Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Family and My Town

It's so fun to have pictures to look back on. I was temped not to post tonight because I kept receiving a notice stating there was a glitch and that the color of my pictures would be wonky. And it's true that the colors are strange in some shots, but 'acceptable' is good enough for me.

These pictures are of my side of the family, and mainly in the province of Québec.

Ah, the fun memories we bring back with us! It's so neat to get together as an extended family, reconnecting and appreciating who we have become over time and separation. Among the siblings, it's like we are rediscovering relationships and finding that sweet friendships lie beneath the years gone by, experiences unshared, and varied life paths. It's a happy find that leaves me wanting more.

And the cousins! To the big kids they are sweet bundles of cuteness to love on, and for the little ones-- heroes to affectionately admire. Michael and Olivia could hardly get turns long enough with Baby, and the little boys, well, they could hardly get any dirtier! They caught tadpoles and played with construction toys in the mud all afternoon, or begged Michael to run while pulling them downhill in the wagon. Michael likes being a hero and never tired.

My hometown. Such a lovely place to me. If time ever permitted, I would take hours on my own walking through town and sitting in quiet parks reliving a thousand memories. Things change, yes, but its character remains the same: The river bend, where the current slows enough for the water to freeze over in the winter and to wake board in the summer; the little church steeples, musty-smelling building for community events; the sidewalk snuggled close between nature and the two-lane highway, on which my friends and I would stroll in the summer, usually with a Mr. Freeze. Oh, and the corner stores with their inviting smells and familiar faces! And the ski hill and ice rink, the old mill, the steam train, and the restaurants that hired me each summer. People who grow up and never wanted to leave.

I could go on... There's a certain nostalgia that could pull me in deep, but I've finally chosen to savor it as a lovely memory of the past and an enchanting place to visit in the present. The grip of my former home has loosened, and I am finally free to live fully back here in California.

My brothers and my sister. I wonder what it would be like to live close. I'd love to think we'd meet up for coffee and spontaneous play dates, or that we'd be there to cook and clean each other's houses after the arrival of a new baby. My brothers would have all kinds of stories and tips to share with my boys, my sister and I would be real girl-friend sisters.

I enjoyed our dinners together, where babies and food are passed around, and we find out just how much we each have to offer.

I love this picture of the four of us. Although the colors turned out harsh on my blog tonight, it's my favorite shot from our trip.

We visited the area around where my parents are building, and my kids had a great time exploring nature. My kids love my parents! The boys listen carefully to my dad, and they think his varied talents and interests are amazing. Olivia listens attentively to my mom, hoping that someday she will be proficient enough to speak to her in French. If only my mom knew how endearing her French accent is to Olivia, she would stop apologizing for her lack of fluency in English.

But I am having to apologize for my lack of fluency in French now. It's always so good to speak it again. I drive away from my family realizing that I'm thinking in French, only to revert back to English within an hour.

I look at all this greenery and marvel at the contrast I see back here in California. Our hill sides and open areas have browned to a crisp and we won't see greenery again till next spring! I like to see this arid landscape as a pretty GOLD against raspberry colored Bougainvilleas and a brilliant blue sky backdrop.

Since I moved away at 18, this was the very first trip home where I didn't feel that pull to be back permanently. Yes, I love my family and I love the beauty of Québec --and it is home!-- but God has provided a new place for me to love and call home. I once thought I'd never have that feeling again, that feeling of enjoying and appreciating where I live, that feeling of comfort and permanency. And yes, California still isn't as familiar to me in a deep-rooted kind of way, but I love it just the same. God has been gracious.



  1. I LOVE your hometown - it is lovely and looks like such a wonderful place to grow up. And your family looks wonderful too! I'm so happy you guys could make the trip.

    1. Thanks, Heather! I've been thinking of you and thankful for the recent changes in your life! I'm sure that practically things look the same, but in your heart everything is different! Now you can move on with your life! Enjoy YOUR little boy!


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