Where Are Your Roots?




“If you have deep roots, no storm can uproot you.”


After our friends’ wife died about 5 years ago, he went back to Moldova, where he is originally from, on a business trip. On his travels, he met a young woman, Anna, and after dating long distance, and traveling back and forth, they decided to marry and to move to San Francisco. We all spent some time together recently. She is a lovely woman, and he is very lucky that she agreed to leave her hometown to follow him with the intention to settle in the United States.

In conversation with my wife Elfa, Anna referred to her former country as “U Nas”, which translates to “in our place”—meaning where she came from. Perhaps over time, as she starts to feel more at home in San Francisco, she will change that habit.


My wife Elfa and I spent the first 25 years of our lives in Riga, Latvia, where we were born. Then we lived in Israel for almost 9 years, and now San Francisco has been our home for 33 years. Despite two emigrations, we feel that our roots are here. But for many immigrants, it takes some time to acquire this feeling.

Finding one’s roots relates not only to the place we live. I thought about this actually after I had a conversation with a friend who was born in the United States. When I reconnected with him, I learned that he moved to Pasadena in Southern California, where he works as a CPA for a large accounting firm.


After being a CPA for many years, he tried consulting, and then got involved in the mortgage business, where we met a number of years ago. After that, he worked as a CFO, and then tried to manage a company. Finally, after having many different experiences, he went back to his roots—being a CPA for a large accounting firm. He is happy (and getting paid).

Many people move from one company to another, change jobs, occupations, friends, spouses, geographic locations—always hoping that with the change, things will be better.


Recently, I had a checkup with my dentist, Dr. Steve Ostwald, and shared the subject of this story with him. He commented that “roots are where you can be yourself—a place where you can fulfill your life’s expectations.”
P.S.In this sense, I am lucky. I went through two emigrations, and before becoming a mortgage broker, I’ve worked ten jobs, but I know where my roots are. I‘ve been married to the same woman for 47 years, have had the same occupation for 31 years, have lived in the same house for 30 years, and have had the same company for 29, with the same underwriter, Mila, for 28 years, and the same colleagues for over 25 years (and many of the same clients for all the same years too). Do you know what it takes to grow your own roots? Meanwhile, enjoy my images.


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Manny<br />