Monday, January 11, 2010

So long, Rio Bravo

A few days ago, my grandmother said goodbye to Rio Bravo, the house in Uruguay's Punta del Este where she lived with my grandfather and their two daughters after moving back from Texas - where my mum was born. The house was just too big for her to live alone in, among other things.
Oddly perhaps, I didn't even feel the faintest twinge the day my abuela moved out. Because I lived in Iran, Kenya, Iraq, China and then-British Hong Kong before moving to Paris, all before I turned 15, I have become quite indifferent to houses and apartments. To me, home is where my parents are; and if tomorrow they move to a hotel in a country where I've never set foot, I'll call that place home.

Top: that's me, aged 9 months, with my mum, when I first visited Uruguay.
Bottom: a few years later, in Rio Bravo again.

26 comments:

jacqueline said...

I adore these gorgeous family photos! WOW you lived in so many places....it must have been really interesting and filled with adventures! Have a lovely merry happy week and love to you!

Laura in Paris said...

Farewell Rio Bravo!

Mary-Laure said...

JACQUELINE - yes, I was very lucky to have a nomadic childhood. It allowed me to discover many cultures, peoples and places... Just extraordinary.

Mary-Laure said...

JACQUELINE - yes, I was very lucky to have a nomadic childhood. It allowed me to discover many cultures, peoples and places... Just extraordinary.

Debra said...

After all a home is made by those that frequent it. You have such a beautiful outlook on where your home is Mary-Laure. You are a true dear soul.

Joyful said...

You momma is beautiful and even you (at such a young age) showed signs of the beauty you have become. Did you grandmother move into a smaller house now or a care home?

Mary-Laure said...

DEBRA - thank you... I just try to be pragmatic, mostly.

JOYFUL - I agree, my mum was quite beautiful! She radiated throughout our childhood.
And she still is very beautiful.
As for my grandma, she is perfectly autonomous, so she just moved to an apartment nearby. She'll be less isolated there, hopefully.
And the added perk: heating!! Rio Bravo had no heating system, and in the cold damp months of the winter, it was just very uncomfortable to be there.

Annie said...

i agree with you, home is where the family is. You are darling. xoxo

Kwana said...

What beautiful pics and a great attitude you have. Your home is where your heart is.

Taocito said...

Ah yes, Rio Bravo... The lovely little house full of memories. My owner does feel a twinge of nostalgia though she knows it is better for grandma to live in a more manageable abode (i.e. without tricky stairs to get to the garage)

Diana said...

before the age of 15? you need to write a book!

donna baker said...

Mary Laure, am I the only nosy bloggy friend you have? Why did you move to so many exotic locales? Parents in the CIA or foreign services? Do you remember much about these places? Oh, I'd love to hear more about them. I think you are a true free spirit.

Sammi said...

I thought I did not care too much for a dwelling to be home until I lived in an apartment in Gran Canaria alone with no TV and fire wood furniture, and a lock that did not work correctly. Now my room in my parents house, where I live, is definitely somewhere I'd miss should I have to move out again.

azahar said...

You are very lucky to have lived almost the world over.

I have lived in many places too, but all in the same country, Malaysia.

Imagine, I went to six elementary schools (primary school as it is called here) in six different towns and three different states. Luckily I was academically smart, if not I did not know I could adjust and made friends.

Mary-Laure said...

DIANA - readers of my blog have said that before and I am thinking about it...

DONNA - actually, my dad used to work as a business man - he is now retired, after spending his entire career abroad: he worked in Africa for 15 years, and Colombia for a few years, before I was born.
I remember all those places, yes, except for Iran, which we left when I was about 18 months old.
In the past I have written on this blog about my nomadic childhood; you can check out my posts:
About Iran:
http://mary-laure.blogspot.com/search/label/Iran
About Iraq:
http://mary-laure.blogspot.com/search/label/Iraq
About Kenya:
http://mary-laure.blogspot.com/search/label/Kenya
About China:
http://mary-laure.blogspot.com/search/label/China

SAMMI - I totally understand your experience in that drab abode; I think that no matter where you live, and regardless of how long you plan on staying there, it is important to make your place cozy and welcoming.
Or else it can become quite depressing.

AZAHAR - wow, that's a LOT of schools. I found that what was harder when changing schools often was not so much the academic adaptation as making new friends again and again...
And leaving good friends behind, too.

If Jane said...

oh that's funny..i guess because i have lived abroad long enough and have travelled...anywhere and everywhere is my home (and i cannot even say that where my mum is is my home...because she is constantly on the move as well..) i guess montréal is the closest to what i consider home...and i feel like a kid again when i see my mum...how' that? ;))

jean-louis said...

En parcourant ton blog j'imagine les questions que peuvent se poser certains ( Donna Baker ) qui se demandent: mais qui sont ces parents globe- trotters? Reponse: des gens qui ont eu la grande chance de travailler pour leur pays partout dans le monde.C'est simple.

vintage simple said...

Oh, what a great post..! I feel the same way. I grew up moving around a lot (Argentina, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, back to Argentina, Mexico)... Clearly, my living was confined to Latin America...still. I don't think I went to the same school for more than two consecutive years... That part was a little bit hard, for the reasons you mention in your comments. But I also, as much as I love the idea of setting down roots, have a nomadic soul at heart, I think.

Anyway. Sorry for rambling. This subject has been very present in my mind lately, and your beautiful post just struck a chord, I guess...

The very best to your abuela in her new home.

love,
-maria

Rina said...

Es increible como van cambiando las cosas en la vida...lo bueno es que ya tienes experiencia en el desapego, me encantaria poder ser un poco mas asi. Te mando un abrazo!

Joyce said...

May Rio Bravo hold continue to hold warm memories for it's new family. I am with you- I too believe home is where the heart is. Enjoy! xo

Mary-Laure said...

IF JANE - same here, as soon as I am with my mum I feel like a child again...

JL - travailler pour ton pays? Tu veux dire que tu as bel et bien ete espion???

VINTAGE SIMPLE - thanks for taking the time to tell me more about your childhood. I'd love to hear more about it - maybe on your blog?
Happy to hear you are, like me, a nomad.
It's funny because your blog focuses so much on homes!

jean-louis said...

J'ai voulu dire " Cie " et non pas pays mais ce terme est un peu ambigu car les americains l'utilise pour ce que tu crois et que je demends toujours. J'ai donc travaille pour un grande "Cie" multinationale qui a encore des implantations partout dans le monde. Ca va comme ca?

Marci said...

Que fotos más bonitas. Creo reconocer a tu madre, que guapa...
Estoy contigo , lo importante es con quien vives y como, no donde.
Un saludo!

pennycones said...

What sweet pictures. You are so so lucky in many ways to have travelled as you did. I have had many homes but never so far from eachother so not very exciting 'm afraid!

Angie Muresan said...

Thanks for sharing your photos with us, Mary-Laure. For me, home is always, without a doubt, where my family is.
What a wise young woman you are.

muralimanohar said...

I totally get home not being a location..to me, home has always been where my family is, even if that happens to be a motel room, or even, as has happened, a car. We moved sooo much, that it just didn't make sense to place any importance on the place, rather than the people.

Happy home vibes to your abuela in her new location. :)