It’s been a while since I’ve been in America, and even longer since I’ve been to Grant’s family home. Because of my world travels, he’s been visiting me in my various homes around the globe for the past year or so; first in Costa Rica last summer, then in Scotland at Christmas, and finally again in France in the spring. I spent about a week with him in Akron last October but never made it to his home town in that short time, so all told it’s been about fifteen months since I’ve been here.
And things have changed since then! The family room has received a beautiful makeover and the gazebo’s been updated too; the first thing I noticed, though, was that Grant’s younger brother has moved into the other room in the basement where his sister used to live. Her absence was sorely missed that first evening when I went to take my shower and found that, in place of her usual array of products carrying such names as ‘Rose Garden’ and ‘Moonlight Whisper,’ I was offered only a single choice of shower gel: ‘Power Stick‘.
So now I’m walking around smelling like Power Stick, aka Testosteronopolis, until I get myself to a store that sells Twilight Musk or whatever. I miss Grant’s sister :(
Meanwhile, the rest of the house has been freshened up since I was last here, and I’m still working on my own contribution to the lovely new scheme. Momma Bear seems to already have a very good idea of what goes where, so I hope my gift isn’t going to amount to an annoyance that she has to find a place for; but I think they’ll like the gesture at any rate. I’m embroidering* a design from the book of patterns I bought in Strasbourg, and its traditional country-style Alsatian design made me think of the family. Plus, the written message in the design is just perfect: ‘Le bonheur est dans la Stub’. Bonheur is the French word for happiness, and Stub is an Alsatian word for the family room: the cozy, candlelit heart of Alsace’s traditional home. So the phrase roughly translates as ‘Happiness is in the family room’: I guess it’s an equivalent for our ‘Home is where the heart is’ or something to that effect.
*Well, it’s counted cross stitch, the most basic form of embroidery there is, because it’s all I’m capable of.
I’ve only been here for a couple of days, and I’m already feeling the warmth and comfort of Midwestern life evoked by my design. I’m out here in the gazebo, listening to Latin jazz with accompaniments by the birds and the windchime, and I’m wishing I could stay here forever and ever.
There’ll be more to come shortly about some of the other things we’ve been getting up to in Ohio, but for now I have some weekend planning to do, so it’s goodbye from me, and it’s goodbye from her.