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What I have today

On the way home from the grocery I stopped to talk with a neighbor that has lived in our village her whole life.  She tells me about how she would take long  walks with her children in the forests around here.  They would picnic and play in the forest before returning home.   She tells me about how her mother would take care of eight children with no washing machine, dish washer or sweeper. Through our talks I get little glimpses of what it was like to live in our village when she was young.  She tells me that it was very hard and they were all very poor during the second world war.  Yet, there was much love and laughter in her family.  I can see that she carried this on to her own family and now she is enjoying the families of her children.

I really enjoy our talks.  She is such a happy and secure woman.  She doesn’t mind growing old.  It is just a part of life.

We talked about the huge sun we have today and how we can smell spring.  She told me she can hear the birds chirping from her balcony.  She told me not to be afraid to approach people and talk to them here in the village.  I could feel that she thinks of me more and more as one of the villagers and less and less as a foreigner.

It is nice.  I am starting to be accepted into our village and it does make a difference in how I feel about my life here.

Thank you all for understanding about my need to just talk on this blog.  When I started this blog I really didn’t worry about what I talked about on here.  It was my place to let it all out and to share what my life is like as an expat.  I would sit down each day without any real blog post in mind.  I would start typing and the post would grow from word to word.

I will still put up my photos as I have always done from the beginning.  However, I am going to go back to the style of writing I had when I began this blog.  Meaning there is no style.  :)

Last year was very hard for me.  I think it was one of the hardest years of my life.  Finally, it is getting much easier for me.  I feel a determination that I haven’t felt since I left college.  I am not afraid and I know that I will be OK.  I am ready to push myself like I have never pushed myself before.   No matter what, I understand that my life is easier than it was for the woman that I talked with this morning.  Even if her life wasn’t always easy I am sure she she still enjoyed all the things that made her happy.

She helps me to remember what is important.

Our happiness doesn’t come from money, a job or other people.

Happiness comes from within us.

I am finally grounded but at the same time I am ready to take off into the wind.
What I have today is happiness.

I love shadows of trees on the snow.

I love to watch my son shovel snow with his snow disk.

I love to watch my children play.

I love that my husband will drag our Christmas tree to the community compost after Christmas is over even if he doesn’t even really like Christmas trees.

I love our little red train and the beautiful horses that we see almost daily here.

Have a great Saturday!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • sissi February 27, 2010, 1:10 pm

    This woman reminds me of my grandma. She too has lived in the same villahe her whole life, working hard, raising a family (and back then it was a lot of work, they didn’t have the toys we have). She has lost everything during WW2 and became very poor because her father was taken by the SS. My grandfather didn’t have an easy life either. sometimes, he shares with us how his childhood was and his first years as an adult.
    BUT they are the most genuine people I have ever met, hard worker, tough, kind, they are happy, humble, don’t need “stuff” to be happy, don’t waste anything, when I am around them I want to be a better person, they inspire me. I respect them greatly. I wish I was more like them. Being simply satisfied without always looking for something else or questioning my existence.

    Pic of the tree is great!

    • Pumpkin March 3, 2010, 1:24 pm

      Sometimes I wonder if with all the modern conveniences and material things that we aren’t burying ourselves under it all? We really need to go back to basics to understand what life really means.

  • Desiree February 27, 2010, 1:41 pm

    Hi Tracy Pumpkin
    I have been following your blog for nearly a year now. I lived in Bern as a teenager (I am now 62) and have very happy memories of the Jura, especially of the horses roaming loose, and the Marche Concours at Saignelegier. (I was a horse-mad teen!). Your gorgeous photos make me feel quite nostalgic, and a touch envious too.

    But while I love your photos, it is so good to see you getting back to writing too. I like that you are aware that you are happy. So many people either aren’t happy, or don’t realize that they are in fact happy. I started to keep a journal for myself because I wanted to record those moments when I felt truly happy. Of course I also write about various grizzles I have, but I really enjoy looking back by reading about the happy times. Make sure you keep your blog safe “for posterity”, so that when you reach 50 or 60 you can read what occupied your thoughts at 40.

