With Easter, "Spring" has officially begun in New Orleans. We were home this weekend, since I had a conference presentation to make at the American Cultural Association meetings. It was a wonderful conference, and my presentation on the "new" culture emerging in post-Katrina New Orleans was extremely well received. Gwinnett College would like me to come up there to make the presentation. The Conference also is interested in having me do a showcase presentation on my research next year. I am working to finish the paper and submit it for publication.
More than the conference, though, it was nice to be back home and feel like we were back home. I hate being a tourist in my own city, so we did more of the "normal" things this time--had a cookout with Maggie and JC and the gang in Broadmoor, visited with friends in the Quarter, took Devin back to the Aquarium (ok, so that is touristy), watched the Crescent City Classic on our front porch, went to Antoinette's Wake Party at the Mother-In-Law, and had some good food. What I need now is to stay at a place with a kitchen so I can cook my own meals.
What I realize is that as I grow professionally, I must be able to get back home as often as I want--perhaps once a month, perhaps in time with a job back in New Orleans. The city, the culture, and my friends are too embedded in my soul. I appreciate my place in New Orleans. I find my soul in the city.
I have the patience to see how time and opportunities take us back to New Orleans. Baby-steps back home. If it becomes the once-a-month journeys back home, I'm ok with this right now. This is a good starting point.