November 17, 2008


Last night I watched a series by Stephen Fry in which he traveled across America, spending a bit of time in each and every state. The final leg of his journey took him through San Francisco, northern California, Portland and Seattle. My old stomping grounds.
I sat there glued to the TV and experiencing some pretty strong feelings.

In San Francisco I could feel the vibe of that city, that amazing energy that I've never felt anywhere else, the satisfaction oozing from the people who know that they live in a very special, very unique place.
In Portland I could feel the clean air, the positive energy, the kind people, the green.
In Seattle I could feel the edginess, smell the salty air and roasting coffee beans, experience those breathtaking views out over Puget Sound and feel that misty rain on my face.
It was like visiting home.


In my heart New Orleans is my home away from home. Even though I don't get it sometimes, it is a place that is addictive, seductive, sultry. And rare.
But those jewel like cities along the Pacific still tug at my heart strings.
I get them
. I know how to navigate them and know how the people think.

So watching Stephen Fry cavorting around the west coast made me a bit misty eyed.

Now France is my home. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
If I could fully express how fortunate I feel to be living here, I would. I thank my lucky stars every day that I am here, that I have the chance to live in Europe and in a country that values so much of what I value; recognizing the little things, appreciating family time, experiencing joy, savoring local delicacies.
And to have the time to be. Just BE.
To experience life. To enjoy amazing food and wine. And cheese!

So this definition of home. For me it is slippery. I still feel attached to so many places.
But I know that for now, even though my heart strings get tugged at from time to time, I am. Home. Pin It


Wendl said...

I think you hit the nail on the head for each of the cities - perfect descriptions. And you are SO fortunate to have the time just to BE. Even though I wouldn't trade my little ones for anything, they make it very hard to find the time just to live and appreciate each moment. I'm glad you recognize what you have!!!

Our Juicy Life said...

what a lovely post. we don't have tv here, but reading about the fires in los angeles (my home up until 7 weeks ago) makes me a bit homesick...just a bit, i don't want to go back though. i love living here, love the simple life, love the people, love very little traffic, love the different view I get depending on the light of the valley and meadows. france is beautiful....i will say i miss having a dryer though....

L Vanel said...

These are nice sentiments, Jen. I appreciate your having taken the time to sort out these thoughts. Home for me is a very complex idea.

Anonymous said...

Your post had me thinking of the meaning of HOME. Home is where the heart is. USA is my home now. I still think of Bangkok is my other home that I left long time ago. However, that home has changed. The ties are family, friends, and food but are not strong enough for me to move back.
Love your post.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

A truly heartfelt pleased for you. It must be such a good feeling. :-)

Loulou said...

I definitely do appreciate the time I have and try to enjoy it to its fullest. I can't imagine how busy you must be with your two little ones!
Must get back to Portland on one of my future trips to the Pacific NW. I would love to see you two and the girls.

I'm sure that hearing about the fires must make you feel really helpless and homesick. I hope that your friends and family are all alright?
Living here isn't always perfect, but pretty close!
We have a dryer, but never use it!

It is a complex idea.
Sometimes I long to be back there, but they are fleeting moments. Mostly I can't imagine living anywhere else.
Except maybe Italy. :)

georgie girl
The ties of family, friends and food are strong ones. But they aren't enough to make me move back, either.
Glad you liked the post. Thank you for commenting!

It is a wonderful feeling! I hope it is one that you share? Are you at home where you live?

croquecamille said...

Even though I haven't lived there for 8 years, I still consider the Pacific Northwest my home. But I feel blessed to be living in Paris, and it feels more like home every day.

Thanks for the thoughtful post!

Loulou said...

I'm glad to hear that Paris is becoming your home. Though the Pacific NW is hard to beat! Especially when the sun is shining.
Glad you liked the post.

Betty C. said...

This is a great post and I'm glad to see you're writing more.

This area feels like home to me too, but for how long? Not forever...

Olympia will always be home to me.

Loulou said...

It is impossible to predict where we will be in 5 years, but right now, I hope it is here.
But that could change at any minute! :)