since it was winter, I felt like everybody was hibernating.

 

About a year later, I tried hosting a Christmas party. It was the most pathetic party experience I ever had! I invited all the neighbors I met on the street to stop by for food and drinks I spent days making food at least twenty. Meanwhile, my husband kept asking: “Are you sure they’re coming, have they rsvp´d?” I assured him I had asked everybody and they said they would stop by.

 

We waited and waited and nobody showed up. I don´t mean a few showed up. I mean no one! I sat in our living room stirring a glass of eggnog and looking at all the food I had arranged on the dining room table. I didn’t’ understand what had happened. Had I done something wrong to offend all of them?

 

Finally, at year three, I reached a turning point. Now I had a strategy. I realized Summer was the best time to get to know them all. I made the most of it by hanging around outside and getting to know our next-door neighbor, Hillary, the unofficial mayor of the neighborhood. Hillary knows everything about everyone. I met others at the community swimming pool. But the really big icebreaker happened on New Year’s Eve. Neighbors Maria and Jay planned their wedding at the nearby Shawnee Inn and invited family, friends and neighbors down for their big wedding banquet and dance.

 

We all celebrated together, toasting them and the New Year, dancing late into the night. From then on, I felt like I belonged. We now see each other in the street, watch each others houses, children and pets. In summer, we throw an occasional barbeque.

 

I realize now that my neighbors are beautiful, kind and interesting people. But how long it took to discover them.

 

I feel a very lucky Poconovian!

 

Thanks for reading, more next week, your Latina Poconovian. Have a happy day, Christina!

 

PD… I will post this letter in Spanish in a few days!

 

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Passport to Poconos – A Visit to New York City

 

Dear amiga,

 

You told me that sometimes you go to the city because you still have friends and family. That you enjoy these ‘escapes’ and it makes the transition to moving to the Poconos much easier as you can get the best of both worlds.

 

I agree. New York City is the heart of the world, where tourists come from all over the world to spent a few days and do as much as they can. It’s a ‘desired’ city to visit, and here we are just 80 miles away and we are in a completely different world, with the beauty of nature and so close to the Big Apple at the same time.

 

 

 

Before the Poconos became my home, I lived in New York City and before that I lived in Barcelona, Spain. I just moved here eight years ago and when I was living in Spain I came to New York City as a tourist a few times. I remember I would come for a week and I would do ‘everything’ and barely slept. Because this is the city that never sleeps!

 

After a couple of years of living in the city, it became just like any place you live after a while. I fell into a routine and my eyes were not those of a tourist anymore. I realized that New York City is all about money. It’s a city that ‘invites’ you to open your purse at every turn. Everyone has his or her hand out and everyone expects to be paid for every service from opening a door to helping you carry a suitcase up the subway steps.

 

This didn’t happen when I moved to the Pocono’s. Nobody here would think of charging you just for being nice. And the price of everything here from make up to martinis is a lot less.

 

I recently went to the “City” for a special treat. We got invitations to the opening of Billy Crystal’s show ‘700 Sundays’. It was a special occasion and I was thrilled to see him ‘in flesh and bones’. I remembered his movies when I was in Spain ‘When Harry met Sally’, and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. I couldn’t believe I had this opportunity to see him for real. I also saw some other people that I had only seen before on TV or in a movie theater. It felt like a dream. Billy Crystal did a show about his life, his family, and life, with all the humor that he radiates.

 

Afterwards we went to Sardi’s, the place ‘to go’ before or after a Broadway show. There were other visitors like me from the suburbs or from across the country. I was happy to spent a vibrant evening in the city and even happier to get out of the crowds and go back home.

 

I wasn’t a tourist and I wasn’t a resident anymore. I was a visitor for the day, which made it special. Was I missing something from my former city life? What I knew I didn’t miss was going to Central Park. I didn’t have the need to breath nature anymore. Now I had my beautiful Poconos to go back to. On the bus home I thought to myself, “I have the best of both worlds.”

Thanks for reading, more next week, your Latina Poconovian. Have a happy day, Christina!

