Friday, June 17, 2016

My immigrant Story in The Guardian (and a Celebration)

As time permits I read about the news on the web and from a variety of newspapers as those shown in the collage above.  I don't read them daily but as often as I can.  In April and May I read stories on The Guardian in the Opinion section.  They were pieces written by immigrants to the US.  Below are some stories taken from my computer screen.

Then I noticed this caption: "Tell us how you got here ... We want to hear from the broadest possible range of people.  Young or old, from near or far ..." you can read the rest in my picture of my computer screen below.  Click on pictures to enlarge.

The immigrant stories on the newspaper were from people who had had a difficult life in their home country, such as the story of May 31, 2016, of a young man living in a refugee camp of 30,000.  Many of the immigrants to the US did not speak English well, such as Rossana Perez, story of April 5, 2016, who immigrated to the US from El Salvador when her husband was kidnapped.  Most people in the US now believe that immigrants are coming from third world countries only, are uneducated and a drain to the country.  At the end of May I decided to send my 200-word story to the Guardian to show that I came as an immigrant from an industrialized country - Paris is certain cosmopolitan.  It was not an escape, it was a choice.  I also spoke fluent English; please see my post "A New Year Party to Remember" about a party in London where I also mention my trips to England. Since a teenager, I had taken the ferry from Dieppe, France to Newhaven, England, almost a dozen times.  Below are old postcards of Dieppe harbor station.

The Opinion Editor replied that she was interested in my story and to send her a 600-800 words piece with some pictures, by the following Friday.  I wrote the story and sent her several pictures, which I'll show below.  I sent some from the time when I arrived in the US when I was young - my senior face is not as fetching!  I did not have a digital camera then and it was not easy finding old photos.  The caption under my photo on the newspaper story reads "I still remember when my hometown was liberated and Mother and I walked on the Champs-Elysees."  I was just a kid then and I did not think a picture of me as a child was appropriate for my immigrant story.  Photo below was taken around Christmas in San Francisco with my pet cockatiel Diego.

For several days I looked for my story in the Guardian but did not see it.  I thought that the newspaper must receive a tremendous amount of stories - what were the odds that mine would be published?  The Guardian is an English newspaper founded in 1821.  It has become one of the most visited news site in the world.  So I was quite surprised last Tuesday, June 14, 2016, to see my picture and story in the newspaper.  Below is a photo around another Christmas but with my pet parakeet Dimitri.

My piece had been slightly edited.  While reading some of the comments to my story I realized that the newspaper had used, in the heading, a sentence that was not in the printed story, but in my email to the newspaper.  When I sent my email containing my essay I told the Editor that I did not know if it would be of interest to readers since I had not been a destitute immigrant, uneducated and terrorized in Paris.  Even though I think it is wonderful that the US accepts immigrants (well, not that many anymore from Muslim countries) not all immigrants are refugees fleeing torture and certain death in their country.  I wrote that I did have a glamorous job in Paris, an apartment, a car and that, actually coming to the US had hurt me financially since I had a higher salary at my job in Paris than in San Francisco.  It did not matter to me because I had not come "for a better life" or in pursuit of the mighty dollar.  I had come to travel, for adventure.  Financial gain had not been my purpose.  This statement was not in my story so the heading sentence was confusing to readers.  I wish instead they had used "I came for travel and adventure."  But maybe happy stories are not as interesting to readers.  Below are two more photos I sent, taken in San Francisco around 1967 or 68, one with a little neighbor.

 Growing up in Paris, our apartment building was in a "Cité " made up of apartment buildings around a closed courtyard.  On the right side of the courtyard was the Metro Goldwyn Meyer studio in France (MGM-Paris.)  There, they showed films to distributors, repaired them, dubbed them, etc.  My little friends and I would play in the yard listening to the (loud) sound of westerns, horses, etc., coming from the always open studio window.  The boys in our group were the cowboys and my girl friend and I were the Indian maidens.  I got to really dislike cowboys (our boy playmates were rough) and decided that when I grew up I would go to the Indian country.  I came to the US to visit the country, learn the culture, visit Native American areas and listen to jazz, live.  I had a large collection of Blue Note jazz vinyl albums.  My favorite jazz artist was Thelonious Monk.  Money was never in the equation as I said above.  Below is the courtyard in Paris where I played as a child (located near the Sacre-Coeur of Montmartre.)

