Saturday, July 17, 2010

Be it ever so humble....

I have a lot of feelings mixed up in this post. I have been procrastinating all week. Each day I have thought, I must do it, I will write about it tomorrow and then the next day and the day after that and now it is Friday and we are leaving tomorrow.

I think anyone who has moved houses, towns or countries and later gone back to visit the place they left will understand this one. It has probably happened to most of us. In our case it has happened often and when kids are involved it gets a bit trickier. 

This is particularly relevant now as I started these blogs as a way of transitioning myself from one country to another. In this case, moving from New Zealand to England. If you go back to the beginning of Collage of Life,  you will read about my thoughts on moving. If you go back to the early days of In One Place, you will find even more...that was my secret hiding place. If you go back to Finding My Way, you will find photos and thoughts on our new home in England. If you go to the B-Well Report, you will find posts on how I keep my sanity thru all of the above :)  All of this started in October 2009.  

I have written 662 posts since my first post on 24 October . I was told that one of the best ways to deal with emotions is to write about them and I have been pounding away at the keys ever since and loving every minute of it. It all came from one simple line 'shape that thoughts that stir within'. is cheaper than therapy, right?

The best part is that we are hopping on a plane tomorrow and going back to visit two of my children, Miss Tine and Patrick who are attending University in New Zealand and Australia. An added bonus it that we are also going to the welcoming arms of dear friends too.

I had a dream last night and have not stopped smiling since. The doorbell rang in my dream and I opened the door and there were my two oldest yelling 'surprise'. To have all my family under one roof for any amount of time would be one of the most precious gifts I could receive. It makes the packing that much sweeter.

There is a life here that we all enjoy and are settling into nicely. There are points in time when you feel 'the shuffle'..the shuffle of emotions. The ones that make you feel like you are on a roller coaster and you are not sure if you want to get off or keep going. 

Three months, six months and a year are major turning points. Every book written about life changes and moving talks about them. We are at the six month point and traditionally when we go back we leave happy for the visit but also happy to return to our lives in our new home country. It is sort of a rite of passage. Sounds strange but it works. Well, it works but you do have to keep your fingers crossed that it will all go according to plan. We all know what life is like and it is those little mysteries that keeps us on our toes.

Hence, Collage of Life,  all of this is what life is made of. For me it centers around the it ever so humble, there is no place like home. In our case...make that times four...America, England, Australia and New Zealand. I really do hope it stops there!

I think Miss Claire's paintings say it all. 'Kia Ora' is hello in Maori.  Her first love is soccer and this is her running thru all the countries she has lived in. 

With that I say  E noho ra (good bye)
but not for fact when you least expect it,
I will be back :)

Best wishes for a glorious weekend!!

Jeanne :)


  1. This is beautifully written Jeanne, I've been thinking alot about families living apart, children moving away, being encouraged to travel, but what if they settle .... It seems to me that it takes courage and generosity to live as you do and keep all of your family happy and united. I am full of admiration.

    The other things I am totally in awe of is the number of posts you have written 662!!! You are amazing.
    You'll have to throw a big party for the 1000th!

    Have a great weekend

  2. Absolutely beautiful! It is hard to be apart, isn't it? we want to encourage them to go their own way, and keep them nearby all at the same time. Enjoy your trip and your visit. We have loved these 662 glimpses into your sweet good heart.

  3. Many thanks Sharon and Stephanie, 1000..yikes, I never thought of it that way. A party it is and a huge giveaway!

  4. Dear Jeanne,
    did I ever told you that I love your thoughtful posts? I do! And this very much. I`ve got just one daughter and she wishes to live somewhere else in this world but not in her home country. So, if this will be the future, I`m standing in your shoes about not seeing the kid/s all the time. So, I guess I have to change my thoughts like Khalil Gibran, which gave us something to think of, when he wrote his lines about having kids....they are just lent.I hope, my sentence make sense. :)
    I moved a lot of times with my family around my nice hometown Nuremberg (it`s really a nice city!), so I know a lot about moving (*sigh*), but I don`t know a thing about living in a foreign country, but you´re lucky, because your language is everywhere understood. This is really an advantage.
    So, this is a looong note.
    I wish you a wonderful trip to your kids and "E noho ra"! Beate :)

  5. Jeanne~ What a beautiful, heartfelt post. How wonderful that you can all get some time together-savor every precious moment. You and Mr. H are fabulous parents-I can tell by the way you write and share a glimpse of your family-life with us. Have fun my friend and report back when you can.

