I feel like I talk about the weather more than the farmers I used to serve coffee to at 8 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Which is saying something because a.) they’re old men and b.) they’re farmers, which means that their topics of conversation are basically reserved to talking about the weather or the crops or how the weather affects the crops. Continue reading
Category Archives: Home
re: That Homesickness Issue
I’ve talked about homesickness a few times. It’s not my favourite feeling in the world. It’s up there with having to deal with needles or catching your hand in the door or that time you fell off the tire swing at school and was literally green with feeling sick. Except worse. Continue reading
My family is proficient when it comes to sending the best letters. They really are. My sister is fantastic when it comes to making things out of paper. She has this whole scrapbook deal down to a science and is absolutely talented at it. (She’s the one who made the ‘boo’ letter. Yeah, I couldn’t do that if I tried.)
The boys? The boys are my little artists. My mom sends me manila envelopes filled with sheets of paper that have evaluation forms on one side from the school and on the other are covered in stories. That’s my favourite part. The part where, if you ask them what’s going on, and point to something, they’ll tell you exactly what it is. And it’s the same story every time. I can’t even do that when I’m telling stories of things that have actually happened. Normally I end up losing somebody or putting everything out of sequence. I write a lot better than I tell stories. So if I ever start, just give me a piece of paper and a pen and tell me you’ll wait. It’ll be much easier that way.
(Yes. That’s my Babar calendar. With English, French, German and Spanish months and days of the week. I know that’s a jealous face you’re sporting right now.)
Things I’m Loving:
+ This song – (A song written about the death of Robert Capa. And done beautifully. Yes.)
+ This article – (The idea of a ‘defining photography’ fascinates me.)
+ This magazine – (I’d forgotten how much I loved going through it.)
+ This tag – (Since I’ve known her, she’s always had the best music recommendations. Always.)
Love Me, Love My Camera
I never realized you could miss a habit. Maybe it’s more of an acceptance. Acceptance sounds like it fits better, really. My family accepting that my camera wasn’t just going to stay in my bag, accepting that I wanted to take pictures of things they thought were ‘weird’, accepting that I would possibly get up close and possibly personal for a photograph. Acceptance of the fact that I really loved taking photographs and that they were going to be my subjects.
But I do. It’s been added, more to the top than just to the list, as one of the things that I miss about home. Also on that list is:
- homemade soup that does not get pureed
- brown bread
- the usual suspects of family
- mushroom soup
- picking up a fashion magazine to peruse and not having my brain start overworking because my French isn’t at that level yet
- watching TV with my sister (even though she falls asleep. Every time.).
I’ve realized that most of the things I miss right now are food, which should really just be a testimonial to my mother’s cooking, really.
Though, there are also things that make me feel good here, too. Things like:
- the fact that the other night, the oldest kid put his dishes away and folded his napkin – without me having to ask him
- like how the middle child does his homework without any complaints
- practicing piano without having a fight about it
- ditto with helping to set the table
I’m not going to think that it’s going to last long, because inevitably someone will be playing X-box and nope, they don’t want to set the table, but it’s there. It’s something I’ve helped with, something that I’ve worked on and am seeing the rewards for. That, little by little, they’re accepting me.
Next step is accepting the camera.
Things I’m Loving:
+ This photo – (Because wide shots make me happy.)
+ This interesting interactive – (Migration and change interest me.)
+ A diagram of a photographer’s brain – (Laughing is good.)
+ A new wine for the Clasico on Sunday – (Most people drink beer, me? I keep it classy.)
Homesickness is the long version of ‘I love you’
Honesty time: I don’t get homesick. Not unless I’m actually sick and just need my mom to get me glasses of water and hot water bottles and all that other stuff that moms do when you’re sick. But other than that (and that’s happened a total of two times in the last four years so..), the last time I was actually homesick was when I was eight and spent the week at my cousin’s with her and her family.
Then yesterday happened and getting homesick sucks. I mean you’d think that would be obvious, but it really, really does. The trickiest part of it is, I think, the fact that there’s no one real cause of it. There’s no one thing that makes you go, “Yup, I miss home,” it’s an accumulation of various things that after awhile make you (me) go, “Was this really the best idea I’ve ever had?”, even though, yes, it’s up there on that ‘Best Ideas’ list.
Because I’m pretty sure every French person on the street can just tell that all the thoughts I’m thinking are not in French and no matter how many times I rehearse what I’m going to ask for in my head and finger all the euros in my pocket, I’m still going to say ‘tu’ instead of ‘vous’ and drop half my change on the floor or have issues finding my wallet. It’s trying to figure out which baguette shop is the one that the family normally buys from or trying to remember exactly which street it is that the flower stand is on. It’s not knowing what all the rules of the road are or having to learn how to drive stick (as useful as it is to know) and having to take driving lessons once more, for the first time since I was fifteen.
One of the most difficult things, however, is the fact that I’ve lost the confidence to take my camera while I’m out and take pictures of the new place that I’m living in because I want to share, yet all that confidence that I gained after two years in Belleville has somewhere flown out the window and I’m going, “But…”.
I guess it’s one of those things that, no matter how much you think about what the hard things about a good idea might be, until you’re actually there and living it and facing them, you don’t know how you’re going to react to them, or, really, how difficult they are.
Ways I battle homesickness: Skype session with my mother who just looks at me when I say I’m homesickness and then tells me to soldier on because, hello child, you are in France. Write postcards home. Rewatch the videos on Facebook that my sister has made of my baby brother saying, “Hi Amma!” and blowing kisses. Read La Roja and then spend hours learning about Franco’s Spain and the difference between Franco and Stalin and the similarities between Franco and Hitler and then get lost in Russian history. (yes, that actually helps and I don’t understand why.)
Things I’m Loving:
+ Female Football Stars Playlist – Female football players from around the globe with their favourite song. My favourite right now is Ed Sheeran’s ‘The A Team’. Really a little bit of everything kind of playlist.
+ Day-Old Croissant French Toast – Since I’m in France and all, I feel like this is something I need to do. At least once.
+ Diana Diroy – A photographer/videographer/documentary filmmaker who has some amazing photography and an absolutely captivating documentary on New York female cab drivers.
+ The Roma – The camera bag I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. And I know my mother reads my blog, so: Christmas isn’t that far off. If you wanted any suggestions or whatever.