While traveling across the west I was very excited to visit the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana.  I was a bit sad that most of the reservations I visited did not look very prosperous.  Still now it is a treat for me to visit the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians at their Reservation near the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina.  I wrote several posts about it, such as Cherokee Indian Market and Festival of Native People.  By now I have visited 48 US states (not Delaware and New Hampshire) as well as the US territory of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean region (as well as Mexico and Canada.)

Here is the link to my immigrant story on The Guardian:
I hope you will read it.

Having my immigrant story published this week was like a gift, in a way, since our 49th wedding anniversary is today, Friday June 17.  My dear readers may recall that I published a post in 2012 on our 1967 wedding in San Francisco and I included some wedding photos - click here to see the post again.  I wish that next year, in June 2017, we may be able to travel to San Francisco for our 50th wedding anniversary, but with my husband's illness, it is uncertain.  Today, to celebrate, we had lunch at a small Colombian restaurant called Kiosco.  First, we were served a garbanzo salad then my husband had Bandeja Paisa/Grilled Steak, Chorizo, Pork Grinds, Maduros, Avocado, Rice and Beans w/an egg ($15) and I had Cerdo en Salsa de Pimienta/12 oz Pork Loin Smothered in Black Pepper Gravy with Rice and Beans ($10.50.)  The food was good with generous portions.  For dessert my husband had the Tres Leches Cake, and I had the Coffee Flan ($5.50 ea.)  The restaurant is located near the Square in Marietta, next to the historic 1860 Murray House.

Before we left for lunch it had been quite warm - 93 F or almost 34 C.  But then a severe thunderstorm passed by and it cooled the temperature to 75 F or 23 C.  We sat on our back porch for a while.  Trees have grown so much in our backyard that it has become a green oasis.  We cannot see anyone around our house.  These is some color though because we placed our house plants outside about a month or so ago and they have come alive with new growth and flowers.  Even our Christmas cactus is blooming.

Looking up I realized that we had a mimosa tree now.  I had never noticed it among all the pines.  In France, a mimosa is a small shrub with bright yellow flowers with a delicious fragrance.  The Latin name is Acacia Delbata.  It was introduced in France in 1867 from Australia and now the shrub is growing wild in the French Riviera region.

The mimosa flower is so popular in France that several Provencal towns celebrate it yearly in spring with festivals and parades.  A medieval village is even called "Bornes les Mimosas."  It is one of the most florally decorated towns of France with its streets lined with flowers.

My mimosa tree is not the same; it is an Alizia julibrissin in Latin, also called a Persian Silk Tree.  The flowers look like they are made of pink silky threads above a white or yellow base.  I believe it is growing wild in the South and is invasive; there are many of these trees along our road.  We did not plant this mimosa tree, it just came up.  As I was looking up at the tree I saw a little butterfly hoping from flower to flower.

Before lunch my husband went to read in the front yard which is the only area with a little sun.  He planted herbs and flowers there in several pots.  There are some wild periwinkles among the weeds, too.

As I was taking his picture I could see something bright yellow in the distance.  It was a sunflower plant growing on the hill that had been clear cut of trees last January by the Water Commission (for an upcoming water main.) 

The sunflower plant had grown well out of the wood chips left from the cut trees.  It looked pretty and happy.  So I'll end this post with this happy flower.  After a week of hate, terror and grief in Orlando, Florida and in Britain, it may give us hope that some kindness and love may still grow around us just like this little plant did out of a bleak hill.


DJan said...

