10 Questions: Christi from Christimadrid.com
Where did you grow up? Kalkaska, Michigan. A tiny little blip near the tip of the thumb on the ol’ mitten of Michigan. Fantastic people, terrible winters.
Describe an average dinner at your house growing up. Depends on the time of year. My dad umpired softball in the summers and we would often pack a picnic dinner to go watch him and the game. I never learned to like baseball, but I loved those nights of sweatshirts and sandwiches.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Oh, let’s see…a writer, always. A cosmetologist (I had a binder full of ripped out make-over magazine articles). A lawyer (they’re allowed to argue at the dinner table). And a world class horse trainer (I built a “corral” in my backyard out of scrap lumber and clothesline).
Where do you live now? Sarasota, Florida. Fantastic people, fetching sunshine. Warm oceans and sugar sand beaches. It’s a dream.
Ever fantasize about living somewhere else? Uuuuuum, YES! I have a bit of wanderlust and dream of places both high in the mountains and high in the skyscrapers. I wrote about this here: http://christimadrid.com/eclectic-sunday/
What do you do for a living now? My work time is two-fold. I write, and I administrate. I write at ChristiMadrid.com and prepare all sorts of documents for family legal services. I also handle the administrative side of my husband’s business.
Tell me your favorite memory. It was a hot and humid Florida night. I was 20 years old. Some friends had gathered in the parking lot after work because a coworker had shown up with his new motorcycle. I was adamantly against motorcycles, but when the boy I fancied hopped on, I found myself hiking up my mini skirt and climbing on behind him. Three months later we eloped.
What have you learned most about yourself by being a step-parent? There are so many things about me that being a stepparent has brought to light; insecurities, ingrained beliefs, a need to control, intense love. But yet I have been struggling to answer this question for 2 days. I type. I delete. I type. I sigh. Then I lament my struggle to my husband. Tonight, he said this: “Maybe you’re having a hard time answering it because you’re getting hung up on the stepparent part.” And with that, it clicked. I don’t know the difference between being a biological parent and a stepparent, if there is one, because I am not a biological parent. I parent one child, my stepdaughter. When she was 6 years old, she told me “I was never in your belly, but I was always in your heart!” — and that altogether sums it up. I am a parent. What I’ve learned most about myself by being a stepparent is that regardless of birth, I am a parent. I love her, I protect her, I feed her, I console her, I read to her, I teach her, and I learn from her. I have learned that I am more than any label could define.
It’s your last day on the planet. What do you want for your last meal? Easy. Ceviche de camorones. A spicy, raw shrimp dish native to my husband’s Peru home. A bottle (or two!) of the Late Harvest Riesling by Chateau de Grand Traverse — a vineyard near my hometown. Polish that off with a classic dessert; grade school puppy chow.
What made you decide to observe Ramadan? A few years back I started feeling an unsettling in my faith. I felt that my Christianity was creating a wall between me and people of other beliefs, which I found puzzling. Admittedly, my knowledge of other religions was meager at best, so I began to learn. As I started asking questions and talking to people, it became clear that my brand of Christianity had earned itself a reputation for being harsh and judgmental. This made me sad, but I saw the truth in it. This realization launched a whole faith crisis from which I am still emerging. The more I learned though, the more I became convinced that people truly are more alike than different. Ramadan, for me, was another way of learning. While I didn’t follow it as strictly as Muslims completing a pillar of Islam would, I felt what they felt and I admired the devotion with which they worshipped in their fast. I also found it strikingly similar to the Christian way of fasting. It affirmed my belief that where there is Love, there is God.
Thanks so much, Christi! Make sure and visit her terrific blog, christimadrid.com