Despite the idea that “home” is wherever I am with Foro, I actually do have a home. I’ve lived for two years and two months in the mountains. It is not practical, but it is cheap. I moved up to the sun. That said, I also rent a room with a friend in the city where I work, and I’m at my boyfriend’s every other weekend. So, whatever. But my books are here, my tax information is here. When I am “home” and look out at the mountains, I am so happy and that has never changed one tiny bit.

After this visit to the States, this is really the first time that I left without feeling guilty that I don’t live closer to my family, especially my parents. Part of that is the model I have; my parents picked a place for the end of their lives that suited them. There are good hospitals and services, and it’s “close” but not on top of their kids. I feel like it gives me “permission” to have moved to a place that suits me.

I was able to do some things for my parents when I was there, and that made me really happy. My dad thinks that he drives, but he got a bit lost a few times and now no longer takes the car out, so the battery was dead and no longer held a charge. I was able to take the car in and get a new battery, put air in the tires and have the mouse nest cleared out of the engine. My sister had a trickle charger and had it sent up, so now the battery won’t go dead again.

There was a light bulb to be changed, a new printer to be installed and a recycling run to do. So small stuff, and it made me very happy to feel useful to them.

But they don’t need that every day. My step-sister is also there, and my sister will make it up to visit when she can. There’ll be a few chores to do each time, by each visitor. I’ll be back in the summer for a more spread out visit, and hopefully there’ll be little things like that to get done. I might be back sooner when my dad passes, but it’s anyone’s guess when that is going to be. The magnificent thing is that he doesn’t know that he’s ill, and seems to have no pain.

But I need “home”. I need to have a place where I feel happy when I look out the window. Yesterday I saw mountain goats (chamois) from the train on the way up. There are choughs (everyone here says “choucas” but they’re chocards in French) in the village (they are a mountain bird that comes down in winter, usually they’re higher up.) I heard a black woodpecker (pic noir) as I walked yesterday. I crunched through the snow in the woods, and made myself an excellent dinner.

I am home. I can feel it in my body, which is relaxed and happy. I can feel it in the air, which is crisp and cool. I can feel it in the sun. I took Foro up to my “Frühstuckplatz” with me to look down at the fog that is covering the cities. He enjoyed the view!

Back in the distance and way out of focus are four chamois/mountain goats.
Foro looking down at the fog.

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