I read your article in the Guardian and enjoyed it very much. And thank you for the lovely sunflowers after such a difficult week. I always love to read your posts, and your picture of the pretty butterfly is also simply wonderful. Sending you much love, VB.

Frances said...

Dear Vagabonde, this is a beautiful post from a beautiful lady. You are a true vagabonde, and your enthusiasm for all that is good in our world is inspiring!

I send Happy Anniversary wishes to you and Jim.

How wonderful to have that sunflower plant volunteer to spread its happy greeting. xo

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful and very interesting post. Love the sunflowers, mine are just starting to bloom. Valerie

Linda said...

Such a fascinating a lovely post! How nice to see your story and photos, which is amazing! I am glad they printed your story. Thank you so much for sharing.

GaynorB said...

Wonderful! I also read your story when it was published in the Guardian, but didn't link it to you. I would like to think that the UK has a tradition of welcoming and accepting others. I hope we will continue to do so, but sadly the polls seldom get it wrong. I can't imagine anything worse than an awful combination of Brexit and Trump.
Looks like an amazing anniversary meal.
Best wishes

Linda P said...

Dear Vagabonde, I wish you and your husband a happy anniversary. I'm so glad you were both able to enjoy a nice meal together. It's our 51st wedding anniversary tomorrow. We shall have a quiet day at our daughter's home. I'm glad your story about going to the USA from France was published. My husband came to England as an economic migrant at the age of 19. My parents took him to their heart. I'm glad that the city where we now live is known as the city of sanctuary welcoming refugees as well as overseas students to the university. Thank you for a very interesting post about many fascinating aspects of your life now and in the past.

ELFI said...

un billet drôle et à tiroirs... l'immigration la connais aussi,
mais c'est la suisse qui m'a invité, je suis restée :)))

Pixel Peeper said...

What a beautiful post today. Your anniversary dinner looks delicious! Happy anniversary to you and your husband!

I read your story in the Guardian; it is very well written and really tells your story of being such a vagabonde, a world traveler.

David said...

Vagabonde, Now I really do understand your blog nom de plume! You have been all over the USA and a good portion of the rest of the world too... While I've touched every state in the USA on our trips, several provinces in Canada, Bahamas, Mexico, UK/Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, I have no hope of ever getting to as many places as you have!

Happy Anniversary! I know that it's a little bittersweet given your husband's issues and your upcoming move, but hey, you're still enjoying life. As we get older, its the little things that make the difference. As for your anniversary dinner, I'd definitely go for your husband's Bade ja Paisa, although your pork loin looked good too! We just don't have any decent ethnic restaurants around here except for Thai and Mexican.

I really enjoyed your immigrant story! Nicely summarized for sure... My only issue with immigration is the illegal part of it. Most of them are seeking a better life but we do need to get a grip on who they are. Most of them are hard working and honest but illegal immigrants fly in the face of those like yourself who had to follow the long legal process. Although we are attracting many skilled and well educated legal immigrants, the majority of the illegals are not. It's a complex problem in a complex world!

In any case, I really appreciated your story. We need to hear more positive stories like yours! The USA has its 'warts' but its so much better with so many more opportunities than most of the rest of the world.

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Nadezda said...

Hi, Vagavonde!
Congratulation on your 49th wedding anniversary! It's a whole life together, having daughters and grandchildren. Wish you to be optimistic and happy despite on problems that life sends us.
I'm also glad that such readable newspaper published your article about your interesting life of immigrant. I'll read it!
Love your tree mimosa. It's well known here too, and is a symbol of Women's Day on March 8th, when you can buy big bunches of fragrant yellow flowers.

biebkriebels said...

