It’s my blog, and I’ll cry if I want to!

For some reason, this move has been the hardest on me, of them all. I am not quite sure why that is, is it because I am older, and have become more set in my ways?  While we were in Canada, preparing to leave, so many people told us they could never move like we have. I thought they were crazy, moving, (especially to a different country) is an adventure, you get to see and do so many different things. And every move before this I have thoroughly enjoyed. Why not this one? While I am still (somewhat) enjoying it, I am also wishing my life away. I wish that I was home for christmas, I wish that I was home for March, always wishing.

What I left behind!

  I miss my old  life, I really enjoyed it. I loved my job, I loved travelling to Kilbourne Grove on the weekends, I loved having my friends and family close by, I just loved everything about it.

Maybe I am just (a wee bit) lonely. Although we have had lots of company, I still feel a bit adrift. Thank Goodness for the internet, and all of you. You have become friends, even though I have never met (most of) you. I tell people, who do not understand, we are the pen pals of the 2000’s. We share not only our garden accomplishments and disappointments, but our life ones as well. And we are richer for it.

With the Internet, I can e-mail, my family and friends and get an instant response, I can visit Facebook and see their latest pictures, I can Tweet back and forth, bantering is not only allowed, it is encouraged. It makes it bearable.

When we were preparing to travel to Barbados, we went on a course, dealing with cultural differences. The instructor told us most people have a 3 month ‘honeymoon’ period, then reality sets in, and a lot of them become depressed. I never thought that it would happen to me, and I wouldn’t even go so far to say I was depressed. But I do miss my old life, is that natural?


70 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    So sorry the adjustment is not going as well. I too would be just like you. At first it would be new and exciting, seeing so much and trying to do everything. I am sure it will all work out. It is a matter of time. You still have your friends and family, but just a different way of ‘seeing’ them. I am wising you the best and so are all those that you know I am absolutely sure.

  2. 3

    Barbara said,

    Dear Deborah, I can really relate to what you’re saying, and think it may have to do a little with age and with the fact that you were so happy in your old life, where you’d set up everything just the way you wanted it. How much longer will you be in Barbados? It took me a long time to adjust to living in Germany, and I feel like I don’t want to make such a major change ever again. Get out into that sun for some positive vibes, and go ahead and feel sorry for yourself once in a while.

    • 4

      I will be in Barbados for three years. I am sure it will go by fairly fast, life seems to when you look back at it. Just as I get settled, we will move back to canada, lol.

  3. 5

    Gilly said,

    I have never moved around like you have, the move to France was my first ‘big adventure’. As much as I love it here and have no desire to live in England again I do sometimes feel adrift, as if I don’t belong anywhere. And leaving Kilbourne Grove at such an early stage, as things were just taking off, was a wrench for you, you said so at the time. So I would say your response is entirely natural. I hope you find a way to integrate your good feelings for what you have with your sadness for what you don’t have. Good luck, Deborah.

    • 6

      That is exactly how I feel Gilly, adrift. I feel like I will not be here long enough to really ‘settle’ in, and I am not spending enough time at Kilbourne Grove, it needs so much done to it. I feel like it is on hold for three years.

  4. 7

    Laurrie said,

    Yes, it’s natural to feel the way you do, and you know it, but it is so hard to accept.

    More so for gardeners who are tied more than others to land, location, specific climate and specific place. We want our won dirt under our fingernails, and no amount of tweeting or twittering replaces that, although the internet is great for the personal relationships that are far away.

    But the soil, the dirt, the plants, the house… it’s unsettling to be so distant, even in the midst of bougainvilleas and paradise. I’m sending you a virtual whiff of Canada (we’re getting snow today in Connecticut and it’s blowing down from Ontario). Hope it helps.

  5. 9

    Melissa said,

    All the comments above are right on, Deborah. I’m not surprised you’re homesick and miss Kilbourne Grove. Living somewhere where you can see the seasons change, especially in a garden you’ve created and are still involved with, really is something to grieve about – even though you know you will return. I think tropical climates, while lovely with their own special charms, don’t offer the thrill of seasonal changes (OK, perhaps not Snowmaggedons!). Anyway, know that we are thinking of you and that we understand.

    • 10

      I love the seasons, and I do miss them. Here it is the wet or dry season only, and I do not see a huge difference between them. Not like the colours of fall, the green of summer, the icy winter…. Thanks for the pep talk Melissa.

  6. 11

    Valerie said,

    I can understand your dismay because it is the beginning of spring and you would have been out scanning the garden to see what made it through the winter and what is coming up now. Just think how things will have grown when you get back. Hopefully all the hard work you put into it then will be apparent. It will be a gift. It is such a lovely home. V

  7. 13

    Charlotte said,

    I so agree with everything that’s been said above and am sorry to hear about your problems adjusting. It’s really tough moving and leaving friends behind! I spend my whole life moving around the world, which sounds fantastic to all my readers, but in reality, it’s hard. Sometimes I just wish I could stay at home forever … but which one would it be? That’s why I couldn’t live without the internet ….

