Friday, November 16, 2007

A few signs

My trip to North Carolina is drawing to an end. It's Friday, and I leave on Monday to return to France. I'll be leaving home to return home. Is that a paradox?

On the Cedar Island - Ocracoke ferry

Yesterday it rained nearly all day. Over the course of the day, I spent an hour or more talking with a man who was born in North Dakota, lived as a boy in Montana, and then had a career in Seattle. For medical reasons linked to the rainy, chilly climate in the Pacific Northwest, he moved to Hawaii and had another career there.

Back of Beaufort

Through a series of unlikely events, including a relationship with a German woman whose daughter had relocated to North Carolina, this man has ended up living out his retirement in Morehead City. He says he had never heard of North Carolina before he came here, and wouldn't have been able to find it on a map.

To me, that's the story of today's world.

On Front Street in Beaufort

I also spent a few minutes talking with a 90-year-old...er, -young man who grew up in Eastern Kentucky. His father was a coal miner. He served in the army in World War II and has great memories of places like Le Havre, Paris, and the south of France. Problem is, this man is so deaf that it was hard to communicate with him. Otherwise, he is in very good health.

Clawson's Restaurant in Beaufort

In the afternoon, I paid a visit to a cousin I hadn't seen in at least 30, if not 40, years. Her name is Ethel and we grew up together. Her mother and my grandmother were first cousins — their fathers were brothers, one born in 1879 and the other in 1895. How's that for a complicated genealogical chart?

On Beaufort's waterfront

Anyway, to me all this seems emblematic of today's world. I guess it's always been so — plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, as we say. Ethel, her husband, their granddaughter, and I had a very nice visit, talking over old times, reliving family memories, and catching up on lost time. One reason I got to go see her was this blog: she wrote me a note a year or so ago to say she had been reading it.

Cruises over to Cape Lookout lighthouse

Blogs are great.

By the way, the pictures in this post are some random shots of signs I've seen around the county over the past two weeks.

1 comment:

evelyn said...

I think most of us have two homes since we carry our growing up home with us all our lives. Some of my most vivid memories are from my childhood home.