A new project of mine has led me on a journey through my old photo albums and diaries. What an amusing, eye-opening, and (mostly) enjoyable trip it has been.
While I value the ease and practicality of digital pictures, I miss photo albums. I love the feel of the albums, heavy with memories – proof of a life of fun and adventure, a life worth documenting. Pull one from the shelf and instantly be transported to a different time and place, even a different you. Celebrate old successes. Remember people you maybe haven’t thought about in years.
The accompanying diaries provide a more balanced picture, telling both the good and the bad stories, the everyday stories. It’s interesting to step back into a younger version of myself and see the world through those eyes again. I can see where I’ve grown and where I’ve (stubbornly) remained the same. I cherish these old musings.
I think I will keep a diary again, for my future me. I think she’ll appreciate reading about the good times that made me happy and the bad times that helped me to learn and grow. If nothing else, she’ll probably get a good laugh out of it, and my time will have been well spent.
Here are a few of my raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, just because…
Go ahead rain. Do your worst!
A good excuse to shake your booty on a Tuesday night and now also Wednesday morning!
I love modern communications and technology not only because they make it really easy to keep in touch with family and friends, but they also provide some funny stuff in between. Take this recent exchange on WhatsApp with A:
Note – A uses speech-to-text; I type old-school style. And remember, the German word for kisses is Bussis.
“…And give yourself and Toby lots of pussies”
Note to self – teach phone how to cuss.
No, I didn’t die of pneumonia after having my German moment last spring. The one that prompted me and Toby to take the convertible out, top down in near-freezing temperatures just because the sun was shining and this continent’s version of spring was in the air. (Thanks for that opener, thestrugglershandbook!) Life just kept happening. You know, that inevitable march of time where all of a sudden you step back and say, holy $#!?, it’s August, then September, then October?!
Maybe I’ll catch you up on our adventures one of these days, but the most important story to tell is that we had a real summer this year, with tank tops, flip flops, and sunglasses. The gods must have been listening – I told Toby we would be forced to move if this summer was as spectacularly bad as the last two. Instead we had picnics on the Rhine and barbecues with friends. Of course, now that it is October (holy $#!?), the typical gray skies and rain have settled in again. Oh well. There’s plenty of time for me to bitch about that…
I also think I stopped writing because everyday life lost its novelty and started becoming…everyday. But the sight of a few strange characters on my bike ride to work and some interesting graffiti around the city have made me realize, it is high time to rediscover the place I now call home. It is time to acknowledge all the things big and small that make me smile, curse, and wrinkle my forehead in deep thought.
Now to send you on your way, here’s something nerdily gross and intriguing to brighten your day: it is entirely possible that the water you used to make your coffee this morning is ancient dinosaur pee. Mmmmmm!
After the darkest winter and coldest spring on record, plus snow for Easter, I had a real German moment. On Monday, the sun was shining and it was a whopping 6°C (43°F – that’s not a lot where I come from). So what did Toby and I do? Take the convertible out for a spin, naturally!
Top down, beanies, down jackets. Ah, it’s really starting to feel like spring around here… Not.
It’s been a hard week of weather to deal with in Düsseldorf. Spring, which the budding trees, the chirping birds, and I have been patiently (why lie?) waiting for, is taking her sweet time. First it looked like there was hope – the sun was shining, and I was giddy at the sight of my own shadow. And with good reason. It was “the darkest [German] winter of all time.” (See? There’s more to my weather drama than the fact that I’m an Arizona girl through and through!)
Then we had another bout of snow, or Schnee.
I appeased myself with trips to the coffee house and with cozy pots of tea at home.
Then we had snow and sun. Oh, what a glorious combination – light and color in the world again!
The crocuses and those who dared sit outside at the coffee house despite the freezing temperatures weren’t showing any weakness.
Then the snow was gone, and Toby and I took advantage of a sunny day with a long walk along the Rhine.
Yesterday it was so nice that I actually rode my bike to work without a beanie, my hair blowing in the wind (something I haven’t felt in longer than I care to remember). This is in stark contrast to my winter riding gear, which I’ve taken to calling the Reverse Mask of Zorro.
Too bad we’re back to a lovely combination of rain and snow again today. Somebody stop the madness!
Today I saw my shadow again, literally. The sun was shining after what seems like months and months of nothing but shades of gray. I’m taking it as a sign to get out of my winter slumber and to finally give myself the chance to jump over my own figurative shadow again. I’ve been far too complacent for far too long. It’s time to do the things I love again, like writing, organizing my pictures, planning trips, and nurturing relationships with family and friends. It’s also time to face the things that are occupying my mind head on, like that pesky to-do list, my career path, my own fitness and well-being, and being the best wife and partner in crime possible.
Coincidentally, I also just had another birthday. The timing is good – spring energy plus a symbolic new beginning. It’s time to make this the year of greatness!