  8. 15

    Barbara H. said,

    You know, Deborah, I’m having many of the same emotions this spring and I’m right here at home! For some reason my emotions are all over the place this spring. I think it’s to do with the spiral of mourning – the first spring without my mother was lost time. Though I’ve been busy taking a Master Gardener course this spring, I find myself wandering lost – without much meaning. There have been huge upheavals in the world and I think that this, too, upsets the energy in the world. For those of us sensitive to energy, it’s a difficult time. So, it might be one of many things or many things accumulating to cause distress. Plus, life without a job gives one pause – who am I, what do I want to do with my time? If there is no clear answer, give it time.

    One of the most helpful things I ever read was a quote from Rilke – “I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” (Letters to a Young Poet). Sorry if this is too personal or philosophical but I hope that at least in some little way it’s helpful.

    • 16

      Oh Barbara, it is so hard losing your mother, you have my sympathies. Even tho my mum has been gone for 3 years, I still pick up the phone to call her, or think “I have to remember to tell mum about that”, I guess it is true, they are never really gone as long as they are in our thoughts. I hope that time will help both of us.

  9. 17

    sandra dabbs said,

    Deborah, you are not getting older [impossible darling] as your Auntie Sandra is not aging neither can you. Yes it gets harder to be so far away from famiily just remember everyone is still here and you can be back for a visit within hours. Are you able to fly closer to Owen Sound or do you still have to fly in to Pearson and then travel north? Are the boys keeping in touch or are they being boys [who always forget that a call is nice?] Have you spoken to your Dad? I must admit I have certainly been remiss in keeping in touch with anyone through the winter just getting to work and back in the cold is about all I can handle. Funny isn’t it how we almost hibernate and then start waking up when the good weather comes along. My grandson Alex turns 21 in July so we have planned a trip to Ireland land in the south and do a bus tour up to the north and back again. It is just twelve days but I am really looking forward to it. I am so lucky that at this age he will still travel with Grandma [might have something to do with the fact I love to spoil him].

    I am busy negotiating a shorter work week and we have hired another body with that in mind – her name is also Sandra so no one here has to get used to another name, as they tell me that is difficult after having me around for 26 years. Are you planning a visit home anytime soon?

    Lots of love and hugs to you both.

    Auntie Sandra

  10. 19

    Oh dear, what to say except chin up! We are all supporting you. It is an opportunity, but a cost too and we do feel for you!
    Lovely house.

  11. 21

    teza said,


    If its crying you need to do, go right ahead. I should like to flex a shoulder for you to do it on – know that it is there. It sounds like you are grieving the life that has been momentarily sidelined. Know that it is just that. One day you will be back cursing the squirrels of KG for eating all of your spring bulbs, and then where will you be…… wishing for a sandy beach!?! Life is a series of cyclical events I tell you!

  12. 23

    From the outside looking in – you were so excited about your forever house and the new garden plans – I – was shocked when you said – going to Barbados …

    I am wondering, could you, would you, keep your florist’s hand in somehow? Or find a Friends of … doing garden rehab? I think you are not accustomed to being one of the ‘ladies who lunch’?

    I still look back on moving to and from Switzerland and South Africa, as feeling like a tree whose roots were torn out of the ground. You have a few shoulders to cry on in this blogosphere ;~) Some of us have been there, done that, and got the scars to prove it.

  13. 25

    Jennie said,

    I am sorry to hear you are feeling homesick…..but not surprised 🙂 I know you have been missing the excitement of your snowdrop collection and the signs of new life in your beloved garden. Are you not going home to visit this April?

    I think getting older has everything to do with the way you feel. I would get so bored laying on a Caribbean beach for more than 2 weeks now as I love to be active and busy in the garden – but when I was younger it was my idea of heaven. I am sure you must get quite lonely if your husband is at work all day – it makes the days very long.

    Are there any groups to join or classes you can do? Its a tough one as Barbados is basically a holiday resort with not much to do but relax! Hope you feel better soon. I understand

    • 26

      Jennie, I am going home, April 11th to be exact, soooo very much looking forward to it. Hope my snowdrops are waiting for me. It is a holiday town, I hope I can find something constructive to do when I return in the summer.

  14. 27

    Hi Deborah,
    Big changes like the one you made are always hard. I think this move has been especially difficult because you really set down roots in Owen Sound. I think that your forever house means more to you than you may have realized.
    My family lives in Nova Scotia, while I am up here in Ontario and so I can also understand how hard it is to be at a distance from the ones you love.
    The good news is that we have been holding spring for your arrival. The snow we received this morning is slowly melting. Hopefully, the snowdrops will be in full bloom when you walk out into the garden at your forever house.

