February Break, Alps and Florida

For the February break, we opted for a divide and conquer approach. Larry needed to work for most of the week, and both Elliot and Larry wanted to learn to ski.  Merrie had no desire to try the slopes, and both she and I wanted some sun and warmth.  It had also been too long since I had seen (in person) my mom and dad. So the boys headed to the Alps and Merrie and I headed to Florida.

Continue reading February Break, Alps and Florida

Happy New Year

You know I love my son, and I love all my friends’ kids to bits, but today Meredith gets the award for the Coolest Kid in World. She is celebrating the Buddhist New Year. She made gifts and cards for all of us, she decorated her room, and had a special prayer to read after pouring water on the heads of our Buddha statues.  I took this opportunity to give her a book that can help with her adjusting to life in Munich.  Happy New Year, everyone.

Advent Calendar 2015

This marks the end of another Advent Calendar season.

As you may or may not know, one of the rules for Advent Calendar is that before they get to open a drawer, they need to write something for which they are grateful or thankful. Without commentary or edits, here are this year’s gratitudes.   From all of us to all of you, may your holiday season be filled with gratitude, humility, peace, and laughter.  Continue reading Advent Calendar 2015

Anatomy of an international move part one: coordinating with the movers and shakers

Ok, everyone everywhere must apply the following caveat to anything I say or write that is Germany/relocation related over the next few months/years: “I am humbly grateful for this amazing opportunity and recognize how  lucky we are to be having this adventure via Larry’s work. I know how unbelievable this is and how incredible it will be for our family. I am super excited for it all and am going into it eyes and arms and attitude towards the universe wide open.”  #blessed #firstworldproblems and all those other social media epigrams.

That being said:  Oh boy, some parts of this are really, really hard. Continue reading Anatomy of an international move part one: coordinating with the movers and shakers

Invoking Blog Bankruptcy to give you the Advent Calendar summaries from December

As you may or may not know, we have done Advent Calendars with the kids forever.  Twenty-four little drawers filled with daily delights.  Last year, we changed up the rules a little bit, specifically Rule #4.   Continue reading Invoking Blog Bankruptcy to give you the Advent Calendar summaries from December

No time like the present

Yesterday was my birthday. Today we are snowbound. There are a million little projects, chores, action items, that are vying for my attention, but none quite as appealing as posting to our family blog (followed very closely by a nap). It’s hard to believe that we are already at the end of January. Life certainly is moving at a very fast pace. It’s also hard to believe that this time one month ago, we were in sunny, warm, Florida, enjoying the sun, surf, and magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Continue reading No time like the present

Salem, Massachusetts

My thoughts today are on my hometown and the upcoming holiday. I absolutely love Salem at this time of year. The energy is palpable. There is no end to the tourists, costumes, and general happy mayhem. Many locals despise this time of year.  Some folks even vacate the city for the week because it gets so congested and crazy. Me? I invite as many people as I can to come celebrate October in my city. I greet tourists with a friendly smile and offer to help anyone looking confusingly at a map. I ride my bike everywhere I can because the traffic makes it damn near impossible to drive and I happily share any of my Townie shortcuts with newer residents.  My daughter and I love dressing up and heading downtown every chance we get.

We have a frenetic buzz here that ramps up for the entire month of October, climaxes on the 31st and then ends abruptly on November 1 (or maybe the 2nd this year). On those first few days of November, we locales greet each other with a wry smile of shared survivors. The whole city is quiet and still. Some have compared it to a hangover on the day after the night before. But for me it isn’t so much a feeling of a hangover. It’s feels more like waking up after a huge, awesome party at your house and quietly tip-toeing through your rooms, discovering happily that all the rowdy revelers left the premises and your place is still intact and relatively clean. Even better: someone thoughtfully brought you some Front St. coffee and a pastry from A & J King Bakery before they left.

I look forward to Salem in the late fall and winter, when it pretends to be a sleepy quiet seaport town. But in the meantime, we have some serious Halloween festivities to attend to. Hope you all have a joyous week!