I read your article, it is nice to follow a lifetime story. I always like to read biographical stories and yours is very interesting. I recognize the moods of the joyfull sixties, so different from nowadays racial and limited ideas. The changing world is frightening me, it is not a nice world anymore to read about. People are standing so hatefull opposite each other. It makes me sad to see all the refugees trying to find a better life and not allowed to enter another country. Europe is turning into a hostile part of the world.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for your visit and comment. Yes there are a few plants that must not be touched because they are poisonous. But here in the Netherlands we have several plants that are poisonous, like hogweed or cow parsnip.
Your photos are brilliant and you were a beautiful girl!

Nathalie said...

I am new to your blog, discovering it via Pixel Peeper's "Thoughts from my Corner of the Couch". I loved reading your immigration story! Congratulations to your and your husband on your recent anniversary, that is quite an accomplishment!

Like you, I am a French woman who emigrated to the USA and I live in the South (Central Florida). My background wasn't glamorous at all, my mom was just clawing her way out of poverty, when I moved here for love in 1988. I am now an American citizen as well. I haven't traveled quite as extensively as you have. I thought I'd always love to travel but I have come to discover that I enjoy being home immensely. Now I try to discover new areas of interest around my little corner of the world. I used to think that Florida was kind of ugly and boring (I don't like the beach!) but every new local trip makes me reconsider this long-held misconception!

Our lives have similarities: back when I moved here, I had dreams of becoming a translator, but we couldn't afford to send me to the Monterey Language Institute, so I went to work for Walt Disney World. One of my jobs there was to be a cultural liaison for the International Students who came to work at Epcot at the World Showcase.
I love jazz too... in fact my oldest son just graduated from UCF with a degree in Jazz Studies. He is a trumpet player and it gives me great joy to listen to his playing and share that passion with him. I remember seeing Miles Davis and Spiro Gira play in Orlando in 1988. Back then I didn't love jazz so much but I definitely knew who Miles Davis was and understood the significance of watching him play and I only regret that back then we didn't have cell phones with cameras in our pockets at all times so I have no picture of it. He's still one of my favorites.
One of my brothers lives in Bourg La Reine, near Paris and works in the subway. His wife is a native Parisian. I brought two of my kids there last summer for the first time. It was in the middle of the heatwave and at the end of our month-long trip to France, when we were a little eager to come home. I now want to go back with my daughter and stay in Paris exclusively so we can visit it all to our heart's content! For now, I will continue to explore your blog and read the stories of your very intriguing life. Being a genealogy enthusiast, I commend you on your documenting your life on your blog so that your grandchildren one day learn about their heritage!

A bientôt.

Pat said...

Congraulations Vagabonde! I really enjoyed reading your article in the Guardian. Well done! They will always put their particular slant on it but it told a very interesting and engaging story.

How marvellous to have a mimosa tree. Altogether a great post.

Al said...

That's awesome, getting your story into the Guardian. I'm a first-generation immigrant to the USA, but not from a impoverished or oppressed background.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

How wonderful to have your story printed in the Guardian. That had to be such a thrill to read your words in that very important newspaper that is read all over the world. I am sorry, though, that they edited it without telling you.

My husband and I were married on June 17, 1967 also. The years have gone by so quickly and it is difficult for me to get my head around the fact that next year we will be celebrating 50 years together.

Marie-Anne said...

Chère Vagabonde,
Je me suis régalée de lire ton histoire dans le Guardian! Tu as dû passer des années fantastiques en voyageant dans tous ces pays!
J'ai moi-même visité plus de 20 pays, et j'aurais aimé raconter mes aventures dans mon blog (j'y pense sérieusement depuis un moment).
Un de mes plus beaux voyages fut celui à San Francisco en 1984!!!
Félicitations et meilleurs voeux à l'occasion de votre anniversaire de mariage!
J'aime beaucoup les Alizias...leurs fleurs sont vraiment superbes!!!
Je te souhaite une bonne semaine et un bon été (qui commence demain, officiellement). Ici déjà, nous avons eu trois jours de canicule à Athènes! Nous ne sommes sortis de la maison que pour arroser le jardin!
Gros bisous,

Cergie said...

