11 December 2013

The feeling of 'home'....expat life





I am taking a collective moment, to reflect on 'home'. This all came about as we shuffled furniture around my son's room this morning. In the process we had to take down his 'memory' collection from his shelves and start again. 


As I looked over his collection, spread out on his bed, I could not help think about all the memories wrapped around each little treasure. Travels, birthdays, Christmas, friends, family...we all contributed. We started a collection of soldiers for him while living in England. The baseball, cricket ball, snow globes, school crafts and the mementos from his father and grandfather sit amongst it all. Vietnam, England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Myanmar, Cambodia, America, Italy, France, Germany, Israel..he has a treasure from each.

My breath quickened as I looked on, thinking of him going off to boarding school in January. Our "lucky last" is leaving the nest, our empty nester days are drawing near. I sat down with a sigh, looked around his room and thought about his first school vacation next year and how it will feel for him coming home, with everything as he left it. I think of the day when he will have a home of his own, pulling out the memory box, filled with his belongings and the gentle tug on his heart as he remembers the feeling of "home", just as I did this past week.

The collection below sits in a haphazard fashion. The top piece is an old mail slot shelf from a hotel in Saigon. The table is from a friend who was no longer in need of it. Together they make one until I figure out the final solution. As it stand, it holds it all together perfectly and will be waiting for him each time he travels home.

My plan is to one day tuck it into Tahilla Farm....where it will wait for his return, yet again.




My final thought as I wind down from the day....

As we go forth over the holidays 
may we treasure the feelings and memories 
of the people and places who bring us "home".

For the memories...a treasure box here



22 comments:

  1. What a lovely post, Jeanne...isn't it wonderful to revisit memories with our children? I am sure his collection will be something that he treasures forever. I love your new trunk, too! xoxo

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    1. Thank you Sandy and I agree, that trunk is a treasure!

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  2. How beautiful...and moving, Jeanne. And I am not even a Mom! But I can imagine...and just think of the incredible memories he has already in his young life. What an incredible gift, one that noone will ever be able to steal from him...

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    1. Thank you Heather...he has been one lucky boy..now onto the next country. Hopefully...he will be able to stay put to set down some roots. xx

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  3. Oh my! My heart goes out to you. We almost sent Madeleine to an intensive ballet training boarding school in Boca Raton, FL when she was 12. We all caved at the last minute and she didn't go. Such tough life decisions but one way to look at it is as one semester at a time. All decisions are reversible. I went to a boarding school and there were positives as well as negatives...just as in life in general. Each child is unique and so what is the right decision for one may not be for the other. I think since he is #4, you and your husband know just how to make the right decisions at this point. All four of your kids are fabulous, fun loving, energetic people...and that often comes from the love and encouragement of great parents like you.

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    1. Boarding school has been a hot topic for a while Sarah. Our eldest son boarded for the last three years of high school and felt it was the best thing that could have happened to him. It is not for everyone...but I think our youngest will flourish. It is time.. Thank you for your kind words, as you well know, the challenges never end...and we would not trade them for anything! They keep us on our toes, that's for sure! xx

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  4. You've had so many 'homes'...which adds delicious complexities to a memory box!

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    1. That it does Becky...and I think this blog will be at the top of my list. ;)

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  5. I felt that way when I got the Christmas ornaments out of their resting place + memories are the best + happy Wednesday. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. Agree Peggy...and I like to play the guessing game as I pack them away, guessing where we will be for the next Chrsitmas... xx

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  6. My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine being separated from my kids, and yet I know the day will come. Your son has such beautiful memories of his childhood. He is a lucky, lucky boy.

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    1. That he is Angie...enjoy those little ones of yours, hold them tight! xx

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  7. Those little mementoes are such special things. I am a firm advocate of memory boxes. If I could, I would keep everything so that I can look back and remember. Enjoy your holidays. It looks like you'll be going on another adventure.

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    1. I am certain that one can never have enough memory boxes Loree, even if they take shape in a USB stick. My day has been spent creating special files for each child. Memories are the best.... xx

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  8. OH good grief JEANNE,you make me teary eyed.The empty nest thing is not my thing!I am still in deep depression over it.They left 5 and 7 years ago!HOWEVER,I have one who is home now…….not for long am positive about that but he is HOME and I am loving it!Nothing like the mess, or the wet towel left on the bed or the yell of" MOM we never have anything to eat in this house!"MEMORIES………..thats what we have and hopefully, they take with them when they do go………….I JUST HOPE I DID ENOUGH!!!!!I am still staring him down about elbows on the table and plastic milk jugs on the table!XXX

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    1. Had to laugh Contessa, my eldest daughter just moved into a new apartment. Having painted her room, she sent me photos of her accomplishments. My first reaction was to the spot of paint I saw on the bedroom floor. Could not help myself, she was like that as a little girl too...always spilling. Somethings never change...xx

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  9. That desk is gorgeous, memories and all. I went to boarding school:). But I was only an hour away from home, so it was OK. I wanted to go. All kids are different.

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    1. They certainly are Lisa..and we try hard to appreciate all the differences between the four of them and plan accordingly. ;)

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  10. Jeanne, so many wonderful memories sit in those mail slots. Adventures with family and friends, memories made, so many special times... How wonderful for Connor to have not only these items, but the memories and the ability to see them on a daily basis. I hope that he makes many new adventures at school.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful treasures and memories dear Jeanne.

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    1. Your welcome Elizabeth...I would say he is off to a good start. ;)

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  11. Hmmm...these days I'm reflecting a lot on what makes a home feel like a home.....it's an interesting time as we prepare for the relocation and the loss of our 'family home'....

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  12. "may we treasure the feelings and memories
    of the people and places who bring us "home"."

    The important things in life and what is home.

    Looking at those collected memorabilia brigs back wonderful stories.

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. Just a few words or a few paragraphs, no matter. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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