Five years, three countries, and two kids later we are home for the very first time in a place from where we won’t be moving and upheaving our life every few years. It feels rather surreal and yet familiar at the same time because we’ve moved to my home town (though I haven’t lived here in over twenty years). I think it will take a long time to understand that this is where we live now permanently. I was a renter for many years and then with all of our moving around the globe through our life in the Foreign Service it was impossible to truly feel settled anywhere. We are homebodies and while the idea of living in various countries is exciting and novel, it can start to wear on your heart. It is painful to leave friends and community over and over again and seeing your young children miss the connections they’ve made is excruciating and makes you question why you’re uprooting them yet again. So we’re taking a break from that kind of life and easing back into the way we used to live: in California, near the coast, with apple trees.
My view now is of redwood and sycamore trees rather than palm or eucalyptus, roses and green grass rather than a dusty, tan wall (or apartment building). We’ve acquired about half an acre of land and of course we have big plans for some garden beds, a playhouse under the backyard trees, and some general sprucing-up. But even if we did nothing it would be enough. We have some unidentified fruit trees and two healthy apple trees, one a well-established Gravenstein and the other a prolific golden delicious that is still producing gorgeous fruit. We’ve made applesauce, pie is next up, and last week Sierra and I made cakey apple loaves to give to our new neighbors.