Thursday, June 30, 2011

Walking the Talk: Virtual {Iced} Tea

There you are.

I thought that was
your sweet face,
next to the trail, where 
we agreed to meet.
I'm a few minutes
late, with Elizabeth,
William and Gracie in
 tow.  {Sorry for the delay!}

I brought us some
iced tea to sip as
we walk....and talk....

William is going to
ride ahead on his
bicycle.  He's all
about his bike these
days, finding walking
to be so boring.

See ya, son.

Anyway, Elizabeth
and Gracie are going to
blaze the trail ahead
of us, so we can chat by 
ourselves.  Before we
start out, though, she
wants to thank you for
your kind thoughts and
wishes when she was
in Italy!  {GRATZIE!}

As I was driving my
brood over here, 75
degrees, dry and 
sunny.....Blue skies
with puffy white clouds
like the sort that is often
drawn by a child....And
the lake, sparkling and
flags fluttering....I had
an Oh my! moment.

I was blooming where
I was planted.

Yes, you've heard me
bandy that phrase around
here, before.  Growing up, it
was my family's motto; another
 brood that moved around.
A lot.

And I'd convinced myself
with each move as a grown up,
that I was doing exactly that.  But
I realized just.this.week that I
was finally walking the talk.

Because in the past ten years
that we have been planted
here in Minnesota, I had staked
 a big BUT next to my blooms.

I am blooming where I'm
planted.....but I'd rather live
near my parents.
I am blooming where I'm
planted.....but we won't be
here that long.
I am blooming where I'm
planted, but I'd rather be
closer to the ocean.

But....this week ~
THIS week ~
As I passed gorgeous old
farms when we drove out
into the country to pick
THIS week ~
As I walked this very beautiful
paved trail that parallels 
the lake.....

A peacefulness settled on
my heart and I realized it.
That stake.....that but....
has been plucked and 

I AM blooming where I'm planted.
I am home, for as long as this
patch of earth keeps us here.

And why not?
Minnesotans enjoy the second
longest life expectancy in the 
U.S., behind Hawaii.  {!}

Minnesota is known for its
great schools; in the most
recent ranking, our students
scored third highest on SATs.

According to,
their latest liveability index
ranked Minnesota as the second 
best place to live in the U.S., 
behind New Hampshire.

Minnesotans grab each
season by the lapel and shake
out every.last.bit.  Our lake
is dotted with ice houses and
skiers all winter long, but as
soon as those paved trails
are clear, you will see the first
 bicyclists out for a spin....
even if there are still snow banks.
And, docks go into lakes as soon
as the edges have melted, even
if the middle is still frozen solid!

That my friends, is blooming.

I know.  Heavy stuff, eh?
{See, that Minnesota-speak
has rubbed off on me after
all of these years!}

Ooh, I see the bridge,
up ahead.  One of my favorite
resting vistas, with water on
both sides.  I see that my girl
has stopped to take it in.  Even
Gracie likes to stop and look.

Here, I've brought a few
raw energy bars, home made
by my friend Emily, for us
to nibble on as we enjoy
 the view.

Do you think that sense that
one is truly at home, deep in
the bones, transcends a roof
over our heads and family 
around the table?

I just finished a memoir written
by an Alaskan author.  She wrote
about a close friend who arrived
in Alaska at age 19 and confided that
for the first time in his young life,
I finally feel like I'm home.

Is it DNA or simply how we are
wired, that makes a specific geography
 seem to fit better than another?

Hey, there goes William, whizzing 
past us on his bicycle.  Break's over....
Let's turn back.  I want to hear all 
about the place that makes you feel most 
at home.  Are you living there now or 
are you hoping to live there in the future? 

Are you blooming 
where you are planted....




Sarah atRosePetals said...

"plucked and chucked" :) loved that!

I'm so glad you found the feeling of being home. I think once we feel totally content with most things and where we are in our lives, the feeling of being home naturally follows.

