The past few weeks, I have been asked when I was going to post on my blog again. We have been home outside Detroit for a few weeks, but I honestly don’t have much to tell. Today I raked some leaves, which I miss doing; however, I’m pretty sure no one really cares to read about yard work. We have been busy catching up with friends and getting ready for the holidays. I am also trying to get my writing rhythm back. Moving around is a curve ball to the creative process.
My neighbor asked if it was hard to come home to the Midwest. In a word, yes.
In New Zealand, I walked down my driveway right on to the beach, and the weather was really getting nice before we left. Everything was blooming, and it’s hard not to be uplifted by flowers. I had a banana tree right behind the house. Kiwis (the people not the animal) move a little slower and seem less stressed, and I liked that pace. I could feed carrots to the horses a block from our house, and they started to remember me.
In Detroit, I came home to rain mixed with snow, and lots of potholes. The traffic around Detroit seems insane to me, and the Christmas mania only adds to the already intense levels of hurriedness. I have wet leaves to rake, and a muddy road to navigate. And, there are no horses.
Which place would you prefer? I thought so.
Truthfully, I find myself happy in both places. Despite differences, each has its good points. I have a daughter in Auckland, and a daughter in Detroit and they both bring me joy. And our son seems to show up wherever we are to eat food and go on adventures. We now have friends in both places.
I had a beach but slept in a lousy bed in New Zealand, and I have no beach but a great bed in Detroit. (I am old enough that the bed matters.) I had peace and quiet in NZ, but few restaurants near our town. The Indian restaurant was the best but primarily did just carry out. I have great restaurants in Plymouth, but the traffic… well, I already covered that.
Kiwis are nice but tough. They have t-shirts that say “Harden the F.. up!”, Which they sell with the utmost politeness. Kids in New Zealand seem to be born with a thicker layer of skin and are oblivious to the rain and cold. And everyone is happy to have a chat. I can see why my daughter loves the country.
Currently, the popular t-shirt in Detroit says “Detroit Against Everyone Else,” which is another way of saying “Harden the F-up.” People don’t put on winter coats here until it’s really winter; otherwise you are not really from Michigan. And Detroit is amazingly friendly. I can see why my other daughter has enjoyed living here.
At the end of the day, a place is not nearly as important as the people you love. For now, Detroit is home base. We will continue to move around and will be back to New Zealand. In the meantime, my husband and I fantasize about a large family compound in some mythical place, with all our children and their significant others and dogs and gardens and maybe … horses. We are calling it Polish Headquarters.