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Old 09-30-2020, 09:31 PM
 
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Remember those unforgettable moments when we lived in and experienced life in our native Puerto Rico?

We all have memories of the times we lived there. We all have a story to share.

Would be great to read your anecdotes . . .

It's your turn:
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:58 PM
 
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crickets.....coqui......crickets...coqui. Sounds like the other forum you used to moderate.
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Old 10-02-2020, 01:34 AM
 
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It's a little difficult to relate to the framing of the question, in that I don't view my transactional relocation to the states with a sense of past tense severance. It ain't Hawaii; I'm just a 4 hour airline flight away. PR is still home for me, and I make it a point to see my parents every year when I can. Like everything else, being in the middle of raising a young family takes a lot of time away from the discretionary pursuit of leisure travel, but that's just a chapter in life. Empty nest will be here in earnest soon enough, then we'll invariably complain the kid is no longer a baby. C'est la vie.


At any rate to your question, there's so many anecdotes. An upbringing from birth to HS graduation is already an entire lifetime for a young person. I would say hunkering down with mine and my late godfather's family during Hugo was one such interesting memory. Spending time in Isleta Marina, taking the ferry back and forth was also a cool experience that stays with me to this day.

The combination of the smell of salt water, the peculiar humidity after those quintessential "acme cloud" rain showers in the sunshine, plus the ubiquitous coastal breeze in 80 degree weather, has always been a sensory trigger for me whenever I'm back home. Whether in Isla Verde, Crash Boat, or Playa Patillas. Or sitting in my childhood home in Hato Rey falling asleep in the afternoon to the white noise of light rain, the open windows letting that ever so faint cool breeze through (I get sleepy just thinking about it). Or watching the Atlantic Ocean northbound in el Escambrón with my father as a 7 year old, after baseball practice at the park. Those formative moments and sensory triggers are ever present with me, regardless of where I find myself.

Another one that was transformative to my life was watching the PRANG A-7s, then F-16s. Fingers clenched through the chain link fence at SJU. That was a singular origin story to my vocational inspiration in life, and also fueled a lot of my eventual political engagement in adult life, mantle which I carry after my father to this day. Few have the privilege to know exactly what they want to do from such a young age; I feel blessed to have had that vocational epiphany as early as I did. Even though the PRANG no longer has a flying mission, every time I land at SJU it still brings me back to that point in my life. I make no secret had they had been able to keep their F-16s, I would have moved mountains to make my way and be part of my hometown Guard unit.

The many summers in Morovis (my mother's origins) were also life shaping. Watching the abject poverty my mother hails from was always part and parcel of the perspective I retain now as I stand on the shoulders of their educational investment in me. I am also glad I have been able to take my Oklahoma wife to these non-tourist places of my youth, so that she understands the full extent of my experience prior to the chapter she's more familiar with (my CONUS tenure). And of course, no Morovis memory is complete without someone getting motion sick due to the winding jungle piercing mountainside roads.

My summer travels to my grandmother in Aguadilla (my father's origins) were a semi-annual pilgrimage growing up of course. The many acres of tall grass mowed for almost two decades funded my private pilot license when I eventually pursued it during a college summer. These trips to my family's "fincas y terrenos" en Caimital Alto were before the expressway was completed, so we had to take "la número 2" and all the stops that entailed across the northern plains between San Juan and Aguadilla. Stopping mid way in Arecibo for lunch (or Isabela for dinner if we pushed it a little late in the day) were also staples of that seasonal pilgrimage. I did many of them again when back from college as a young adult, and helped my father during the years when my grandmother was no longer independent.

I've rambled long enough, and there's so many more, but I wanted to close by restating that I hold these experiences in the present, because I have every intention of resuming them and making new ones with my wife and child. This hiatus is like everything else in life, borne out of economic necessity. Time isn't guaranteed in this life, so I hope to make up for lost time to the degree I can. I am grateful for having had the opportunity of being born and raised where I was, and it's always with me. No past tense needed. Cheers!

Last edited by hindsight2020; 10-02-2020 at 02:57 AM..
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:55 PM
 
3,211 posts, read 3,608,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hindsight2020 View Post
It's a little difficult to relate to the framing of the question, in that I don't view my transactional relocation to the states with a sense of past tense severance. It ain't Hawaii; I'm just a 4 hour airline flight away. PR is still home for me, and I make it a point to see my parents every year when I can. Like everything else, being in the middle of raising a young family takes a lot of time away from the discretionary pursuit of leisure travel, but that's just a chapter in life. Empty nest will be here in earnest soon enough, then we'll invariably complain the kid is no longer a baby. C'est la vie.


At any rate to your question, there's so many anecdotes. An upbringing from birth to HS graduation is already an entire lifetime for a young person. I would say hunkering down with mine and my late godfather's family during Hugo was one such interesting memory. Spending time in Isleta Marina, taking the ferry back and forth was also a cool experience that stays with me to this day.