Bravo pour avoir écrit et réussi à faire publier ton histoire même si elle n'entre pas dans les poncifs que les rédactions attendraient (comme tu dis, immigration de personne inéduquée venue d'un pays non industrialisé). Sans doute que l'histoire a plu mais également le style ? Et que tu sois venue de Paris ?
Je connais pas mal de personnes venues dans des conditions difficiles à une époque où c'était pourtant plus facile qu'aujourd'hui : des boats people vietnamiens (dont les parents de la première petite amie de mon plus jeune fils, arrivé l'un après l'autre avec l'un de leur enfant chacun). Une voisine et son mari cambodgien restés ou venus en France suite au génocide. Et puis des chinois qui eux ont immigré suite à leurs études en France. Trois cas de bonne intégration dans le pays...

Cergie said...

Au Week-end de l’Ascension nous avons revu une quarantaine de camarade de promo de mon mari pour leurs 40 ans de sortie de l'école. Beaucoup de leurs enfants sont à l'étranger : Etats Unis, Australie, Japon, Royaume Uni etc. Ou même en Nouvelle Calédonie qui est la France du bout du monde ou en Guyane. L’expatriation n'est plus rare de nos jours...

Cergie said...

J'adore ton "mimosa" ! C'est vrai que pour nous le mimosa est rond petit et jaune (mon plus jeune fils m'a surnommée "Mimosa" car il parait que je ne répondais pas quand il m’appellait "Maman". Depuis c'est devenu "Mimo", Mimousse" et toutes les déclinaisons possibles)
Mon mari est de Loire-Atlantique et sa grand'mère en avait de deux sortes dans son jardin : le mimosa d'hiver et le mimosa d'été. Mon beau-frère et ma belle-soeur sont du Var. Il ont bien entendu du mimosa sur leurs terres...

Lorsque je vivais en Côte d'Ivoire nous avions des mimosas en arbre avec des feuilles sensibles qui ressemblait à celui-ci que j'ai trouvé en Guyane que j'ai montré sur mon blog "jardin" >

Cergie said...

Félicitations pour la forêt qui te sert de back yard ! Ton mari lit bien tranquillement à coté des pots qu'il a planté. J'adore cette photo. Heureux homme qui peut jouir de l'instant présent !

Rosaria Williams said...

First, many congratulations to you for your latest accomplishment/writing piece in The Guardian! Indeed, quite an honor!
Second, this post is so rich I don't know where to start. You have an amazing memory and your personal story is always delivered with grace and beauty.
Third, what a beauty you are/were/will be. You are present in every picture, whether it is a picture of you, or a picture you took of a subject your were/are interested in. It is this presence that comes across, an intelligence and a interest that is alive and pulsating on the page.
Fourth, I want to wish you and your husband a very happy anniversary. Your story is one of love and companionship and dedication truly rare to find.
And last, but not least, we are all enriched by knowing you, seeing with you, traveling and thinking about the world with you. Merci bien.

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I love reading about your story as an immigrant and I think having it published is a great way to show how diverse people forming a country are.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thank you for everything in this post ..l so interesting and we can certainly all use the smiles. I am going to go to the link to your article as soon as I send this comment. I have a habit of going to links and forgetting to come back to comment! Congrats on getting published. You have a remarkable life story!

bayou said...

Dear Vagabonde, thanks again for a wonderful post, I loved to read it all. Very well deserved that they published your story but I am a bit disturbed by the fact that they edited it... Happy belated wedding anniversary to both of you, I hope your wish for next year's location will come true. Beautiful sunflowers, what a great symbol!
We are just back from a 4000 km car drive over to Bristol for welcoming the new granddaughter and househunting and then back and next day off for North Germany for a family do. All in one week. Now back in dull rainy and cold Belgium. Sending lots of love, Anke

Stewart M said...

Given the current state of politics in many parts of the world I think its important that stories like this are told! A good read.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Carol Crump Bryner said...

