All posts tagged: United States

My Grandmother’s Garden

My chubby, dirt-stained fingers reach into the bag of old pinto beans found at the back of my grandmother’s bottom kitchen cabinet. I drop two into each of the freshly poked holes towards the corner of the weed-riddled grass plot in our backyard. Sloppily, I scoot dirt back over them, drench the soft earth with hose water staying long enough to see it soak into the soil. “Aiyoooooooo!” Grandma shouts at me to come downstairs. Tells me to hurry up, says there’s something I need to see. “Mangc gaax naaiv!” My small bare feet smack the tacky linoleum floor as I race to her side. Under the shadow of her pink garden hat I see her beaming. She opens her hands to reveal seven strands of green beans striped purple, maroon, red She cooked them that night for dinner — first, vegetable oil in the pot then salt minced garlic thai chili and seven green beans as she bragged on the phone about my newfound, natural gardening ability Grandma’s hands always made things grow. From …

Coming Full Circle

Photo courtesy of BiiG Travel Laos I’m standing in front of the door of the place I’ve always wanted to be. Less than two inches of wood stands between me and my dream. It took awhile to get here but I finally made it. The journey has been turbulent and full of twists and turns. I’m thinking back on when it all truly started. It’s the summer of 2012 and my family and I are in Laos. I have this strange feeling my dad is conditioning us to the Lao life: Everyday is filled with wonder, every alley a chance for exploration, and every new face an opportunity for casual exchanges to reflect on the wonders of life. One day, my aunt, an associate working for a non-profit in the city, asks me if I want to go with her. I agree, having had enough of my old routine of meaningless meandering. We hop into her white, Chinese compact car and make our way to her workplace. The drive is short, as the destination is …