oh, but my darling, what if you fly?

How we came to England

How we came to England

Hello!  My name is Amy Harper and I am one of the Harpers behind Harpers of England.  I spend my time caring for our four Harper children, adjusting to life in a new country, and creating anything. I also love to explore England and the world.  One of the ways I stay happy is by running the farm lanes and foot paths near my village.

My other half is Tom Harper.  He adds the height and science to our marriage.  Tom is a metrologist.  No, that does not mean he can predict the weather.  Metrology is the science that everyone uses but only a few people know exists- it is the science of measurement.  I was born Oregon, Tom is from northern Utah, and we met at Brigham Young University the summer after I graduated from high school.  He’s just my favourite.  ever.
Harper Family 2015 39
 So how did a family of six move from the Rocky Mountains to Norfolk, England?  We have Tom’s work ethic and his employer to thank for that.  Six years ago, they started to notice they needed a lab manager at their site in the United Kingdom.  After five years of negotiating and uncertainty, we finally made the jump and boarded the flight.  Along the way we learned all the important things like the difference between passports and visas, the general location of Wales and Scotland, and what England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom all mean.  Sort of.  I’m not certain we have a full grasp on what this country means yet… still learning.

But I do know one thing for certain- I love it here.  I get a thrill every time I see the union jack atop a flagpole.     I love a trip to the seaside followed by fish and chips, the rainy weather and I have an understanding, and my children speak in a comical mixture of British and American accents.  We have neighbours and friends in our village who teach us how to post letter, write checks, and take out our rubbish.  Even though we are probably the definition of unpredictable they watch over us.  Probably because we are unpredictable and they think we are liable to hurt ourselves…

I also know how it feels to make a breath stopping leap into the unknown.  I had never been outside the United States before jumping into a small British village with little more than our children and our clothes.  It felt like being dumped into ice water- the best solution was firstly not to panic and second to open my eyes and heart.  This needed to be accomplished whilst helping four children overcome their own shock, setting up house, and trying to get over the vertigo of driving on the opposite side of the road.  And who said the sun could get up at 4 a.m. in the summer?

We now have a year of living in England under our belts.  I almost have my UK drivers licence, the children are settling down a little, and Tom is doing well at his lab.  We’re fluent in calculating between Fahrenheit, Celsius, Imperial and Metric with our calculators and apps.  And we’ve made a home here.

Harper Family 2015 73

photo credit: Wil Barber Photography

But sometimes we can’t find what we want to put in that home.  And sometimes I just need to create something.  That is why I created Harpers of England- in the garden shed.  It is a place where I can create and craft, merging our English experiences with our American roots.  Harpers of England is also a place where we can tell our story.  That story will include our adventures and travels.

But really and truly Harpers of England has been in England all along.  I’ve walked round church in Norwich where my ancestors were married before they emigrated to the United States.  Tom has heard that his Harper cousins still live in the same house in Yorkshire.  Did we leave or did we just return home?

Would you move to a new country if you were given the opportunity?  Why or why not?

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