A nurse told me this joke the other day: "How does a Buddhist order a hot dog?"
The answer: "Make me one with everything".
Every few years a friend or relative sends a last minute e-mail that goes something like this: "I'm gonna be in Los Angeles next week. Is that near you? We could get together." Of course, Los Angeles is a good eight hour drive away from me.
Midwesterners tend to think that California is about the size of Rhode Island. Step foot in the State and you must be close to me.
Tonight I got an e-mail from a cousin. They said they were visiting and they were free tonight if I wanted to come over. They are four hours away in San Francisco (attending a convention). After trying to put some schedules together, it turns out there won't be time for a visit.
That is what I thought about on my walk tonight. What it is like to be an emigrant, far away from family and your space of origin. A self imposed California exile. Why? Cause I like it here.
But sometimes I miss seeing my quirky, weird, stoic Norwegian relatives with their lefsa, funny accents, leutefisk and stubbornly pietistic ways.