T o r n

I suppose that for the rest of my life I will feel torn.  It had been 15 years since I’d lived in Taiwan and after the haze of being in a different country passed, I had a feeling that I didn’t expect:  the feeling of being home.  I miss the busy city.  I miss weaving my way through crowds.  I didn’t anticipate buying clothes on our trip, but it became quickly apparent that the clothes there fit me better.  I didn’t even try things on – just bought them off the rack and wore them.  But now we’re back.  Our house (which is a normal size) seems super spacious.  I drove to the grocery store yesterday and kept thinking I’d like to get a shopping cart and walk there since it really isn’t that far away and that’s what we’ve been doing for a month anyway.

Taipei 101 Taipei. Taken from the world’s tallest building: Taipei 101.

I’m feeling torn.  I miss living where I grew up.  Yet I feel incredibly blessed by all the things we have here, but there were so many things I didn’t miss when we were gone.  Like the house.  And the car.  And it doesn’t help that within minutes of landing in Texas my sinuses were stuffed up due to allergies.  I had a month of free and clear breathing.

 mountains We spent a night in the mountains. Just beautiful.

It took me a week to have the guts to really speak in Chinese.  Two weeks to get really comfortable speaking again.  It was good to see old friends, to have a place to stay.  To learn to dry fry beans  (totally delicious, btw).  To see my kids flourish in a new place.  To have my son say over and over again how much he LOVED dinner at a restaurant we found up the street.  To watch their excitement at taking the metro and high-speed rail.  It was wonderful to see how much the city had changed – how much cleaner it was and how metropolitan in felt.

I have no complaints about our life here.  If God has a plan for us to move, he will have to drop an opportunity in our lap.

I did get a chance to fabric shop.  Surprisingly, Japanese fabric in Taiwan is not much cheaper than in the US.  I found this beautiful piece at a quilt shop that I walked to.  It was 2 miles away and totally worth the walk.  Plus I got exercise so no complaints there.

linen I’m having trouble with capturing this dark grey-blue.

I found several crafty magazines.  Some local and some Japanese magazines that were translated into Mandarin.  I had originally planned to give them away, but after looking at them, I decided it would be better to purchase some duplicates so I could keep them for myself.

  cotton friendCotton Friend is a quarterly magazine, but comes packed with enough patterns to be a book.  Definitely worth every penny.

One of my goals in going to Taiwan was to let the kids appreciate how people in another part of the world live.  I think that goal was accomplished, partially.  It probably won’t stick unless we go regularly as they grow up.  I have a huge dislike of long plane rides, but it was worth it.  One surprising result of our constant grocery shopping in Taiwan was that when I asked them to help me get the grocery bags out of the car yesterday, they ran to come help without complaining.  Big smiles over here.

18 Responses to “T o r n”

  1. 1 Chara Michele July 27, 2009 at 11:00 am

    You picked up some lovely goodies 🙂 It sounds like a lovely time 🙂 I hope you are settling in okay.

  2. 2 tina July 27, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I miss Taiwan. It’s a beautiful island and it has matured over the years I have been away from it. Having lived in Canada for the past 14 years of my life, I really get what you are saying about feeling torn.

    I miss my family in Taiwan, I would love for my kids to grow up surrounded by extended families and KNOW their extended families (I don’t have kids yet, just saying). To know the culture and to appreciate their heritage.

    I go through phases where I feel like I should just settle in Canada, it wasn’t easy for our family to actually settle here and make a home. There were so much we had to give up. Yet I feel like I have already seen the world and now I would just like to go back home… I feel so fortunate to have two homes in two amazing countries… yet there are days where I feel like a stranger in both countries.

  3. 3 Holly July 27, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time. Sounds like a very meaningful trip. I feel much the same way when I go home to Illinois, although clearly the differences between urban Washington and rural Illinois are not nearly so great as those between Texas and Taiwan. Last time I went back to IL, I found the adage “You can never go home again” to be partially true. It will always be home, but I have spent so many years growing in a different environment, and it has continued to grow without me, and we just cannot fit together as we would have if I had been living there all these years. But it sounds like you had a different experience on your trip, and that makes me very happy for you. Interesting to hear about the things that you didn’t miss. And the view of the city…wow! I can hardly believe that picture was taken from a building…looks like an airplane view pic!

  4. 4 UK lass in US July 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I don’t think that there’ll ever be a day when I have lived here long enough to call it home, but I wonder if so much will change back in the UK that that will stop feeling like home one day. Meanwhile, my car’s being worked on and I’m stranded. This is the only country I’ve ever owned a car in – everything is so spead out here, the buses are awful, the roads are nutty and it’s too darn hot to walk… I miss home.

  5. 5 nicole July 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I do know how you feel. We are “home” right now in Germany and leaving in a week back to the States to our new home, but neither feels right. My children love being here in Germany and the European way of life, but do miss teh friends they made in Texas. It is never easy to leave.

    Enjoy rediscovering and exploring.

  6. 6 Kashoan July 27, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Im so happy for you that you were able to take the kids back to where you grew up and share all these special things with them. Even if you never go back, they will never forget! What a great opportunity! Cute fabric!

  7. 7 beki July 28, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Aww, Linda, it sounds like you had a wonderful time. How very special to have that connection.

  8. 8 teresa July 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm


    I am so glad that you had the chance to go back home and show your children where you came from. I know how hard it is to live away from home, but you have done better than I did. You can call where you live now “home”. I never could. Good for you and for your boys.


  9. 9 Stephanie July 29, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    wow! I didn’t know you grew up there. Looks like you had a great time and brought back some great reading/inspiration material. 🙂

  10. 10 Tiff@ThreePeas July 29, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I’m so glad you are back. I love all the stuff you bought!

  11. 11 Melanie July 29, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Feeling torn is something I can relate to on many aspects. How wonderful for your boys to have this experience. I’m sure it’ll shape them as they grow!

  12. 12 Shannon August 2, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I live in Texas too and I know how you feel regarding being sick when returning from a destination outside the state (and I have lived here my entire life!).

    I love the fabric you picked up and the craft mags. look fun too!

  13. 13 clare bower August 6, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Thankyou very much . I really enjoyed reading your post about your trip , you write beautifully .

  14. 14 Organizing Mommy August 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Nice photos. I was in a shop last week and found one of your patterns! I said, “I know her”.. because I read the blog.

  15. 15 Sarah J Doyle August 11, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    We spent almost 4 years in Tainan, Taiwan in the early 1970’s while in the Air Force. That’s where I learned pattern making – from the Cheing Mei pattern making school. Taiwan was awesome and we loved it there. I can see why you miss it!!!

    I love your blog! Keep up the good work!

    Sarah J Doyle
    http://SewingBusiness.com blog
    http://SarahJDoyle.com blog

  16. 16 Suzi August 25, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I just had to comment here… i’ve been living away from my home in england for a year and a half now and wanted to say i know exactly how you feel. torn is exactly the word.

    on a more cheerful note i’ve just cut out 25 little bags for my advent calender from your pattern here 🙂

  17. 17 annie September 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I was there for only two weeks, back in June 2007, but I left a piece of my heart there and I miss it too! For the last two years when June rolled around, I felt like I should go back there. What a beautiful place, the people are so nice. I loved walking, taking the bullet train, the mountains, Puli, oh Puli what a beautiful place and the Water Home near Puli. It was a bed and breakfast.
    I had such great adventures there.
    That is what I wrote so far. I have so much more to add, but have not gotten back to that blog. I have such a soft spot in my heart for that whole island.

  1. 1 Stitch Magazine « Craft Apple Trackback on October 22, 2009 at 8:58 pm

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

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