Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We Are Home

We are home. Suitcases, boxes, sneakers cover every surface.

The air is cool, damp even, and I tend to move about with a sweater on my shoulders. Even so, I have just about every window in the house open at least a quarter way. The air is clear and smells so fresh I wish I could bottle it.

We had thunder and lightning the day we arrived, and then the next day too. It reminded me of the man-made thunder and rain storms at Wild Wadi in Dubai except that it was God-made, the real thing. The first day back, I stepped out of the car and into a large puddle - my foot and shoe immediately soaking - and was hit with the reality of being in New Hampshire.

I revel in the coolness and greenness of my surroundings - the grass, the trees, even the large, lettuce-like leaves on a pot of pale pink gerbera daisies that a friend brought over. Before we arrived, another friend bought us groceries and left yellow cala lilies in a pot on the kitchen counter. My tenants left two pots of African violets, too. Of course I'm delighted with all.

The shrubs I planted over the years around the house - holly, yews, rhododendrons, and azaleas - have grown so much in my absence. Like children I haven't seen for a time, they have shot up while my back was turned.

One disappointment was that two yews (evergreen trees) I'd been watching grow into tall, column-shaped shrubs on the far left corner of the house are now bare to their trunks. They've been eaten to their cores, like apples, by deer.

The natural pull towards friends and away from unpacking is taking place amongst all of us. We are still trying to find the balance.

16 comments:

Ilka said...

Nice post and welcome home:). You can bottle the air and send it over to me:).

Anonymous said...

Soon you will enjoy the scent of fresh-cut grass . . welcome home!
Be well ~ Eileen

Frances Gunnison said...

Ilka,
Thanks, it's great to be home. As soon as I figure out how to bottle the air I'll send you some!
Eileen,
The lawn was cut yesterday so we've got that going now too!
Regards,
F.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that you are back home. Abu Dhabi's loss, really.

By the way, I didn't quite understand that part about the deer eating away the yew trees. I'm Indian and have never seen a yew ar any other evergreens native to NH. We have many tropical trees there and also many deer (I'm currently in Bahrain). While we have heard of insects/bugs attacking trees, this is the first time I've heard of deer coring away trees.

Regards,

J.

Frances Gunnison said...

Dear J,
Sorry about that passage re the deer and the yews. I looked at that after I posted it and realized it was bulky.
Anyway, the yew is a beautiful evergreen tree or shrub with tiny, dark green, needle-shaped leaves. They are soft to the touch and look particularly beau when the snow falls on them. They grow in column or "table-top" shapes and are often used to soften the front facade of homes in the northeast. Unfortunately, as more woods are cleared and more houses are built, the deer are becoming more desperate for food and thus more bold. They're venturing out of the woods and eating shrubs and trees, sometimes right outside your window. A friend here sat down to Sunday dinner with four guests only to see four magnificent deer having their lunch on her shrubs at the same time! Then she tied sprigs of lavender on all her shrubs and they never came back; am thinking of doing the same.
Regards,
F.
So, yes, my poor yews look like two apples eaten down to the core.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification regarding the yews.
We live just a few hundred metres from the forest and the beach (I can see the sea from the rooftop of my house in India) and I fondly remember going paddling in the sea and for outings in the woods. My younger brother had once seen a fully-grown tiger at 6:00 am on his way to the early-morning shift.
I have often seen snakes, rabbits, peacocks/peahens, wild fowl, etc., in and around the woods near our home.
Same old problem, though. More and more forests get cut down to make way for the great predator! :(

Regards to y'self, M and the kids,

J.

Frances Gunnison said...

J,
It sounds very beautiful where you live. I can imagine it and wish I could go there. Thanks for that.
F.

Ilka said...

Frances, are we going to get to see any pics? I saw the few when it was snowing but a few more would be nice since you will be shutting your blog down.....did the guilt trip work:)? How about some of the deer? I know they are an nuisance to your trees but they are so beautiful.

How are your kids feeling? I am sure they adjusted to being back home well but maybe they miss Abu Dhabi just a little?

I am still not sure if we are going to move to Dubai...it's a big decision but I am soooo ready. It's just discouraging when I hear of rent prices and school tuition.

Frances Gunnison said...

Ilka,
The kids are mostly delighted to be home. The eldest says he misses AD and for good reason: in AD he was very independent because he took cabs everywhere and had made lots of friends. All the kids are very happy to see their old friends and very unhappy to do any unpacking...
Re moving to Dubai, I hear they have many more schools there but I suppose the tuition is quite high. I hope it's not too discouraging and that it works out.
Re photos: I just have to get the camera or ask M to snap a few pics. Definitely, this would round out the contrast between Abu Dhabi and New Hampshire.
Thanks as always for writing.
F.
What's the guilt trip?

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Welcome home, Frances! I hope you're settling into life as best you can!

-Cairogal

Ilka said...

Since you are going to shut down this blog soon I figure you owe us some pics of ur place and the surrounding scenery in NH:).

What about your husband? Is he happy to be back home or does it even make a difference to him?

Frances Gunnison said...

Okay, I promise some photos. I've got some in mind, but I'm in Ireland right now!

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nora said...

I am so homesick right now! I'm from Ohio and have been in Dubai for 14 years! I just realized that I don't like Dubai anymore, and I never thought I would miss Ohio so much. Good luck to you and your family; glad you all arrived safe. Please post pics - I'll look forward to them.

Frances Gunnison said...

If you can, take a break and visit the US. I think this might be the antidote. Dubai is harder in the summer because of the heat. Or maybe you should investigate the possibilities of moving back to Ohio? Maybe create a long-term plan, i.e., "...in three years I will be back in xxx-town in Ohio."
For me, a change of scenery and and something to look forward to are great for my spirit. Is this possible for you? What makes you no longer enjoy Dubai?