I loved reading this rich and interesting history of your life. I hope you are able to go back to San Francisco to celebrate your 50th anniversary next year. We were living in the SF area in those years, and went to many, many concerts to see Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, etc. We still have stacks of posters and postcards from those events. We treasure them. You were so beautiful with your lovely hair and the birds perched on your shoulder. Stunning!

Arti said...

A most interesting piece of immigrant story you have in the Guardian. Hope you will continue to find outlet for your stories from here, maybe, as I always say, collect the best of your posts and publish a book. You have a wonderful blog and great pictures and detailed rendering of your experiences in which publishers would be interested. Thanks for sharing your life story with us, VB! And thanks for stopping by the pond at Ripple Effects. :)

Jim said...

Hello 'Vagabonde', it has been a while. thank you for your kind words about my father's 100th birthday celebration.
I will read your story in The Guardian. When one reads about immigrants, isn't it curious that we mostly think about the destitute that are fleeing their countries for different reasons.
You mentioned a wild Periwinkle......I assume it is a 'ground cover' of sorts? We have one here in our garden on the east coast of Canada and it has covered a large area over the years. It has a very pretty purple flower presently. I am wondering if it may be a related species to yours?

Growing up in a large family with lots of siblings had its benefits and still does. It is interesting to watch the bonds that are created amongst individual members......likes attract each other.

I married a man who was an only child even though he had a brother who mostly kept to himself and then moved away. My husband is always amazed at the number of people in my family....and it's been 43 years for us!!

So good to hear from you and learn a bit more about your very interesting life and perspective.

Magic Love Crow said...

Congrats on the article! I'm going to read it, after, I have commented. I am sorry, they didn't write everything the way they were suppose to! You are so beautiful! And, I know you still are!!! Really enjoyed the pictures! Happy wedding anniversary! 49 years, wow! The food looks so good! Love the garden pictures! Sending you big hugs, much love and many blessings!

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow, I loved the article!! So nice to get to know you better! Your life has been full of adventures!

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

A happy post during rough times is a milestone since you chose to go public about your immigration. The timimg of it seems just perfect. And what a marvellous anniversary too.
Les fleures sont très jolies aussi.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Thanks for all the links. So much catching up to do. Congratulations on sharing your story and having it published. I love your photos here and can't wait to explore all your links.

Shammickite said...

I too am an immigrant. I was born in England and I came to live in Canada in 1966. I had a job, a supportive family, enough to eat, and place to live in England so I was not running away.... merely expanding my universe. I have not regretted the move, as I think Canada has been very good for me, but I do regret leaving my parents in UK. I think it made them very sad.

DeniseinVA said...

This is a very well written post as is your article for the newspaper. I always enjoy my visits here and also enjoyed all the links you provided. Thank you so much!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I enjoyed reading your story in the Guardian, Vagabonde. You have had a very interesting life! My grandparents were immigrants and so was my husband and his family. I hope the US does not forget that our nation has always been made stronger by welcoming immigrants to our shore.
I am sorry to learn of your husband's illness. I hope you were both able to enjoy a nice anniversary!

Ginnie said...

You already know, dear Vagabonde, that I'm thrilled your immigrant story was published! BRAVA! You have given so much to America in your many years there. We are PROUD of your contribution. I hope you are, too, in spite of all the chaos you have seen of late.

Mae Travels said...

Hi Vagabonde,
It's great that your story was chosen for the Guardian series. Most of your story has appeared over the years in your blog, but you did a great job of the short version.

I also enjoyed your description of your other experiences in your last 2 blog posts. I hope you are able to move soon to where you'll have more help with your situation.

best... mae at

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I enjoyed both your post and the story in the Guardian. Congratulations on your anniversary, it sounds like you had a nice day.

sandy said...

i will be back this afternoon to read this. Pressed for time this morning but it looks like a great read with photos too! I'm glad you are sharing this.

Shell Sherree said...