    I look forward to more of your posts. Keep up the great work!

    • Pumpkin March 3, 2010, 1:27 pm

      Hello Desiree! It is nice to finally meet you. :) I will have to take more photos of horses for you! I have worried about losing my blog even if I do back it up. I would like to have my favorite posts made into a book to tuck away or share with my children later. I think keeping a journal just for me is a great idea. I will have to start that too!!! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment.

  • might i add...? February 27, 2010, 4:13 pm


    I am so happy that you are feeling freer. And more secure. So important. I have loved reading and watching your blog for … I can’t remember how long, almost 3 years maybe? Certainly when you were still blogging under “My French Window.” And I love seeing how you see the world and being willing to share your beautiful photos. But I have been missing your reports on you, your life, your wonderful children, how you experience life where you are.

    I don’t comment often, as life has become just too busy, but I do read your posts when they show up in my RSS feed. I’m always happy to see a number show up there!

    Take care,

  • expatraveler February 27, 2010, 7:38 pm

    Sounds like a great plan to me!!! It’s your blog and you can tell about what you want. I do think sometimes the blog is a way to chat to people who can speak english and give you feed back.

    What a beautiful story. My fav photo is the prestine blue. Thanks!! for making me smile.

    • Pumpkin March 3, 2010, 1:28 pm

      You are so right about blogging being a great way to stay in touch with English speakers. My writing in English is much better than if I had not kept a blog especially since I am speaking in French most of the time (except for the kids) now.

      • Desiree March 4, 2010, 12:20 am

        Hello again
        Speaking of keeping in touch with English, I find that, for me, being able to read blogs in French (and German too) provide a great opportunity for me to keep up with the “current vernacular” of these languages. French is different from when I was at school in Bern. There are so many English expressions being used now, e.g. technology and world events. As I live in New Zealand I don’t get the opportunity to speak French or German these days. I enjoy your husband’s blog as well. So thank you, to both of you.

        • Pumpkin March 5, 2010, 10:10 am

          Desiree, It is true that English is sneaking into the French here. My husband doesn’t like it one little bit! :)

          We, as expats today, are so lucky that we have the internet. I just felt so cut off while living in France before we got a computer. I can’t imagine what it was like for expats before the internet! Pictures of New Zealand are so beautiful that I would love to visit it one day.

  • Ellen March 1, 2010, 5:24 am

    Hi Tracy!
    I have been enjoying reading about your last few years in Switzerland…I fast forwarded thru a bit. I accidentally found your blog as I was researching Lausanne this evening. I am an Ohio girl as well, (originally Va.), living in Westerville, suburb of Columbus. My brother & I have been researching our family heritage which hailed from the Graubuenden region. However, if we ever get to visit, I would love to visiit the Lake Lucerne region. I am loving everything I see about Lucerne and surrounding villages. Have you been there by any chance?
    Was researching Lausanne for a warmer climate visit as well. From your blog writings & pics, I would so enjoy Lausanne. Also from your blog writings you loved Lausanne too….I must have missed why you & your family didn’t settle there. Do you have long term plans to try and move there?
    Nice to meet you!…..Ellen

    • Pumpkin March 3, 2010, 1:40 pm

      Hello Ellen,
      How exciting to look up your family roots. I have been to the Lucerne region. It is very beautiful there.

      Here are some photos I have on flickr.

      Also, a post about Altdorf with photos…and William Tell.

      I would love to live in Lausanne and I think one day we will. My husband found work in our village in the Jura while we were living in France. That is how we ended up in the Jura of Switzerland….It was for work. We do love living in the Jura but it does seem too small at times. If we had a car I think it would be easier for us.

  • Katie March 3, 2010, 8:39 pm

    Your posts are such an inspiration for me :-)

    • Pumpkin March 5, 2010, 10:13 am

      You are so sweet. :)

  • Adam March 4, 2010, 2:26 am

    We really need to go back to basics to understand what life really means.

    • Pumpkin March 5, 2010, 10:14 am

      That is an understatement! :)

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