Home is where….

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Just the other day came across this sign: “If home is where the heart is, then my home is where you are”. I love that sentiment, which uses that well known saying “home is where the heart is”.

These days it is so much easier to experience “home”, even when, due to work and study, one is not always to be found under that same roof. My ladies right now are crossing the skies between St Paul MN. and Costa Rica, and yet they manage to follow a children story shared in Stanborough Park Church in Watford UK. How small this world has become….and yet….

Yes, George Washington, about 200 years ago, would travel from Virginia to Washington DC. on horseback, taking him 10 days. His travelling speed was 25 miles per day. Astronauts today travel in the Space Shuttle with speeds over 25000 miles an hour! In this Shuttle Washington today would have taken approximately 40 seconds to get to the capital… Distance seems relative….and yet….

Googling the saying this is what I found….                                                                       “What is the meaning of ‘home is where the heart is’? People long to be at home. Your home is whatever place you long to be. Your home will always be the place for which you feel the deepest affection, no matter where you are.”

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit my parents who live in the Netherlands. For most of their lives they have lived in Enschede, my place of birth. Many of my childhood memories, often food for thought in my sermons, saw the light of day in that town. At previous visits I had wanted to visit some of the places that still linger in my memories… My primary school… Secondary school…. The high rise building we lived in…. My father’s football club…. My grandparents’ home while they were alive, and where I was born… The rail tracks… Each visit proved too short to see this happen.

But two weeks ago I finally got the chance to make it happen. As my father recovered from a hip replacement surgery, I found time to drive around my old childhood neighbourhood. In my memories everything looked big and wide. But as I looked upon my early childhood schools they seemed tiny..

Yet it was here where I “invented” the skateboard long before it became fashion in California.. Crashing through windows, ending up in the sandpit of our playground. Where police found me (and the more wisely hidden rest of the troops) on top of the school roof, not ratting on them but taking the stern talk on my own. The main play ground still there, and the tree…which did not give as I “practised” my Judo skills on a bully…and resulted in my expulsion from the club… The high rise building, in the Meteoren Straat (Meteor Street), where I learned what it means to discriminate people from other cultures. The steps down to the storage cubicles, which really “tested” my skills with matches… It was all there…and for a moment, as I sat there in the sun, it almost felt “home” again…. For a moment my mind, and with that my heart, travelled back in time…

Over the years my/our home has seen different places… Enschede (NL), Hengelo (NL), Zeist (Oud-Zandbergen NL), Binfield (UK), Helmond (NL), Eindhoven (NL), Binfield again (UK), Wooburn Green (UK)….and for some part now also St Paul MN (USA)… And it is there that in a couple of days I will truly experience “home” again as I think it was meant to be…the place where I feel the deepest affection! Not so much for the apartment, even though it is beautiful and spacious…. Not so much for the rich culture of native Americans and the beautiful vistas, even though I enjoy them very much…. Not so much for the awe inspiring American trucks you see everywhere, even though in my mind I still dream of becoming a truck driver… But simply for the fact that it is there that my heart fits in perfectly because it is home! Home is where I am with my wife and daughter…can’t wait 🙂

DaddyGeert

 

 

Man shall not live by bread alone….

 

Right….it’s all unpacked and either on the shelf or in the fridge… Time for a quick update on this side of the pond…

About three weeks ago I ‘mounted’ my flight back to the UK, leaving wife and daughter behind….and with that their love and skill for cooking and baking. For little over a week I enjoyed the fresh oven baked cinnamon roles, pancakes, rice with beans and mince, meals out and meals in. One last meal would now appear without any effort from this man….the plane meal…. For sure it would not feed him indefinitely for this coming year…

The lady of the house, in her wisdom and because of her love, had made sure that the polar area of the UK house would provide…the freezer! If no one ever erected a statue to celebrate the life and genius of the mind that invented the freezer, now would be a good time! Various surprising meals so far have pleased the taste buds of this man! But nothing could beat a fresh meal of course….one that was created from (almost) scratch and needs pots and pans on a stove to see the light! So, three weeks into this mutually decided ‘solitary’ life, it was time to hit the road armed with several shopping bags. No longer could fridge and freezer please this poor soul…

It felt like a man on a mission….as almost always it used to be the lady instructing this man to come along or buy the listed products. Now having to decide my own menu it almost felt like walking inside this shop was like going to battle with a plan! The easy way would be to go for ready made meals, supported by sweets and crisps, and topped with HD (Häagen Dazs) ice cream … But he was strong (this time…)….and the trolley soon was filled with the multitude of colours of apples, peaches, iceberg salad, peppers, mushrooms, fresh bread, Dutch beschuit, yoghurt, noodles, spaghetti sauce…and for emergencies beans in tomato sauce (baked beans) :-). The wife would have been proud, and what’s more, would have even more loved the flowers that later adorned the living room table…

So, the stomach is calling, and the hour is right….time to cook my noodles in Chinese sauce 🙂 Will try leaving some pics later to colour in the imagination…

DaddyGeert for now signs off!

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Another chapter in…

And so it has begun…..a new chapter in our never-resting lives 🙂 Always something new, somewhere else, somehow different….never boring that’s for sure! For several years it had been mentioned, always lurking in the distance..something that could and most likely would happen eventually…

The lady of the house travelling back and forth, year after year, month by month, weeks at a time…from London to the US, Singapore, Costa Rica, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Panama..and the list goes on. Yes, it gave exciting air miles, hotel points and free car rental days, which in turn provided amazing holidays in the US and elsewhere. But jet legs and suitcase life were taxing at the same time.

No more…for a year at least 🙂 The second ‘home’ is now located in St. Paul, MN. A beautiful apartment, especially from the point of view as compared with our ‘Hobbit’ place in the UK. Situated right outside the first 1/2 of the Twin Cities, cocooned in between the hills surrounding St. Paul, nestled right beside the mighty Mississippi River, with a cooking island (!!!), aircon (with 95+ Fahrenheit really a must!), indoors parking (useful for Minnesotan winters…. -20 to -40C not unusual…), and inviting green parks surrounding this all…

For a week and a bit this ‘daddy’ was able to come along to the US and lend a hand in setting up the new place. Furniture was moved around, Ikea flat packs moved in, picture frames and arts received their specific places, and boxes were unpacked. All in all a place one really could now call ‘home-from-home’ 🙂

It will be quiet in Wooburn Green, even though the cats will demand their attention nonetheless, and my choice of music can now be played none stop for the time being… But ‘only’ 8-9 hours there is a second home I will love to come ‘home’ to, and for sure this ‘daddy’ will count the days….and in the meantime keep you updated on the happenings in ‘hobbit’ town…

DaddyGeert