My family lived on a Ranch full time from 1993 until 2015. We were a 5th generation family farm.
I am writing this blog to share my experiences living there. It is best to read the blog chronologically by going through the archives, starting with the introduction in January of 2010.
The blog starts with the arrival of my great-grandparents to the farm in 1947 and will follow the families to the present.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

SEE YOU SOON……À bientôt!

I am a third generation Canadian and feel fortunate to be tied so closely to my Grandparent’s country of origin, Switzerland. I travel there frequently and have forged close relationships to family who have remained in the “homeland”. From my frequent visits I have established patterns of living, rather than visiting. I have my favourite views, walks and bakeries. 
View from the Bourg De Sous – the street where my Aunt lived in Hermance. This was my favourite route to take to go to the Village.
Much of Hermance is under historical protection thus there are very little changes over the decades. There are parts of the village that are identical to when my father was a young child and would spend the holidays in his Uncle’s chalet by the river. I like this characteristic of Europe where change comes slowly, buildings do not spring up overnight like in North America. The house that was being constructed across the street from where my Aunt lived took two years to complete.
The people change though. I travelled to Switzerland in March of this year after a two year absence. For the first time visiting Switzerland in years I never stayed in Hermance as my Aunt passed during my last visit two years ago, and her house has been sold. Nobody from the family goes to Hermance anymore.

My Aunt’s house in Hermance, Switzerland.
My visits to Switzerland in the last few years have always been short,  a couple of weeks, so no sooner do I arrive when I have to prepare to say goodbye. There are always tales of previous departures, often including the day when my father immigrated at the age of 18.
My Father, Eddy Miege, at age 18 in Geneva, Switzerland. The day he left for Canada, 1948.
What is always clear, but left unsaid, is the silent question; why did the family leave Switzerland and why won’t they come back? It is very difficult to understand the drive behind voluntary immigration, especially in the days before Skype and fairly accessible airline travel. When my Father left Switzerland at the age of 18 he did not return until he was 38 years old. In those 20 years of absence all of his nieces and nephews were born without him being there to greet them at birth.
My father Eddy and his sister Michele, during his first visit back to Switzerland after a 20 year absence.
My Aunt Michele and I. In the last 10 years I made an effort to visit Switzerland regularly.

March 2014, holding my Goddaughter, Switzerland.
In the last evening of my most recent visit the family gathered for a farewell dinner. It is always hard to say goodbye. One of my cousins reminded me of something my Father always said when he would prepare to return home; “don’t say goodbye, say see you soon.” It was such a comfort to hear my Father’s words echo back through the years and I too remembered him saying that very same thing. It was as if he was in the room with us as we said “À bientôt!”

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