Sunday, 14 November 2021

Making a life.

 It struck me as I was typing the title of this post how lucky we are that we can indeed make a life when in so many parts of the world people are stuck with the hand they happen to be dealt.   The migrants risking their lives to cross  the world's busiest shipping lane in a flimsy craft to get to what they consider will be a 'better life' - it certainly will be for anyone coming from Afghanistan at the moment.   We might complain but really compared with so many places we are so very lucky to live here 'in the West'.

But I suppose we all try to make a better life for ourselves.   Some of us stick to our roots.   I was thinking here of my dear  farmer, now four years gone and it seems like yesterday.   In the days he was born in I suppose he had no choice over his life - family farm, oldest son, helping out within a couple of years of being born  - destined to take over the family farm and undoubtedly until I came along (me 59 and a widow who had been around and he a 49 year old bachelor) no other idea in his head.   Others can't wait to spread their wings - some in this country, some to go much further afield.

An interesting article in the week-end Times magazine speaks of three who have come home - it makes food for thought.   One couple from Hong Kong - always intended to return permanently eventually after 19 years there they did just that and what they noticed most was that they had a 'cultural gap' to catch up.   Husband says 'Strictly Come Dancing' what the Hell is that?

People seemed obsessed with the idea that they were having to miss their Summer holidays - did it matter?   Although returnees thought not it wasn't long before this small somewhat crowded island meant that they too fancied a week end in Paris and were frustrated they couldn't go.   Did you know that fifty eight per cent of Americans don't possess a passport - there is so much to see there, so many places to go.

Interestingly one couple who returned and then moved out into rural Suffolk found it very hard to make friends.  Finally the wife saw someone on Facebook saying they were new to the area and wished to make new friends.   She responded and now there is a group of a hundred all eager to make friends.   So perhaps it is hard although I (a country girl at heart although my teaching life was spent in cities)never found it so.

The couple returning from the US said it was a good place to live so long as you were never ill, poor or vulnerable.

Here one couple found us 'obsessed with house prices'.

So it seems that wherever we go nowhere is ever perfect.   This is nodoubt due to what my father always used to say -    wherever you go you take your own self with you.

And to that I would add - whether you are a home bird, like to fly the nest, like to cross the world - when you die you take all that experience, all those wonderful places and experiences you have had with you and this old world carries on as though you had never been.

27 comments:

JayCee said...

That last paragraph says it all really.

Ann Bennett said...

I'm one who tried to leave my homeplace and duty would call me back. I've got wanderlust in my blood. I live in the country too. I love the open fields and dark forests. I know in time I will need to move into town.

You have a very lovely and interesting blog.

Chris said...

Done my share of "seeing the world" but now I am content to stay in my own back yard.

Bonnie said...

As JayCee said, your last paragraph really does say it all. I have never been out of the US although as a child we moved to a different city every two or three years. Growing up always moving like that made me want to have roots and stay in one place. I have lived in the home I have now for over 45 years and I have those roots, and I have no desire to move. Sure, I've visited different areas in the US but that has been enough for me. We are all different and for some, the grass is always greener on the other side.

Unknown said...

I left the US at about a year old, moving around the world with my parents. Then I stayed abroad, and moved "back" to America when I was 27. If I had to do it all over again, I would not move back. But here I am, weary of wandering and so I make my home here and am quite happy staying put. Celie in Wisconsin

Sarah Browne said...

I have lived in Dorset all my life, well over 70 years and rarely leave the County these days and have never encountered wanderlust. As you so rightly say, we are so fortunate in this country and I am grateful, my needs are little as long as I can take good walks in my beautiful home County. I suppose I am lucky to be a contented person without ambition or aspiration. Sarah Browne.

Brenda said...

I finally let my passport expire…

Brenda said...

I have been to 46 states…Canada and England two times…enough…

Janie Junebug said...

Some people are trapped in the cycle of poverty, abuse, and hardship. My father was expected to return after World War II to take over the family farm, but he and my mother did not have a happy relationship with his parents so they struck out on their own and managed well. I would like to have a passport and travel, but I can't afford it.

Love,
Janie

Bovey Belle said...

I always wanted to travel but sadly, have not managed to go far abroad. Nor have I managed to "wangle it" to move back to my Devon roots - something has "blocked" this happening every time I have tried.

Half a lifetime ago we moved to Wales, and whilst I don't speak the language I can understand place names and have an abiding love for many lovely little spots in this beautiful country. I am now exploring all over again and it's good to be closer to the English border. I have been fortunate in having that opportunity to grasp a chance and live the life we chose, albeit a little financially challenging at times!

Grow and blossom where you are planted.

Cro Magnon said...

Occasionally I envy those who live in their native village all their lives, but personally I always looked for that little bit more. My children all love to travel; two live abroad, one owns homes in three different countries. Eventually we need to simplify our lives, and I can understand those people returning to Blighty.

Librarian said...

Another post of yours that offers much food for thought - thank you, Pat!
I consider myself very fortunate regarding the time, place and family I was born into. None of it was my choice, but I have been privileged in that I have not had existential worries all my life; my next meal and the roof over my head were always there, and so was my family. It was never a question of whether I should go to school and get an education, and I chose my husbands. When I found myself suddenly widowed at the age of 41, I often thought about what that would have meant, had I lived in a place like Afghanistan.
I live in the town where I was born and went to school, but I also feel at home in Ripon and of course in O.K.‘s village, too.
Long distance travel has lost its attraction; I don‘t enjoy long flights and all the hassle at airports. On the other hand, there are so many beautiful and interesting places I would like to see.