I loved reading your story in The Guardian, Vagabonde!! You do love birds, don't you. :) One of my close friends has a little cockatiel she adores so I thought of her when I saw your photos. And I adore that photo of you with the young boy ~ it's exquisite. You're living such a rich life. Very inspiring, you are. :) Have a beautiful weekend and those serendipitous sunflowers are gorgeous. Hope springs eternal. x0

sandy said...

I'm back and enjoyed the blog post - photos, etc...and also went over to read the article in the guardian and enjoyed all of it! You are so well traveled - I am envious about that - would love to see more of the world other than about 10 states including Hawaii. Maybe some day.

Denise Covey said...

Lovely article, Vagabonde, and i see that some of the switched-on commenters suspected the editorial dept. of changing the title for clicks. I learned so much more of your story. Working with Edith Piaf! Wow! What an interesting life you have lead. I was inspired by your interest in the Native American also.
Lovely pics, as always. We're having a rare, bleak winter's day in Oz and your flowers cheered me up no end! Thank you! Love your blog!

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on my guest post. How could I say anything but positive things about Paris.


Denise Covey said...

Oh, and happy anniversary to you and your husband! <3

Vicki Lane said...

What a wonderful post! The Guardian article, as well as the story behind it, are so interesting.

Your anniversary lunch looks delicious -- a fine way to celebrate.

And how interesting to learn about the French mimosa and the festivals.

Thank you for all these riches!

BeachGypsy said...

I'm pretty sure this is my favorite post you've written! Sure enjoyed it all.......loved the history and loved the memories it brought. Great post and photos too. Trips down memory lane are so nostalgic and we can still learn so much from them can't we?

stardust said...

I read your personal history in the Guardian article. The most impressive in this post is your overflowing love both for France and America. I like the mosaics of the silk tree flowers and hydrangeas.

I think this is a timely post about immigrants or the country of immigrants when fear-mongering politicians try to stop immigrants from some certain areas. I’d like America to be the country for the people who long for freedom.

Last but not least, it’s so nice to grow older together with the life in partner. This is belated but wish you another healthy and happy year ahead.


Down by the sea said...

Congratulations on getting your article in the Guardian and also for your Wedding Anniversary. Although I knew some parts of your story it was interesting to learn more about your life. Like everything else in life there tends to be stereotypes and so it was good that you participated in showing that everyone has an individual story to tell. Sarah x

Carola Bartz said...

Vagabonde, what an interesting article. As a fellow immigrant I am always interested in hearing other immigrants' stories. Reading yours in the Guardian I feel I now know you a little bit better (and I love your first name!). I always think I came here to the US by chance. I was over 40 when we arrived for my husband's work exchange that was supposed to last for 3 years. Little did we know that we would actually fall in love with this country and decided to stay here. Winning the Green Card lottery a few years later was like a sign. Now we have been US citizens for 18 months. For us it was a step back financially in the first few years as well - the money certainly wasn't our motivation to come here (and don't even get me started on health care). We came from a country with a very high standard of living, a well functioning democracy, all the freedom we want without the need for guns. It was the sense of adventure, of breaking out of the usual, of experiencing some great nature and wilderness. That is what we definitely got here in the American West. And that is what I most love about our country.

Happy anniversary (a bit late) - I'm glad that you could spend such a nice day together, but I'm sorry to hear of your husband's illness.

We have mimosas here as well - I love them. The yellow tree we call acacia (as you mentioned) and it flowers heavily in February.

Jenny Woolf said...

Wow, you HAVE had an exciting and adventurous life! A real internationalist, and it was fascinating to read your story. (And you were really glamorous, weren't you!) What a thrill for you and your family to see some of your background in print.

I agree with you about the unfair way people can talk about Muslims, as if they were all the same, apart from anything else. I visited SYria quite often before the awful events that have now overtaken it, and the ordinary people there were among the kindest and most hospitable and helpful I have ever met. It hurts me every time I think of what must have happened to the many honourable and good people I met there.

I love the yellow and blue theme f the mimosa pictures

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