We open the new year with an introduction: our new home in the United States.
A combination of circumstances led us here, to central Maryland (if there is such a thing), to continue to build a life that incorporates all of the elements we fell in love with in Portugal–until we can return again.
We’ve named our little home Vivenda Vista da Paz, after the peaceful setting we’ve found here, in the midst of farm country near the border with Pennsylvania. Rolling hills and ridges remind us of Portugal’s terrain, though we face a real winter for the first time in five years!
We plan to grow the next version of the Random Garden here…S already has his plot tilled and the previous owners left us a significant compost pile with which to form rich soil. We’ll remind ourselves each week of the wonderful food we miss already, by creating versions of those recipes with the ingredients we find here. We’ll continue to seek Portuguese wines and separate the wheat from the chaff, in the 2020 version of 366 Vinhos.
One of the connections I had to Portugal before I moved there were family members, in-laws whose ancestors had come over to the United States in the diaspora and waves of immigration that brought Portuguese settlers to the Northeastern United States in the early 1900s. We live close by the remnants of these communities now, and plan to talk with people who carry on versions of Portuguese traditions into today. They were all around me before I lived in Portugal; now they are obvious reminders of our home there. We’ll bring you one of these stories each month as we collect them.
Until then, enjoy our first New Year’s Eve sunset from the back steps of Vivenda Vista da Paz, and plan to join us here in 2020–until we return to Portugal’s shores.