Puffy Cheetos, Amazon, and Reykjavik


My Amazon account tells a lot of stories about me.

If you look at the saved items in my cart, it tells a story about six hundred (yes SIX HUNDRED) things I thought about buying and then didn’t. Things like a Frank Lloyd Wright finger puppet, a lot of books about the extinction of passenger pigeons, an organic mushroom growing kit, and more than one t-shirt that says, “Can’t get out of bed. Please send waffles.”

(Someone buy me that shirt?)

If you look at my prime video account it tells a story about how I like police procedurals staring Tom Selleck, and that I maybe spend too much time on any TV show with a strong-jawed, kind-eyed, noble hero.

My Kindle content is a treasure trove of stories. It tells a story of good intentions, found in the unread free samples of non-fiction and business books. It also tells us that I might have an addiction to war-time-spy-historical-drama-romances narrated by a spunky, ahead-of-her-time heroine. Also, more books about passenger pigeons, but you guys, there were six billion of them and now there are none.

BUT for all those stories, there is one in particular I’d like to share with you today and that is the one under the “My Addresses” tab, where there are currently thirty-five options to choose from, making this little corner of the web perhaps the most reliable history of my movement in the last fifteen years!

When I was sixteen, my parents decided to change our family life dramatically and in the course of a few months, our family of six moved from our small hometown in upstate NY to Reykjavik, Iceland. Want to hear more about that? Let me know!

Amazon keeps up with all of the moves, from an embassy in Prague to a small side street in Northern Ireland. From a friend’s house in Virginia to Spain, Florida, Croatia, the Netherlands, New York and—now—to Texas.

Imagine my joy when I learned the word “peripatetic” and had an obnoxious way to describe myself!

The fun (FUN, I say!) thing in all of this is that I am diametrically opposed to change. I loathe change. I like comfort zones, ruts, status quos, and my childhood bedroom and so it takes divine signs, a change in visa status, and severe winter weather to uproot me. So…I hear you asking…why all the moving?

It’s simple.

I blame my parents.

I mean, they were just so spontaneous, so brave. They wanted to broaden our horizons (the gall!), make us try new food (the nerve!), and then have us decide as a family that we really missed puffy Cheetos and then set up an Amazon Prime account so we could ship said-cheetos to Croatia.

I mean, I think that’s why they did it.

And it worked! We really did get puffy Cheetos!

Oh, and we also broadened our horizons, tried new foods, blah blah blah… Of course, things weren’t always cheesy puffed corn snacks (oh that they could be…). There was plenty of hard stuff mixed in there, too. Uprooting is always going to be difficult, and when you add family illness or death into the mix, or even weddings and births that you miss, it gets a whole lot harder and you discover that life is a peculiar mix of bitter and sweet.

One thing that has been a constant thread in this peripatetic life is creativity. There were a lot of places where life was very quiet, where no one spoke English, where there were bouts of loneliness, and creative pursuits have always held a wonderful sort of solace for me. I think—looking back—that creative outlets are how I handle change and cope with hardship. I write, I paint, I sing, I play the piano, and I start (and don’t finish) to crochet way too many blankets. This blog is the next evolution in all of that. I want to share some of the stories of all that moving, I want to talk about my journey towards becoming a creative entrepreneur, I want to take you with me and show you behind the scenes and tell you what it’s like to live abroad, to come back home, to dig in and start over.

I want to tell you more than you ever wanted to know about passenger pigeons.

I want to openly discuss my addiction to buying art supplies.

I want to find people who love puffy Cheetos like I do.

So! What would your Amazon account reveal about your life? Let me know! And if anyone wants to send me that waffle shirt, you know where to find me.

Note: this post was originally published on my previous blog “Don’t Drink the Paint Water” in April, 2019.


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