The combination of the smell of salt water, the peculiar humidity after those quintessential "acme cloud" rain showers in the sunshine, plus the ubiquitous coastal breeze in 80 degree weather, has always been a sensory trigger for me whenever I'm back home. Whether in Isla Verde, Crash Boat, or Playa Patillas. Or sitting in my childhood home in Hato Rey falling asleep in the afternoon to the white noise of light rain, the open windows letting that ever so faint cool breeze through (I get sleepy just thinking about it). Or watching the Atlantic Ocean northbound in el Escambrón with my father as a 7 year old, after baseball practice at the park. Those formative moments and sensory triggers are ever present with me, regardless of where I find myself.

Another one that was transformative to my life was watching the PRANG A-7s, then F-16s. Fingers clenched through the chain link fence at SJU. That was a singular origin story to my vocational inspiration in life, and also fueled a lot of my eventual political engagement in adult life, mantle which I carry after my father to this day. Few have the privilege to know exactly what they want to do from such a young age; I feel blessed to have had that vocational epiphany as early as I did. Even though the PRANG no longer has a flying mission, every time I land at SJU it still brings me back to that point in my life. I make no secret had they had been able to keep their F-16s, I would have moved mountains to make my way and be part of my hometown Guard unit.

The many summers in Morovis (my mother's origins) were also life shaping. Watching the abject poverty my mother hails from was always part and parcel of the perspective I retain now as I stand on the shoulders of their educational investment in me. I am also glad I have been able to take my Oklahoma wife to these non-tourist places of my youth, so that she understands the full extent of my experience prior to the chapter she's more familiar with (my CONUS tenure). And of course, no Morovis memory is complete without someone getting motion sick due to the winding jungle piercing mountainside roads.

My summer travels to my grandmother in Aguadilla (my father's origins) were a semi-annual pilgrimage growing up of course. The many acres of tall grass mowed for almost two decades funded my private pilot license when I eventually pursued it during a college summer. These trips to my family's "fincas y terrenos" en Caimital Alto were before the expressway was completed, so we had to take "la número 2" and all the stops that entailed across the northern plains between San Juan and Aguadilla. Stopping mid way in Arecibo for lunch (or Isabela for dinner if we pushed it a little late in the day) were also staples of that seasonal pilgrimage. I did many of them again when back from college as a young adult, and helped my father during the years when my grandmother was no longer independent.

I've rambled long enough, and there's so many more, but I wanted to close by restating that I hold these experiences in the present, because I have every intention of resuming them and making new ones with my wife and child. This hiatus is like everything else in life, borne out of economic necessity. Time isn't guaranteed in this life, so I hope to make up for lost time to the degree I can. I am grateful for having had the opportunity of being born and raised where I was, and it's always with me. No past tense needed. Cheers!
Brother . . . that was a beautifully drawn from the heart. I enjoyed reading, and you took me back home. Thanks for sharing a few anecdotes from the place we still call . . . "Home."
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:59 PM
mym
 
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on the road to joyuda through the mangles were shacks built on the mangrove roots. there was a curve and there was like a short tunnel of roots and branches you drove through. it completely surrounded you. and somebody had put a lightbulb in the 'roof' of the tunnel right in the middle.

what i remember in the very very beginning was how the jungle swallowed you. how nature swallowed you. there was a section on the road home. it'd be pitch dark during the day. there were birds called 'bobos' with long tails. so long they could barely fly. theyd bounce like flappy birds thru the sky. like mario in the underwater level.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:12 PM
mym
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hindsight2020 View Post
so we had to take "la número 2" and all the stops that entailed across the northern plains between San Juan and Aguadilla. Stopping mid way in Arecibo for lunch (or Isabela for dinner if we pushed it a little late in the day)
stop by the sandwich place by the big ceibas?
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Old 10-02-2020, 10:33 PM
 
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stop by the sandwich place by the big ceibas?
That's right, the centenary tree! I had totally forgotten about it. Right in the median so they wound the road around it.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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My mom was born and raised in San Juan, a block from the ocean. She remembers the sound of the ocean above all, but also how innocent and wholesome the island was back then, in the 50’s and 60’s. She remembers trips into the mountains, studying at UPR (she hated what she studied), tons of time with her extended family having cookouts and visiting on weekends, spending time with friends riding bikes and having sleepovers. She said it was a very idealistic childhood. She left PR in the early 70’s, but much of my family is still there and they say life is not the same. Lots of violent crime in the city and suburbs, a serious drug epidemic, lack of personal safety, and then Maria. My mom has refused to return to PR because she wants to keep her memories of the island intact.
I was getting ready to visit for the first time since I was a baby when Maria hit.
Oh, and the Padín shop windows at Christmas in OSJ.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:21 AM
 
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That's right, the centenary tree! I had totally forgotten about it. Right in the median so they wound the road around it.
Sounds like it was a "Come-y-Vete!"

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Old 10-03-2020, 12:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
Sounds like it was a "Come-y-Vete!"

For clarification, I know the come y vete's mym refers to, but from my recollection we would stop at a bona fide sit down restaurant with more typical full sized meals.
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