 

PD… I will post this letter in Spanish in a few days!

 

 

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PASSPORT TO POCONOS – ¡Cumpliendo 100 Años! (Spanish Version)

 

Querida María,

 

Gracias por tu email cuando me decías que cada año vas a Puerto Rico en el aniversario de la muerte de tu madre. Sé lo doloroso que debe resultar, especialmente cuando vives en otro país. En mi caso, cada vez que vuelvo a España a visitar a mi madre, nunca sé si será la última vez que la vea. Al menos sé que está bien cuidada. Te voy a contar una de mis vivencias con una persona mayor en mi nueva vida aquí en los EE.UU.

 

 

¿Has estado en una fiesta para celebrar un 100 cumpleaños?. Tuve la suerte de asistir a una la pasada semana en Blairstown, Nueva Jersey, justo pasando el puente, a treinta minutos de los Poconos. Quien hubiese dicho que me encontraría a una vieja amiga de mi esposo viviendo tan cerca de nuestro nuevo hogar. ¡Esto nunca me había pasado en la ciudad!

 

Cuando Jane nació en 1913, las mujeres todavía no podían votar y esto no sucedió hasta 1920, cuando se hizo la 19 enmienda en la constitución. En el día de su cumpleaños, Jane estaba perspicaz y preciosa con su traje rosa que llevaba un broche de flores frescas.

 

Aunque recientemente utiliza una silla de ruedas como prevención a las caídas, Jane estuvo alerta y pendiente de su celebración todo el día. Semanas antes le ‘ordenó’ a su hija Karen que cambiase la fiesta de mediodía a la una de la tarde, ya que el mediodía era muy cercano al desayuno. Durante la fiesta, les dijo repetidamente a sus nietas que tenían unos maridos muy guapos.

 

Jane se rodeó de familia y amigos y globos y un gran pastel con tres cifras “100”. Sopló las tres velas con ayuda de su hija y pensé en mi madre que vive en Barcelona con mi hermano. 

 

Mi madre tiene ochenta y muchos años, y a veces no recuerda mi nombre.

 

Una de las cosas que más me maravilló durante esa celebración fue el sentido de familia y la conexión que había entre varias generaciones. Como dice una amiga de mi madre, Sabina, que viene a visitarla cada semana: ·”Yo hago por tu madre lo que no puedo hacer por la mía ya que vive con mi hermano en otra ciudad, muy lejos de aquí”.

 

Otra de las cosas que me encantó del cumpleaños de Jane fue que me recordaba a mi gran amiga Rose, que vive en Barcelona. Rose cumplió noventa años el mismo día que Jane cumplió 100. Es una señora americana que se retiró a Barcelona alrededor de los sesenta años. Rose es independiente, animada y está envuelta en un sinfín de actividades sociales y fiestas. Nunca puedo alcanzarla. Hacerse mayor es un misterio: Hay personas que viven bien hasta el final y otras que sufren terriblemente.

 

Lo mejor del cumpleaños de Jane fue conocer a las cuatro generaciones de su familia. Los recuerdo de los álbumes de fotos que me enseñaba cada vez que la visitábamos a ella y a su esposo. Finalmente los conocí en persona: Hijos, nietos, biznietos, maridos, esposas, novios y amigos.

 

Siendo una nueva inmigrante que ha dejado atrás amigos y familia, valoro más los encuentros de familias que nos invitan a formar parte de sus celebraciones más personales. Considero que no hay nada mejor que crear nuevos lazos familiares a la vez que creamos nuevas amistades.

 

Gracias por leer las historias de esta latina Poconoviana…. Por favor escríbanme cartas con sus historias que compartiré con las mías a: chris@tuvozconchristina.com

 

Feliz Navidad y que disfruten de estas celebraciones con personas amadas, sean con o sin lazos de sangre. Que el año nuevo les traiga salud, paz y armonía…. Con cariño siempre, Christina!

 

 

PD… Tienen una versión en inglés de este capítulo en el blog.

 

 

 

 

 

                       

 

 

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