Anonymous said...

One of the highlights of watching television, cinema films and documentaries in senior years is knowing now what these places look, and feel like , and the atmosphere.
Australia is so far from it all, and pre Covid times I can attest to the fact that most Aussies give it a good go at staying away as long as finances allow once they cross the equator, on to Europe and the Northern Hemisphere.
I think if you are denied travel in your family and are an imaginative child, you want to bust out as soon as you are able to see the big wide world.
Husband and self worked to the point of exhaustion when young ,to back-pack the world. It was hard going but wonderful,, particularly looking back now that our health presents challenges, and armchair travelling has become 'revision' for us both- most enjoyable!

thelma said...

Well I am one of those 'stay at home' people, happy to watch far off places on the screen and not have the hassle of travel. I suspect it is our natures that dictate whether we want adventures abroad and our pockets of course. As someone once said to me, the first person to get off the plane is yourself and I would have been a worry gut!

RunNRose said...

Some days the world as I see it seems nothing but negatives on every side. The environment. Wars. Hunger. Disease. Wealthy politicians who could not care less about the troubles of constituents. So called religious who exhibit a complete disconnect between what they preach and what they practice. I'm sure I haven't listed all of the negatives. BUT. Then there is a glimmer of light! People like you, Pat, who see what I see. It helps me so much to find some sanity, thoughtfulness, caring! What a treasure you are! Thank you for blogging.

As for my travels, I came to TX at age five. Married a man from Newfoundland who happened to come to Houston. We made several circular road trips to visit his family. We drove through all of the provinces from Ontario eastward, then,came along the eastern states on those trips. When we retired, we bought a motorhome and saw many central and western states. But my great love is the state of MN. The forests and Lake Superior. Now I am stuck in the concrete jungle of DFW, but am so thankful for the memories of MN. The miracle of YouTube lets me go there often from my recliner. That is a positive, too.

Sue in Suffolk said...

What a good post - I'm left wondering where in rural Suffolk the couple in the Times article moved to!?
I've never felt the need to travel abroad and was thwarted in our plans to travel in this country and decide where to live by Colin's illness. So Suffolk it is and will be.

Heather said...

I didn't get the chance to travel abroad until middle age and although I enjoyed the experience I found the journeys exhausting. So now I am content to be an armchair traveller either through books or TV. I do think we complain too much in this country and should be thankful for what we do have rather than expecting more. I count my blessings.

Margaret Butterworth said...

"The couple returning from the US said it was a good place to live so long as you were never ill, poor or vulnerable."

Please read Cup on the Bus blog to see the absolute shocking truth about this statement.

Debby said...

Oh my gosh, Margaret, Joanne's post is a heartbreaker. She's got a mind and a means to tell the world what is happening. Think of the many that don't have even that?

Weaver, your last line is just perfect.

I've had very little time to travel, and believe me, it is the thing that I am most looking forward to when I retire. Just two more months!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Please read Margaret Butterworth above and then read Cup on the Bus at her suggestion.


Food for thought indeed.

Anne Brew said...

We are all, different I know - some travel, some stay home.
I moved country and live very happily where I've settled in the UK.
This is not a criticism of anyone else but I personally would never let my passport lapse - when you live in a country other than your own you never feel fully secure.

Ellen D. said...

A thought-provoking post, Pat! I think the best line is your father's: "wherever you go you take your own self with you." Our own likes, dislikes and personalities will color all we try to do.

Derek Faulkner said...

The quote by the couple returning from the USA could just as easy be applied to this country these days, just as "Cup on the Bus's" experiences could be.

Rachel Phillips said...

My mother was seriously ill in hospital 25 years ago, NHS, and my brother had to ask for her to be cleaned and washed as her care was appalling. As the SEN'S and auxiliaries disappeared so did basic care. Universities and the like did not make better nurses.

Marlene said...

As a young student nurse many years ago we trained mostly on the wards so there were 1st 2nd and 3rd year nurses all working now they are all at uni also it was a mark of disgrace to the ward if any patient got a bedsore, we were all scared of the Sisters and the Matron so i agree with Rachels comment
I look forward to reading your blog everyday Weaver x

Stuart said...

"this old world carries on as though you had never been"
My father (now 94) was having a look back on his life and asked me "What have I done in my life? What will I leave behind?"

I pointed out that one grand-daughter has been entertaining millions of children, since she works for Disney. Another is a paramedic, saving lives every day. A grandson is researching green solutions to energy generation.

He was (like yourself) a teacher, and his skills and knowledge have enabled countless people to better themselves and gain useful employment and support their families.

I said "That's what you've done, and it can't be undone. You have changed the world".

I like to think that our blogs and other writings will change or enhance lives as well. We all leave our mark in various degrees.

Mary said...

Sometimes I've wanted to move home to England. After living more of my life here in the US than the years I lived in Devon, it wasn't to be once I married an American and had children. Torquay will always be my real home and fortunately I have returned almost every year since leaving - other than since COVID arrived! We worked hard, saved, lived within our means, and planned in order to be able to travel often and far. We also made sure that we always had health insurance because yes, medical care is expensive here, however it is also the best care available for which I am forever grateful.