  15. 29

    I agree with the other comments, it’s perfectly natural to feel this way. It probably is a little worse knowing that you can go back to KG, just not all the time, and always wondering what you’re missing while you’re gone, both at the house, and with your friends and family. Not everything has changed though, we’re still here in the virtual universe! 🙂

  16. 31

    debsgarden said,

    I think your feelings are entirely normal! You gave up a lot to move to Barbados. It is hard to let go of a life one loves and embrace a new one. Acceptance comes slowly. But a different life can be good if you can avoid clinging to the old one too much. Get involved with Barbados! And remember you have the support of people from all over the world!

  17. 33

    Andrea said,

    I haven’t been here for a while, but i remember that house and your backyard. I wonder why you are always moving house, for me it is not only difficult physically but more emotionally. We are clannish people and i can relate fully with you. I can imagine also the anguish our people suffer during their moves to mostly Canada, US, Australia and of course those OFWs who leave home to work, and they only see their kids after 2 months. Maybe that’s the reason i brave it all here in the country even if our salaries are not sufficient to have some luxuries. But i am sure you will settle those emotions in just a little while, you will be fine!

  18. 35

    ronniejt28 said,

    Hi there, first of all thank you for picking my post on blotanical, without that I would not have found you. There are so many blogs it is easy to miss the really good ones. Moving on in life is much more difficult as we get older and I do hope you settle down and find happiness soon. I recently wrote a post about moving jobs and I hope you don’t mind me leaving a link.

    I will follow your blog with interest – best wishes Ronnie

  19. 37

    Joy said,

    Deborah girl .. I went through the same thing while we lived in Holland .. we travelled and had loads of amazing experiences BUT .. I missed HOME (which meant at least two provinces at once since we moved all over Canada anyways) and actually it hit me more in the Autumn since I am an October freak .. Spring in the Netherlands was breath taking so that really cheered me up ..
    How many years is this posting ? .. you WILL feel excited and happy again girl .. just hang in there !
    Joy : )

    • 38

      I would love to see spring in the Netherlands, at least once in my life. I don’t think anyone has an autumn like canada, ours are brilliant. The posting is three years, it will seem short when I look back at it.

  20. 39

    Dear Deborah – I wonder if this move has been more difficult because it is so different to UK and USA. From temeperate to tropical is quite a contrast and climate is the least of it. I guess you still feel a bit like tumbleweed and perhaps need to put something in the soil before you feel settled. I admire your peripatetic ways being rather a stick in the mud myself. I am sure familiarity will set in before too long and you will feel less like a stranger in a foreign land. Take heart – you are at a loss because you miss what you have left but something always comes to replace it.

    Laura x
    p.s. Do I gather correctly from your post comment that you will be seeing April trees back at KG before long?

    • 40

      I think so Laura, I have never enjoyed the heat or sun. I have only taken two ‘beach’ holidays in my life, and both were someone elses choice. I will be seeing April trees at KG, I return April 11th.

  21. 41

    Dear Deborah, This is my first visit to your blog and I read your posting with deep feelings of empathy. I moved to Pennsylvania from England, and went through what you are experiencing. I believe it is perfectly natural to feel that way. If it’s any consolation, ‘this too shall pass’. Gardening and like-minded gardening friends, in your new location and on the web, will really help. I wish you the very best in your new home. P. x

  22. 43

    Awww Deborah, hugs to you. We miss you in Canada too, but know this is part of your journey. If I recall correctly, it is not an permanent move, is it? I have not travelled to exotic locales as you have, but have moved across the country, and have lived in 6 cities. After the excitement wears off, loneliness sets in, and friends & placed that you took for granted are sorely missed. Hang in there, hopefully the upcoming visit home will help you feel better.

    • 44

      Thanks Rebecca, I needed that hug. It is just a three year assignment, I am sure when Ian is retired and I look back it will seem very, very short. Now it just seems long.

  23. 45

    Hello Deborah – because I’d wandered away from blogging for a little while there I am not up to date with your news – and clearly there has been some very very big changes for you! I’ve never had to face such a big change, so i can’t begin to imagine how I’d feel, but I wish you the very best and fully support your right to have a darn good cry about it!
    Now I must go back over the last few months posts and catch up!

