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“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.” ― Charles Dickens

I am back!! And happy to be back!

I love going away, but I love returning home even more. I love getting back to my routine, going to work, feeling like a productive member of society. I have been living in the USA for almost 30 years. I love Brazil, but US feels more like home by now. I don’t tell anyone this, but I feel a bit out of place in Brazil. It is not a matter of liking here better, is a matter of being more comfortable here – of knowing what to do and how to behave.

I had fun in Brazil; I did nothing and overindulged in sweets. I probably gained 10 pounds – no kidding! The cakes in Brazil are to die for (well, literally if you overindulge hahaha). Condensed milk and heavy cream are present in almost every dessert.

There was a major miracle during my stay there. For the first time in ages my father agreed to go to a restaurant with us. He never liked going out to eat much, or going out for any social reason for that matter. After one of his legs was amputated (a combination of cancer and diabetes) he has become even more of a homebody, mostly enjoying staying in and watching sports. We try to get him to go out but we don’t bother him too much, we are just extremely happy that is still alive and with us after the cancer scare. So when my mother said to him: “on Saturday we are going to eat at Casa Geraldo”, a winery and restaurant in the country side, we were all surprised, well, actually shocked, when he agreed. We were all expecting to hear all the excuses that he normally uses not to go. I was sure he was just changing his tactics and at last minute would choose to stay home. But surprise, surprise, there was no mind changing at the last minute.  We all went and had an awesome time.

Yummy food, beautiful place, great wine! Here is to people changing old habits and trying new things. Here is to open mind and open hearts! So much fun, I cannot wait to return: http://casageraldo.com.br/site/?page_id=10

Mom has come back to the US with me. She will stay for one month and drive me nuts by trying to over-feed me. Since Mom is here this will be the month of casinos, shopping, Chinese food and homemade treats!!

While in Brazil I had a minor disagreement with my sister and last night when my head hit the pillow I had a revelation. I realized that I am oftentimes (and this very evening) guilty of what I was blaming her. It is indeed true that we are normally guilty of having the very same traits that we mostly dislike on people. I am guilty of harping on a subject when nothing will be accomplished by my doing that, of not letting something go, of not letting sleeping dogs lie! I did that last night to mom and later was sorry for having acted that way. So last night in my prayers I not only thanked God for all my blessings but I asked for calm, sensibility and the ability to realize when I need to let a subject drop. And of course I asked for forgiveness.

Always when returning from a trip I come back renewed and refreshed with new ideas and the motivation to start new projects and continue old ones.  So here is to new beginnings and completion of goals. May this new motivation stay and not fall by the wayside.

“Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
you ruin what was almost ripe.

Therefore the Master takes action
by letting things take their course.
He remains as calm at the end 
as at the beginning.
He has nothing,
thus has nothing to lose.
What he desires is non-desire;
what he learns is to unlearn.
He simply reminds people
of who they have always been.
He cares about nothing but the Tao.
Thus he can care for all things.” 
― Lao TzuTao Te Ching