In 1993 – after living and working in the USA for twenty eight years, I returned to the UK/Europe. I moved to Crickhowell, Wales to be with my cousin and family.

I was so happy to be home. So happy to smell the traditional English/Welsh pastries in Annwyn the bakers along with the smell of Welsh soil and lambs playing in the fields.

I had experienced some happy years in the States with my dear husband Bill Reed and of course the two children – however when my marriage fell apart and the children were old enough, it was time to return home.

During the first six years of living in the States, prior to meeting and marrying Bill, I felt deep pangs of home sickness. I learned that to be homesick is a very painful condition. I almost returned to the UK in 1971 just before Bill and I met and married in 1972. However………..

Life is full of ‘Sliding Doors……..

Crickhowell – Wales

The people of Ukraine are going through a living hell. As we think about their pain and longing for everything that has been familiar to them including their land and soil, it must give us pause to look at our own lives on many levels…and most importantly to not take anything for granted.

If and when they are able to return home….what will home look like after their land has been defiled by Putin!!

As fellow humans we must love and nurture them as we would our own families. We must try to counteract the horrors that they are now living through. The only way I know to do this is to come together with love and kindness

My little garden in Crickhowell which I Loved and nurtured….and of course Christeve the Cat – my constant companion at that time:)

When I look at this picture today I think of all the gardens and animals that the Ukrainian people and all other refugees have had to leave behind…along with all their shattered hopes and dreams.

Today there are nearly thirty million refugees globally and as climate change tightens its grip and war rages on…those numbers are rising by the day.

We cannot and must not bury our heads any moreto do so means that anyone of us could be next….Monsters like Putin want to conquer the world.

It is the simple things in life that give the greatest pleasure….

In this image I am sharing food with my very dear friends Sally and Gareth in Wales overlooking the magnificent Usk Valley and Brecon Beacons.


  1. Timothy Price

    You spent a good number of year is the USA. I get being homesick. A lot of people are in devastating situations with no homes to go back to. Their lives needlessly disruption because of sick leaders, and stupid geo-political games. Beautiful photos. Those lambs are adorable.

  2. VJ

    I wonder what the citizens of Ukraine will have to go back to – if anything. Some people can never return. Wales has a warm spot in my heart – travelled there with my Aunt and Uncle when I was a young woman. Such charm.

  3. George Dinwiddie

    Janet, I think you are spot on about coming together with love and kindness. I do not think you can reduce hate and violence with more hate and violence. We must fill the world with so much love and kindness that we crowd it out.

    Thank you for these vignettes. They help keep me going in these troubled times.

  4. Writing to Freedom

    Thank you for caring deeply and reminding us to care for our neighbors near and far. I love how you wove the images and words Janet. May we enjoy the simple pleasure and work to make the world better and safer for all.

  5. Carol Balawyder

    I love the little lambs, Janet. Adorable. I looked at your beautiful garden and thought how so many gardens have been destroyed in Ukraine all for the ego of one crazy man. Glory to Ukraine.

  6. davidjrogersftw

    Dear Janet, I love your Welsh pictures–I love all your pictures–but especially these Welsh pictures today. They are so beautiful and restful, the way one feels when they are in a good mood. Of course I knew you had lived part of your life in America, but had forgotten that you had lived here so long. I would have been very homesick too.

    What is happening in Europe is beyond my capacity to understand. To me it is inconceivable that moral people cannot put an end to it. I am not one to stand by and let good people being made to suffer. As a little boy my father taught me to despise and to oppose bullies, to help underdogs as I have tried to do. I would hope that our President has compassion combined with courage.

    Here in Chicago Spring has arrived and I am having John Keats-like poetic thoughts of warm weather, pleasant breezes, and the smells of baseball-park hotdogs. My whole family are well, COVID virtually all gone. I hope you are well too and that you are working and also enjoying acrivities at your center.

    Best, David

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you David for this comment.
      I am so pleased to hear that Spring has arrived…and I am glad to report that the same is true here.

      I also despise bullies – they cause so much harm and pain to those they impose their will upon and as we know they come in many different guises..

      Let’s hope that our leaders have the courage to make the right decisions no matter how difficult.

      I would have returned to the UK when Bill and I were divorced but I had to wait until Jarrod and Christie were old enough. When I returned Jarrod was 27 and Christie had started university partially in Paris which was lovely for both of us. Bill re-married shortly after our divorce which made it even more important that I wait for the appropriate time. such is life.

      It wont be long before you can enjoy the baseball….

      All’s well here – covid is at bay and the Centre is fantastic…What a blessing it was when the HUB arrived on my doorstep:) I am busy painting and writing and am about to take one of my Portugal groups to an art centre in Kent for a workshop…not too far from where I grew up. Two people from Australia are coming and another from France…the rest are Brits.

      Did I tell yo that I have booked tickets for the States for 7th September..?
      Having said that like everything, I am taking life one day at a time.
      My best wishes to you and all the family

      Janet. X

      1. davidjrogersftw

        I’m glad that your Portugal people are finding their way back to you, and am excited that your writing and painting are going well, and also that you will be coming the the USA. I’m sure you look forward so much to seeing your children again and spending time with them. Where do your children live now? Wouldn’t it be great if all of you could get together? I know what you mean by one day at a time. Covid is good here now, but there are indications that a new varient could come–just enough news to keep us nervous. Meantime we hope to see our children and grandchildren more when the weather improves. Stay well and happy.

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning David on a glorious spring day in London.
        Jarrod and his partner run a horse farm in Amish country in Pennsyvania and Christie lives in Cambridge Mass. I will be staying at the farm in September – and Christie will be coming there to stay. Looking forward to it, but because the world is going through so much I take everything one day at a time – and hope that I will get there..
        I hope you enjoy your lovely weather…and that covid keeps at bay. Janet 🙂

      3. davidjrogersftw

        I’m looking forward to your September trip to Jarrod’s and then hearing about your visit with both your children. That will be such a happy time for the three of you, and it will make Diana and me happy to hear about it.

        All is well here. Rainy today, but generally warm to hot weather (I like warm, Diana likes hot.) Everyone in good health. We live very close to a high school, and yesterday was their last day before summer break. It made me happy to empathize with them in recalling what a happy day the beginning of summer vacation was for me.
        Best wishes,

      4. janetweightreed10 Post author

        The beginning of summer holidays were always such happy and exciting days filled with hope:). I am looking forward very much to being with the children in September….

  7. peter petterson

    I enjoy your stories. I can’t understand Putin’s motivation. I’ll send you a little story of my own for discussion later. I don’t know if I told you about my accident at home 6 mths ago which put me in both local hospitals.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Peter. Yes you did tell me about your accident – and I am hoping that you are continuing to recover. Who knows about Putin…his actions are those of a total mad man…and as far as I know it’s nigh impossible to understand or deal with such a person. God help the lovely people of Ukraine.X

  8. snowbird

    Oh, I simply can’t imagine how the people of Ukraine must feel about leaving their homes and seeing them destroyed. We must not look away! I love your Welsh garden, gorgeous as are those lambs.xxx


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