  6. Beate and are very sweet, thank you. Long notes, short notes..I love all, so you never have to worry on that front! Thanks so much for your kind words :)

  7. So interestingly provocative...when you reflect on life and think about your own and your children's. My parents died in the last 5 years and suddenly everything becames so much more meaningful. We also had four grandchildren since then. My mother waited for dearly-longed-for great-grandchildren and when each came, I so wished she had been there too. The kids live an hour away in each direction and when they come home, separately or all together, it's such a blessing. I started my blog so they could all keep up on what was going on as grandchildren grew.
    We have moved several times in our lives (born in Minnesota, raised in Illinois, and settled in Ohio...grandparents in Wisconsin, in-laws in Florida)...and this I know for sure: Where the family is, there the heart is also!

  8. Bonjour Jeanne,
    Well said, so heartfelt. Safe travels and enjoy the time with your children. What a lovely time you will have together!
    Did you say 662 posts? ...I'm speechless, I've yet to get to 100...
    Bon week-end and bon voyage!

  9. I completely agree with what you say about pounding away at the keys. Tap, tap, tap. It helps! Your way of life is so inspiring. You have seen the world. Enjoy your time in NZ with your favourite people, I dream of going there myself one day...

  10. right you are! I can see from your travels that you know the feeling :)

    Mimi..thank you, I actually did not realise I had written that many until writing this post :)

    Jane..New Zealand is a special place and if possible I would highly recommend it. I hope to write more about it soon so stay tuned!

  11. You are amazing Jeanne. As a mother 'coming up behind' with younger children, I really value your insights and sentiments about family and change. Bon voyage, and if you should be in Canberra...

    Love - Deb x

  12. Jeanne that was a beautiful post. Eloquent and elegant as ever. There is such a joy in writing, and a purpose too, different for each of us. I hope you have the most wonderful time travelling. It sounds like you are only visiting NZ but if you find yourself in Canberra and you have time, please give me a yell! Coffee's good here!

  13. so true jeanne, the writing process does really help. so happy for you to be catching up with your children. i just got mine back after they had been away for a week and a half, such a good feeling.

    hope you have a really lovely trip!! jxxx

  14. I get this post, TOTALLY! and I want to go back to your 2009 entries and read more.

    I am reunited with my adult daughter right now, but my husband couldn't be here this time. I am with you - all of us under one roof feels like Christmas morning, no matter what day it is.

    I have enjoyed every single one of your posts that I have read. I'll let you know when I finish al 662. What a great accomplishment.

    Safe journeys to your newish home in England.


  15. Hi Jeanne,

    Safe travels to the "lands downunder"..

    having your children living overseas is very hard. we have a daughter living in the US with our two grandchildren, our only every reunion is very special.

    Have a wonderful and safe visit with your family

  16. As a kiwi who has lived abroad for over 1/2 my life now I understand this post totally. I recall never experiencing winter for a few years as we went from London to Sydney to India and then back to London and then Dubai.

    I loved all the countries that I have lived in and like to think that I have taken away a little from each. I have been in France for 3 years now which is the longest period that I have spent in one place. That said my feet are itchy and we are now looking for a holiday house so will it be back to Turkey, India or Egypt or will it be somewhere new or another in France? Once a traveller always a traveller I think :-)

    Leeann x

  17. Jeanne, you are so right and that is definitely beautifully written. I am going back to NZ for the first time in 10 years and, to Aussie to see Mum for the first time in nearly 5 ... Have a great trip! You will come back ever the better.

    Home is where we are.
    So fortunate to have you around.

  18. Deb and Kerry...I will be in Canberra briefly but even better I will be back for a week in December. I will most definitely check in then. It would be great to meet you both. Thanks for the tip on the coffee...first thing I plan to do is seek out a nice strong flat white :)

    Jules..hold on tight!

    Glenda..agree, Christmas morning is the best!

    Thank you Angela!

    Leeann...I can relate to this one...I am good for five years and then start getting restless. Your life sounds so interesting!!

    Ange...can't wait to hear what you think after being away for 10 years. The nice thing about New Zealand is that you can count on it being just as you left it. I think that is what makes it special...I know some who think otherwise :)

  19. Oh what a beautiful post and I completely relate. Whilst born in Australia the first 8 years of my life were spent in NZ. Those memories are the sweetest. Back in Oz we moved and moved and moved some more. When I grew up, I was determined to have some stability. Any way I moved and moved and moved some more!! I am hoping this move sees us put for a while - 3 years is my point break time and we will hit that next year. Enjoy your time with your children..Lisa xx


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