09 November 2015

Three Moves and a .....


On Monday, lounging at  Hong Kong airport…

Dear Friends,

What a week, it's hard to believe all that has happened in the past few days. On the first day of November, I posted on Instagram ..

Hello, November.
Surprise me.

 I had a feeling when I posted it that I should be careful what I wish for..and I was right.


From Vietnam..on Monday


On Monday, a view to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

On Monday morning I said goodbye to Mr. H. I was restless about this departure. It's always hard to say goodbye when you know it will be weeks and months before you see each other again. We have been here many times over the years. Except this time it is different. In the past we have said goodbye as he moved ahead of us to the next assignment. Sometimes for a few months and the longest for a year. Instead, I am the one who is coming and going. With that thought in mind I settled into my flight, weary and a bit nervous about what lay ahead.


 To the Hill Cabin..on Monday

On Tuesday…view from the Hill Cabin,  New Hampshire 

Twenty four hours later, on Monday evening (Eastern Standard Time) I arrived into Logan airport (Boston)..which was actually Tuesday morning in Vietnam. I love gaining a day when I travel stateside. Some of you may remember the cabin we rented last summer. It is a five minute drive from Tahilla Farm and seemed the most sensible place to park myself while settling into the move. Plus…I was desperate to see that beautiful view one more time. I rented the cabin for three nights but was so excited by the move and what I saw at Tahilla Farm that I packed my bags a day early and decided to sleep amidst the boxes.


To Tahilla Farm..on Wednesday

On Wednesday..views from Tahilla Farm, New Hampshire

I am happy to report that my mission is accomplished…the boxes are in and the packing paper is flying out of them as quickly as my little hands can move. I give myself an A+ for my adeptness with a case cutter. I haven't cut myself once…yet.  I decided to go solo on the move and I am glad I did. If anyone was trailing behind me as I move from one area to the next they would be banging their head against the wall. I should finish one room at a time but I don't and that's OK with me.  I see the method in my madness and that is all that matters. Right?


On Thursday, first morning views, Tahilla Farm.

I am taking it all in slowly and enjoying every aspect and angle, inside and out. Happy with the end result does not begin to describe it…ecstatic is more like it. When I finally get my head out of the boxes and into photo taking mode, I will update the Tahilla Farm story with a few more pics.

Yet, through all these days moving from one side of the world to the other, up a mountain and down a mountain, I have had a heavy heart...


On Saturday, the power of one, a keepsake flower.

A farewell…on Friday and Saturday

You might be wondering why I would include a funeral in this post. Sadly, I received news last Sunday that my uncle passed away. In his early 70's, we would have expected that he had many years ahead of him but God had other plans.

I had not seem my uncle for nearly15 years, we travelled different paths, mine the farthest. I heard tidbits of news about him but was never certain of the particulars. Living so far away, for so many years often puts you at odds with the dynamics of the family circle. You are in but you are out and just when you think you have connected again, you are on the move and into the world of disconnect.

I should preface that my family is catholic, of Irish heritage and hails from Boston. This can be a fairly intense combination especially in the context of a wake, a church service and the gathering that follows.     I had one thought throughout the service, that my uncle would have been happy to know that so many came together to remember him. When I was growing up, he was the 'cool uncle'. If you are familiar with the TV show 'Gidget'…to me, my uncle was the 'Moondoggie' of my world. Handsome, charismatic, sporty and a lot of fun, we all gravitated to him when he was around. He loved being with family and bringing them together. His interest in me was genuine and always appreciated. When he married we were even more excited to be a part of his wedding, Moondoggie had found his Gidget. His life story went in many different directions after that, some happy, some sad…as life is. We lost touch, I found my own Moondoggie and went onward and forwards.

If an outsider observed the ceremonies this weekend to celebrate his life they might have wondered what was going on. There was hugging, chatter, laughter and tears.  For me, it was especially bittersweet to walk into a room and see so many faces that I had not seen in many years, ones I thought I might never see again. We all connected with memories and stories. It was surreal, to think that it took a funeral to bring us together, one we would never wish for but if it had to be, it was as he would have liked it. Family and friends together, remembering and talking with laughter and tears. We celebrated his life. He was loved and will always be remembered.

My Uncle Tom
(my original Moondoggie)
Always in our hearts….

One week down in the month of November…
I am hoping for a rest on the 'surprise' factor. 
I think that'll do me for the month. 

Sending you best wishes
 for a wonderful week.
As always,
 thank you for reading along!

Jeanne xx

15 comments:

  1. mother was the youngest of eight, so i also had lots of extended family and have (too) often experienced the coming together from many directions for a family wedding or funeral. It's a special time of reconnecting and making promises to do it again soon - and without a death to bring us together. it's nice that you have reconnected with your Boston family, now that you will be closer.