There's always going to be things we'd like to change but really the feeling like you've found your home, is much more than sticks and stones and geography.

Have a wonderful weekend ~ I love the walks with you!
Sarah xo

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Such an interesting conversation! I went to summer camp in MN, so I do love the lakes there and how that area smells - Mmmm. I definitely think I bloom where planted, but being an expat, I know that we will be 'uprooted' at some point. Thank you for our little 'walk & talk' :) XOL

Susan T said...

You have touched on what I have been feeling for a while. I have moved around a fair bit in my life, and feel that there is one big move ahead somewhere. But just at the moment I am content, helped enormously by our new dog, who is a constant delight. I used to look at houses for sale and dream of other places, but now this house feels like home. We have got so much shared history in the house, our children grew up here. We have everything we need in this pleasant village. The more I go away the more I realise it feels good to be home.

I love your "blooming where you are planted" I will remember that.

Have a lovely weekend lovely lady. x

Razmataz said...

I lived in Kenya for my first 6 years, then the UK, then Canada for the past 30+ years. I've never felt Canada was my HOME, despite it being one of the most wonderful countries in the world. I am not sure why, but your thoughts today hit a note with me, especially the bit about being hard wired. When I go to England, I feel like I am home. Yet, it will never be my home again.

Great post.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest, I know what you are saying. Born and bred in L.A., schooled in Boston, now here in Minneapolis, I have had to learn what you are so eloquently saying here. What makes me feel at home? The love that I create. No matter where I have been, the Grace of God has taught me that I dig my own earth, I plant my own seeds, I water my own garden. I bloom where I AM PLANTED because I tend to my garden. No one else will do it for me, even GOD. He expects ME to do it...He is the great gardener of all, but HE gives us the earth, the seeds, the TOOLS and the water....You have masterfully expressed your heart, and in so doing, you have made it a reality for yourself. Bravo my friend....and isn't Minnesota a place that teaches you these things through the struggles of the winter? Through the freedom of each warm season that allows us to break the chains of our frustrations? I am proud to be a part of that school system that demands excellence, and to know wonderful families that care.

THANK YOU for being the observant writer that you are!!! Anita

Anonymous said...

I've never lived very close to the ocean... it's something that is on my bucket list. I think I would thoroughly enjoy it. Hope one day you can get there too. :-)

Enjoy your holiday week-end, Suzanne!


Charm Bracelet Diva said...

Hey Suzanne! This really hit home (pardon the pun)with me...I think you know that even though I live in the Chicago area, I'm not FROM the midwest, I'm an east coast girl through and through! My family has moved from Philly to Kansas to Illinois and I've always had a heartache for "home." The closest I get is the beach each summer. It is so hard to miss extended family each and every day, old friends, familiar husband says it doesn't matter to him where we live, that wherever we are, as long as we're together, it IS home. Lesson learned. I think I'll always feel a longing for that other place, but it doesn't mean that I can't be happy and bloom where I've been planted. :) Thanks for the reminder that I have to do that.

Happy 4th


patty said...

i love how you can evoke emotions with just the tempo of your words, the comfortable style. love.
we moved every 1-3 years for the first 12 years of our marriage. i still think i feel most at home in the mountains of ny, where i grew up. it's the familiarity, comfort... i think minnesota sounds/looks! lovely~

Lisa said...

So glad you feel that way. In the midst of a a cold gray New England winter I lament the fact that my parents chose this area of the country to immigrate to, but truly I love that our roots are planted here!! Even the winter has it's beauty and you're so right about blooming where you're planted!!! I'm all about making the best of wherever we're at in our lives.
Hope you and your family have a fun and relaxing 4th of July weekend Suzanne!! Thanks for the virtual tea :)

Ironstone and Pine said...

