Friday, October 28, 2011


It had been about 25 years since my niece had been back in the US.
She was born here and her birth certificate will always say she's American,
which I believe she is very proud of.

There is no doubt she is very much French though.
Of course she is, they moved back to France when she was 4.
My sister, though fluent in 3 languages spoke
only French at home.
My niece speaks perfect English but with a cute French accent.
Speaks thoughtfully with  purpose,  unlike me that just
spouts off whatever happens to come through my head. I also speak fast, 
 though  I am more aware of
how fast I can talk so I (after all these years) have slowed it down.
Now don’t get me riled up 'cause I’ll give you an earful: )
yes I can talk.

(George rolling his eyes)

or what he might say to someone:
Did she take a breath? or did you get a word in?…..haha

park ave

anyways, enough about my foibles.

We only spend a couple of hours together in NYC. Vanessa was off to visit
with a friend in Brooklyn for a couple of days....
I went shopping and exploring.
I'll share that later. 
That was the last day we saw each other. 

On the first day here
we visited old houses that we had lived in.

kirtland st

This was the home that I grew up in from 2nd grade until 8th. It was a house built in the early 1900’s. It seemed so big when I was a child but the porch makes it look much larger. The house had the usual creaky noises that old homes have, but I learned to get used to it.

I think I even liked it.

The rooms downstairs ran into each other so my niece enjoyed running from one to the other in a circle.
You know how it is when kids learn to run.
Round and round and round she went,
many times head first into something in her path.
Would make my sister crazy.

hemlock dr

This was our next home.  I remember I thought we had arrived when we moved here.
We had moved to a new development in town and all the cool kids lived here.
Now I look at this house and think

WHAT, you’re kidding right?

(I like the old house better now)
It is bigger then it looks since it has a basement walkout but it looks a little abandoned now.
It used to have pretty flowers in the front and a split rail fence.
Oh and it came with a new harvest gold Formica counter top. Well actually more pumpkin color.
This was the 70’s kids.
The house across the street had a pool.
( and my boyfriend of 3 yrs) yeah convenient. his mothers chagrin. 
She didn't like her son with the little french girl:

Sorry I digress.....
My niece was part FISH and spent as much time at the pool as we would let her.
I remember her endlessly asking me to watch her as she dove from the diving board.
Tata regarde moi!!!!
I would of course….she was so cute and fearless.
(I never dove off the board....too chicken)


While in the area we decided to check out the high school that I attended.
Ok , again maybe more of a memory for me but watching a couple of minutes of American football would be one thing
on the list of things to check off. 
I thought of explaining it to her but I only know the basics.
4 plays to get 10 yards ……right?


Animals don’t need translation,
they always understand a kind touch.


Being by the water is something she loves and something that gives her much inner peace so
I tried to oblige her as much as I could.
Plus I like it too.


One day we got a light take out lunch and sat by the docks.
It was a windy day but we didn’t mind. The sun was shining and time seemed to stand still.

Spending time with Vanessa was eye opening for me.

I realized that we had spent too many years apart and that I want/need to make up for all that lost time.

I know like with any relationship it needs to be nurtured
and I hope we will have many years ahead in each others lives...

.....and making more memories.

I'll share more of our visit soon,



Theresa said...

What a sweet visit down memory lane with our guide 'the little french girl' :) Your first house looks like the american dream...white picket fence, front porch, white house. oh maybe that's just my dream! All of the windows make it so very charming. How nice for you two to get reacquainted, I can't wait to see the rest of the visit. I think that the eye opening part for me even pertains to people close by. Getting reacquainted and taking the time to just have a little visit. Thanks! t. xoxooxo

time worn interiors said...

What a sweet story! It's so nice to get caught up with someone you have been with in a long time!
tot said...

How nice to be able to see her again and visit old memeories. Sounds wonderful. I hope you get to do it again real soon. Maybe in her part of the world?
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage
Are you ready for the snow tomorrow????Eeeek

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Dear Carole,
What a wonderful post lovely to take a trip down memory lane with your niece.
I just adore your first home. I would love to live in it now !! It's funny how you loved moving to the more modern one as a young girl, but now would love to be back in the older one.
I am sure that this visit has made you both realise that you must see each other more often if possible.
Looking forward to seeing what you got up to in NYC. XXXX

erin said...

FUN glad you got reaquainted and walked down memory lane. Love that white farm house! i'd love to know more about your french background?
happy weekend,

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Glad you got to spend time and get reacquainted with Vanessa. should go visit her in France...I'll come with you! :) hehe

oldgreymare said...

Ok if you and Laura go to France can I come to? Should I start saving? :D
I loved seeing your old homesteads. The white one is wonderful ....wouldn't it be fun if we all picked a day and showed our first homes on our blogs..all us women of a certain age that

I am so happy you had your visit with Vanessa.. I'm looking forward to more photos too.

Have fun tomorrow night..oh I want pictures of that also :D

Julia - "Vintage with Laces" said...

You both must have had a great time together and you were the perfect guide to show Vanessa the places of her childhood. I love the first home you have lived in, Carole. The white wood, the shutters, the fence, large trees on the property ... I would move right in if I could.
Hopefully it won't take another 25 years until your niece will be back.
Have a great weekend :-)!
Hugs to you,

trash talk said...

This was one of the most peaceful posts I've read in some time. (I tried to read it with just the tinest bit of a French accent!) Taking the time...or perhaps stealing back the time...revisiting old memories while making new ones is something we all should do. Loved this post and all that was left unsaid.

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet post brimming with love for your niece. I cannot go "home" anymore. The home my parents built now has a funny-looking 2nd story to it, and the whole neighborhood is different. My best friend's home is gone and so are her father's greenhouses... just have to rely on the memories. Your first home is gorgeous!
The last time my son & DIL were in town from Japan, we saw them for three hours and then they were off again. Like you, my hope is that we will be able to spend more time together in the future.
Have yourself a happy weekend, Carole!
~ Zuzu

Jill said...

This is fun to hear about your time with your niece and to see your first homes...looking forward to more!

June said...

It sounds like you are really making the best of this visit Carole. It was great to see the places you grew up and I sure could live in that first house you used to live in. I can see it with a little front garden and hollyhocks along the fence can't you?
I know you two will be making memories this visit and memories last a lifetime. You guys will remain close because of them. The memories from the past and the memories you will make in the future.
hugs from here...

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Carole,

How wonderful to catch up with your niece and to be able to go back down memory lane and see the houses you used to live in.
Love the first white house, so charming and it is funny how back then we would have preferred the modern newer house and how our tastes change.
Enjoy the rest of the time and I look forward to hearing more of the visit.


SueAnn said...

What a wonderful visit! Love the journey through times past! I bet she loved it too!
I know what you mean about how hard it is to keep in touch with our relatives who live so far away. Bitter sweet for sure!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Carole
Well.. what fun you girls must have had. I understand the speaking too fast [and too much thing].. that's me.. but with an aussie accent...

That first home is wonderful... and yes we all thought the 2nd one was the antz pantz in the 70's... My childhood home is gone!!.. a block of villa's now.. I looked it up on google maps!! haha.. was sort of sad to think it is gone... although the whole area is somewhere I wouldn't drive these days,, another sad factor..

So glad you had a wonderful time with Vanessa.. you must be missing her already .. and I don't think I realised you had a sister!!! I guess that would account for having a niece!! hahahaha

Alright .. can't wait to see more of NYC... I will get there one day and you can show me around.. ciao ciao xxx Julie