    So glad that the Farm is turning out so well. The fall view must be wonderous! welcome home.

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  2. So sorry for.your loss, Jeanne. Your description of the wake reminded me of my own Irish/Catholic roots. I'm glad that.you were able to reconnect with family. ♡

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  3. It truly is sad when a funeral brings people together. Perhaps that is the positive side of such a hard day. The thought of people gathered in one place, & connecting. We had two funerals before we left Aberdeen. Both aunties that we dearly loved. I'd like to think they rejoiced knowing we were laughing, sharing & yes, shedding a few tears. I'm so excited about your move & now unpacking. I wish I were there to help & share our stories! Great times ahead for you & Mr. H. xox

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  4. My sympathies and prayers for your loss.

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  5. Funerals ARE sad times but they can have their good moments, especially bringing together long lost family members, old friends and acquaintances. Your dear Uncle Tom was well remembered and sent off in style by sound of it - and you will recall your younger days in his company with much joy. I had an uncle just like that - he was my mum's twin and he and his wife had no children of their own. He spoiled we nieces and nephews when he visited from London each Summer. I can recall so much of those happy visits - he was tall, handsome and an accomplished artist.

    My dear - you are quite brave be doing all that unpacking and setting up house alone - however I would be just the same in that scenario as I love organizing by myself! How beautiful it looks outside Tahilla Farm's big windows - and still some color on the trees. You have a magnificent new home there and I know you and your family will be spending amazing times together. I would quite love to live in NH again if only the Winters were not so severe some years - too old now to deal with snow and long periods of cold I'm afraid, so our visits back have to be in warmer months!

    Good luck with everything Jeanne - looking forward to seeing everything.
    Mary x

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  6. WELCOME HOME!
    I like YOU would want to do my un-packing SOLO too.There is a method to OUR madness!
    Of course I remember that show and LOVED IT.Perhaps, you will have a family reunion in a year or two after you get all situated and settled and that MISTER H arrives!!!!
    I look forward to seeing more photos...................XX

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  7. Hello Jeanne,
    So sorry for the loss of your handsome uncle Tom. It is fortunate you were here and able to attend his funeral. I love the view through the window and those trees must be distracting you from packing.
    How exciting and I hope the days pass quickly until you are together with Mr H.
    Helenxx

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  8. He is a handsome guy. How lucky you are to have these great memories and to share them with family and friends. These are the best kind of funerals.

    What a wonderful story ... Enjoy your time in the new house. It sounds just wonderful.

    Karen in VA

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  9. I am sorry for your loss. Good luck with all the changes.
    Life is a series of new beginnings. Love Jeanne

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  10. Jeanne, I am sorry to read about the passing of your uncle. I am sure that it was a bittersweet event, the passing of a favorite uncle but the chance to reminisce with so many loved ones not seen for sometime. I went to a funeral like that last year and I felt the same.

    I am happy that you are settling into your beautiful farm! I am sure that it is wonderful to wake up each morning and see all of your hard work, some from afar ad some in person come to fruition.

    I along with many are looking forward to all of the details and decor of your new place.

    Have a great time, savor your time in the house and looking at all of your treasures!

    xo Elizabeth

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  11. I’m sorry about the passing of your uncle. I’m glad you arrived safely at Tahilla Farm.I can see the beautiful fall colors outside your window.
    Keep warm.

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  12. I am sorry for your loss. It is a sad fact that most families tend to only meet up at weddings and funerals. I know that my dad's family is like that for sure. What makes it even more sad is that the majority of us live within a 10 mile radius of each other.
    Will you be going back to Vietnam or are you staying at Tahilla for good?

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  13. It was your instinct telling you that something was about to happen Jeanne, it must have been rather unnerving. I know about funerals bringing family members together after years without seeing each other, I suppose this is just part of the cycle of life.
    I think we are all happy to think of you unpacking for your 'next life' in Tahilla Farm, it looks so spectacularly beautiful, how lovely that your first 'season' there will be Christmas!
    love to you Sharon xx

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  14. JEanne, I hope that the unpacking and setting up your beautiful new house is going well! And that you had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Your photos have been beautiful and I am looking forward to seeing more. I am sure that the first Christmas will be magical just at the season is.

    Take care Jeanne,

    xo Elizabeth



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  15. I love that you want to do the unpacking solo. I totally get that! I am so happy that you have arrived at your beloved Tahilla Farm but I know it must be hard leaving Mr H behind. I am so anxious to hear, smell, and taste your new life there. I so love New England!

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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