Beautiful, wise post Suzanne....I think sometimes we have to open our eyes, things could be so much worse for many of us and it really makes you appreciate the little things more. Life is a beautiful gift, so many people spend so much time worrying about the have nots rather than the haves and before you know if you are unable to see how wonderful the world around you is. It's all in the attitude, as they say happiness is a choice. To bloom where you are planted under any circumstances allows you to start living and walk the talk. You are a smart grounded woman Suzanne, you've got it figured out. Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend!! hugs~devon :)

Tiffini said...

i catch myself smiling as i read as if we are walking and talking together. I so understand your heart on this. I think that is such a great know your home. i love hearing your heart share it with us.
We've moved about 16 times in the last 15 years or so. I'm very much at home with my kids around me..don't know if geo. would play a part or not..yet.
I just want a place to settle.begin feel just be...i don't know how else to explain it. I'm tired of moving. the kids are tired of moving so to answer your question - i haven't found it yet but i think i'm getting real close;)
you are beyond sweetness and encouraging to me..even though i've never met you in person
xo happy 4th!

pollydove said...

Suzanne, I love this post! And I love your pictures! It looks heavenly to me. (I think I am going to reference this on my own blog!) Great thoughts ... happy 4th to you and your "whole" family! ;)

Jenny Schouten Short said...

Yep. I understand. I live in two countries. I'm so torn when I come back to Holland. But it is taking a hold of me when I let it. I'd rather be with my family in Texas, yes. But I'm meeting my collective unconscious in the Anglo-Saxon world of northwestern Europe. It is a spiritual thing I cling to not a place. Who are my people? My husband of five years is becoming more and more my people. etc. etc. This is too deep for a paragraph. xo Jenny

Whosyergurl said...

Lovely post. Lovely. I dare to say that I DO bloom where I am planted...I feel I have no other choice than to do so. This is my nature. I am going to fluff and paint and dig and plant and putter and putz and make this space better! Just because it is where I live.
O.k., now, I'm going to send your blog to a friend who just moved to Minnesota. xo, Cheryl

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

Welcome home!

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

i don't want to answer this question. am i blooming? i don't feel entirely at home in this place. i am guilty of looking forward. i was a child who moved a lot. i grew accustomed to fresh slates. to re-invention. to new friends. my home is with my husband, and we are here (at the northern illinois/southern wisconsin border) because of his job. but i am blooming? it still touches a tender spot. i found my husband in minnesota where i lived for 6 wonderful years. it truly is a magical place.

sorry for the rambling. wonderful writing from a lovely heart.


Beth said...

Wow, your little corner of the world looks so lovely, I can see how it feels right for you. I think I have been coming to similar conclusions in my little corner too. All of a sudden you begin to realise that you feel settled somewhere and it feels 'just right' to be there and not think about the next move or a past home. Thank you for sharing your walk.

Stitchfork said...

Beautiful post Suzanne. I think I am home, even tho we are scattered, this is the base we all return to. Wishing I could walk along that trail with you! Enjoy the 4th festivities!
xo Cathy


I really have to ponder this one, Suzanne. I am eight months into my move from Seattle to Chicago and there are things that are going well and things that are still tough. Am I blooming? Am I planting?

I think I am planting SOME, but not enough and I am seeing SOME blooming, but long for much more.

So glad you are feeling at home. We lived in MN for 6 years and really loved it.


Joanna said...

I enjoyed our walk together, and the iced tea was so refreshing.

I totally understand what you're saying about blooming where you are planted.

We've been in this house/town for 12 years and I was very unsettled for the first 3-4. We'd only moved 10 minutes from our old house, but I was happy there (couldn't afford the bigger house we needed in that village). I was like a plant put in the shady part of the garden, but I slowly grew and then, like you, suddenly realised that I was in the sunshine.

I feel very settled now and wonder how I'll feel when we move on again (to downsize, this time!).

Have a lovely weekend.


Seven Gates Farm said...

Love bloom where you are planted. I'm trying to just "stay in the moment". That's my new thing. Debi

Teacup Moments said...