  24. 47

    Donna said,

    I can feel your pain as moving is always a big adjustment when you loved where you were…I will forever remember moving as a child from our home in Indiana to NY…I hated it and still wished I lived there with al my childhood friends…I am glad you have us and we have you…I found I had to start new habits and rituals to replace the old and try to fit in…hope it goes better for you but I think you will always miss aspects of your old home…it is a grieving process…

  25. 49

    Anna said,

    Deborah, of course it is natural to miss your old life and you will continue to do so for some time to come. My Mum moved from Rome to England in her mid- twenties and still misses home some sixty years later 🙂 I imagine that the initial novelty of your new life is beginning to wear off and perhaps you now have more time for thinking and wondering, for what ifs and maybes. I am sure there will be times when you feel like crying so do but there will be plenty of happy times ahead wherever you are. You still have KG to revisit and enjoy whenever you can. Can’t wait to hear about the snowdrops. Take care xxx

  26. 51

    lynne said,

    Hi Deborah, Homesickness is awful, but it often waxes and wanes and I know from experience that the waning periods got me (barely at times) through the bad times. You put so much of your heart into Kilbourne Grove it’s not surprising you can’t detach from it. I wish I could offer a ‘fix’ but it’s different for everyone, so I will simply say that I hope it becomes easier for you.
    I admire you for opening yourself to your online friends. I’ve been in an unhappy situation for a few months so haven’t blogged because I was feeling so negative and didn’t want to project that. Maybe I will find it cathartic to share rather than bottle it. 🙂

    • 52

      Thanks Lynne. I wasn;t sure about writing this post, did not want to look like a whiner, but I am glad that I did. It has really helped, everyone has been so supportive and it has cheered me up to no end.

  27. 53

    Sandra Jonas said,

    Deborah, sorry to hear reality has set in. I went through the same thing when I relocated from Montreal to Boston. I never really adjusted and complained all the time. Take heart, you still have KG and this is a temporary situation.
    What you are experiencing is totally normal. Sending you lots of good wishes and strength to see this through.

  28. 55

    Deborah, It must be so hard picking up and moving like that leaving all your friends and family and garden!!! behind. Don’t be hard on yourself. You have every right to feel depressed. You can acknowledge your feelings, as you have done in this post, and then try to move on. How about volunteering in a garden down there or joining a garden club, book group, environmental organization—just a thought. Good luck. Carolyn

  29. 57

    Jean said,

    Deborah, It’s probably not coincidence that it is spring — the season when your garden at Kilbourne Grove is starting to wake up (well, unless it’s still buried under snow) — that you’ve been feeling blue. It does seem as though Ian’s posting to Barbados is a particularly awkward length — too long to be treated as an extended vacation and too short for you to really settle in and build a life (and a garden) for yourself there. Instead, you find yourself in this three-year limbo. Here, I do think age is a factor, because as we get older, we realize just how precious life is and we don’t want to waste any of it in a holding pattern. (Which is not to say that you’re old; because I’m pretty sure you’re young enough to be my daughter, and I’m certainly not old :-)) I hope your upcoming trip to Kilbourne Grove will be a tonic. Hugs across the miles. -Jean

    • 58

      You have hit the nail on the head Jean, I feel like I am in limbo. I should be enjoying the time, after all it is nice to have a three year holiday, but I feel like I am wasting three valuable years at KG. I do think a lot of it is due to spring fever, I want to be in my garden.

  30. 59

    patty said,

    So sorry to hear you have the blues. I have never been in your position but I do sympathize. Listen to some of that good advice from your pen pals and I am sure happiness will return soon.

  31. 61

    Jess said,

    😦 Moving is hard. When I left NYC I left my entire life behind, so I know what it feels like to be lonely in that way. And the realization that you’ve done this to yourself. I’m hoping you, like me, will find great things in your new home and new life, and do remember…. as I always remind myself.. that you have to take risks to assure yourself the fullest life. You can always go back to a place, but you have to take opportunities when they come, you can’t go back and do them tomorrow. I think there’s a famous saying that goes:

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”

    Thats Mark Twain for you. Take heart :)!

  32. 63

    It’s a hard time of year to be away from everything you know and love in your garden and home. I’m sure it misses you too! I hope you get some visits in. 🙂

  33. 65

    Diane Retieffe said,

    Please make sure to email Mom and I when you’re here and we’ll try to get in a visit. We’d love to see you! Love, Diane xo

  34. 67

    Goodness, it sounds as if you are really going through it. I can quite see that the magnitude of the move would hit hardest when the initial excitement of discovering a new place is over. Missing the old life seem to me to be entirely natural when you don’t yet really have firm roots in the new one. I hope things start to click into place, that you start to meet and make friends with some key people, and it starts to feel a little more like home.

    • 68

      Yes, the honeymoon period is over. But, I think it is spring fever as well, this is my absolute favourite time of year, and it is killing me not to be in the garden.

  35. 69

    Carol Flett said,

    So glad to hear you’ll be here for Summer. I am looking forward to meeting you.

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