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Finally do something heroic before I die
Time has come to update the original CS profile, but the old description will remain at the bottom for historical purposes, and because it seems cleverer than anything else that comes to mind to write now.
Through a few years of Couchsurfing I've hosted as a married person and then as a single one, and now back to married. In fall of 2008 my favorite saying was that in the space of just a few short months, "The cat died, the dog died, things fell catastrophically apart at home because of others' mental illness; the kids grew up and went away, both physically and in spirit, developing their adult lives; my dad died; and then I got my heart broken," so I went back to Texas for a few months to take care of my mother. While there, I reconnected with an old friend I'd known since 1977 -- one of the kindest, nicest, and most multi-talented men you could ever meet -- and next thing you know he was visiting Sunnyvale all the time, leaving behind so many belongings on each trip that eventually there was more here than back at home, so we got married just so he could live near his things. :) We will both always claim Texas as our homeland but really prefer the weather of the Bay Area.
We're a couple of geezers who don't party late at night, but are very active outdoors and have taken many of our guests on hikes to beautiful spots and day trips to surrounding towns.
Couchsurfing also helped me to get to know Sunnyvale and Santa Clara County very well, and to be proud both of my learning and of the places I learned about [Silicon Valley used to be called "The Valley of Heart's Delight"]. We like to make day trips to Monterey, Santa Cruz, Carmel -- and of course the easily-accessible charms of San Jose. We're finally getting over our aversion to San Francisco -- developing the ability to cope with the piles upon piles of people, the difficult and expensive parking -- to say nothing of driving in the rain when the GPS stops working because of the tall buildings and the construction zones send one circling for what seems to be an endless, nightmarish loop of traffic tension -- and are willing to take our guests to explore parts of San Francisco.
We miss our kids who don't live in the area any more, and sometimes having Couchsurfers is like having new sons and daughters -- ones who actually like us and enjoy our company [unless they're just really good at acting.]
The original description from 2006:
Hmm, do you want to know about the me that my teenager thinks I am ("You're not boring, mom! You're just strange!") or the me that I think I am in my better moments? Must be our self-evaluations depend on our mood for the day. Mostly it feels like I've gasped my way through life from one stage or crisis to the next, and then just when I figure out how to live or what to do at one stage, that's over and the next phase has arrived.
Traveling has been a major interest and I hope to do more of it again some day. Circumstances and job changes have stopped that for now, but luckily the Bay Area offers a great climate and the landscape changes every 30 miles or so, so one can go on a day trip and feel as though it's been a trip to a far-away place. And it's great fun finally seeing things I've heard about for 20 years for the first time by taking visitors to see them.
Through family members I've had a lot of up close and personal contact with mental illness and community support groups. As a Spanish interpreter in criminal court, I also get to see the harder side of life. So not many stories shock me, and I can be quite empathetic. Couchsurfing is mostly about having fun and getting away from day-to-day life, but sometimes it's nice to be able to talk about "real life," too.
"I have heard the inner voice of love, deeper and stronger than ever. I want to keep trusting in that voice and be led by it beyond the boundaries of my short life." [Henri Nouwen]
And on the more practical side, "For a while you make your decisions, and then your decisions make you." And its corollary, "You are fast becoming what you are going to be."
On disappointment when important issues turn out differently than you'd hoped, or when you have expectations without a guarantee of fulfillment, "You just never know how your life's gonna turn out."
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
By hosting, inviting local CSers and travelers to hikes and day trips, and word of mouth when local Meetup friends meet traveling CSers.
As of March 2008 about 65 people from CS and HC have blessed us with their presence -- and some of them came twice. Joined to host but have ended up surfing a few times, too. If only CS and the Internet had existed in the '70s! I was born to host.
Some of these change every few months, but overall, having a great time on a low budget! Planning travel/sightseeing outings for myself and others. Singing, hiking, becoming more computer-savvy, reading more; meeting people from all over. Perfecting Spanish, improving other language skills. Becoming a "deeper" person with greater conversational skills and reading background. Foreign board games and card games (especially word-based) are great fun.
- board games
- outdoor activities
Music, Movies, and Books
MOVIES: Prairie Home Companion, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, The Count of Monte Christo; One True Thing; foreign or independent film festivals in general.
Classic Lifetime Favorites: The Year of Living Dangerously, Places in the Heart, Tender Mercies, The Kid, The Trip to Bountiful
Music: Folk music -- general old hippie stuff; Death Cab for Cutie; Johnny Cash, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kathy Mattea, Don McLean, Peter, Paul and Mary;
Songs of the old west and cowboys [some more modern country].
Books and Authors: A Tale of Two Cities; The Tapestry, The Mitford series; The Scent of Water
Authors: Edith Schaeffer, Scott Turow, Elizabeth Goudge
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Seeing the Beatles at Dallas Memorial Auditorium at age 12. Generous parents provided the exorbitantly-priced [$5.50!] tickets for the 22nd row. Still remember the policeman walking by and giving a sympathetic look to my mom while I stood on my chair screaming frenetically along with older teens.
Teach, Learn, Share
Pretty good at putting together great itineraries for seeing the Bay Area. I can teach you Spanish and a little bit of piano. Like to increase foreign language skills and computer skills. A dream would be having someone who plays piano or guitar to sing along with as a shared experience.