Suzanne, I understand what you mean! I love how you summed that sentiment for us who've been moving around but who want to make our temporary lodgings home despite the struggles and the buts. And I do agree that sometimes a particular geography seems to fit better than another. I feel that where we are now I am more "home" than ever before.

Karena said...

Oh I love this Suzanne. I think that Anita so wisely said it best!! Change can be very good, it is an adjustment though!

Art by Karena

Come and join a very Fashionable Giveaway!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning sweet friend. What a glorious Minnesota Saturday we had yesterday, non? I played my portable harp in the garden and the sweet tunes just slipped away in the air, like dandelion puffs...thank you for your visit. Your comments and observation of my writing are important to me, for I consider you so skilled in this area. I LOVE TO IMPROVE MY WRITING!

Peace and joy to you today! Anita

quintessence said...

I have thought about this often and still don't have an answer. You do feel content and grounded though so I believe you are right in thinking you are rooted now and blossoming. What a wonderful feeling that must be!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Whew, it is hot so I thank you for the iced tea. I am so happy to hear that you feel planted and blooming. I did a series in MN and absolutely loved it. I can easily understand why you feel you have found your "home".
I grew up back east and moved to California many years ago. I have enjoyed CA and all that it offers. But, I also love upstate NY and New England so I feel a bit torn between the two coasts. I think living here is wonderful because of the weather and wonderful friends but I believe it's easier to grow older on the east coast because CA is very youth oriented. I have seen people as young as 45 totally shut out of things. So, I must admit I am a bit torn...we must always look for the good wherever we are. It is important to keep growing and blooming.

lisaroyhandbags said...

This post SO speaks to me! Gosh, with all the moving we have done, I've always tried to bloom wherever we've happened to be. But I think the hardest thing is being an expat because you know it's temporary so putting down any roots is impossible. And so you never really feel settled.
Even though our families are all in Northern Ontario, we both left for university/college near Toronto and moved around a lot afterwards. Neither one of us feels like our birth place is "home", despite everyone still being up there. To me, it's where I went to college near Toronto and where we lived again later for 5 years. I think it will always have the pull of home and I hope we settle there again eventually, in a lovely home on the lake.
I hope you're having a lovely July 4th - for us, Canada Day just wasn't the same being so far away. xo

Amy Arnaz said...

Good Morning Suzanne~
I love your talent for inviting comments. So I will... Years ago one of my ballet students gave a me a set of magnets for my fridge that said: Bloom where you are planted. So that phrase has been on my mind. I always felt very deep roots in Southern Nevada having lived there all of my life. But recently with the water crisis and 20 year drought we are finding our roots settling into a lovely spot in Oregon where there is abundant water. So we are in transition... and it's a little unsettling. The photos you posted of that exquisite lake and of your home make it easy to see why you are blooming there. And Gracie must love it! xoxo Amy

Splendid Willow said...

Only you Suzanne. Only you can come up with the best life and reality check. You are the queen of great wisdom. Our Dr. "Feel" (No, not Phil!) Good! (Hope you don't mind).

I will remember that expression. I tend to talk about finding my harbor (my husband) and putting down the anchor for good (in the US! And now also in Seattle!).

I am a very content and blessed gal - and so are you my friend!

Happy 4th to you and your family.

We are off to the beach!

ox, Mon

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh it looks as though your sweet fur baby has healed.

Have a happy 4th of July!

koralee said...

You betcha sweet one...I sooooo love my city and area..your's looks lovely too. Hugs and love to you.

Linda said...

Beautiful, Suzanne...I have lived many places, but Minnesota is Home Sweet Home to me!

Lili said...

Well I for one feel fortunate that I made it back to my home state after spending 38 years away. But finding out my great grandparents migrated to Maine from Minnesota, that State must be in my DNA too. Lovely post as ususal Suzanne. xoxo ~Lili

pretty pink tulips said...

That is my favorite quote - the one that has gotten me through all my changes and moves over the years. I so believe in it. And, baby, you are doing it!!!!

xoxo Elizabeth