Not Fair? Think Again…

Where in the world am I today? Reflecting on the idea of fairness… I was probably about five years old when I found myself stuck in our rumpled family car on a hot Tennessee day while my father went into a store to grab something “real quick” and to “be right back.” As sweat rolled off…

Two German Christmas Markets

Merry Christmas Everyone! This evening I wanted to reflect on the fun and interesting cultural norm of the German Wiehnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). Every year, Christmas markets are held in every town and hamlet from Berlin to Munich. Many of these have been held annually since the 1600s!  The whole country, whether atheist or Christian, seems…

Sweet November Holiday

  Thanksgiving 2015 “This year’s holiday was a sweet time of friendship, fun times in Vienna, a spa                                              excursion, and some good food!” Thanksgiving Day 2015 began softly. I awoke to the sleeping sounds of…

The Wacky and Wonderful World of Children

Working with children on a daily basis makes my life so interesting. The last few weeks have yielded some memorable moments that I must share with you. I have found that entering a child’s world is a strange and exhilarating experience. I sing  and dance with them. We make up games together. In the midst of…

Brugge Anyone?

Remember the Belgian-Italian couple I met at Villa Marinella on Ischia Island, Italy? They owned a restaurant in Brugge, Belgium and invited me to come and dine. I’d since misplaced the information for the restaurant, but did make it to Brugge (the French pronounce it “Brooj,” and the Belgians say “Bruggah”) in early spring with…

Life in Germany This Time Around…

Germany for the 2nd time has been double the pleasure. Last year I came for the first time and knew I’d be back. Now I am making real effort to learn the language, so in addition to DuoLingo, I have officially enrolled in language class. Twice a week, another counselor and I drive to this…

Italian Art-Florence

Though I have been gone from Italy now for over two months, I still must tell a few more stories. I took a trip to Florence, the heart of Tuscany, with colleagues one weekend in the fall. We rode the train up from Naples, snacking and talking the whole way. Once there we got to…

Grapes, Coastlands, and Pizza

 Good Winds My very first outing in Italy was to a vineyard in Benevento, which means “good wind.” We saw gorgeous views, watched a machine crush a batch of grapes, and drank the liquid fruit. After viewing the winery and learning about the fermentation process, we entered the bottom floor for a tasting and several…

The Thrill of the Roller Coaster

When I was young I didn’t have the best relationship with amusement parks. The first and only time I went to Disney with the family, my brother excitedly ran off with the kid money for food and water, and my sister and I dragged ourselves through the park, famished and dehydrated for hours before finally…

England-Woolly Sheep and Things to Eat

Most of what I’ve seen of England so far has been its emerald and serene countryside, and except for the cutest, wooliest sheep I’ve ever seen, the landscape looks oddly familiar. In fact, it reminds me so much of Tennessee, it feels like I’m just down the road from home! It rains a lot, the…

Reflections on Germany2-I Won’t Forget…

Sadly, my time in Germany has ended, but I won’t forget the cute kiddos and the wonderful staff I worked with, the food, the scenery, the people, the whole experience! Particularly, I won’t forget being a “partially developed butterfly” for the Fasching (Carnival) Parade I participated in. I glued orange eyelashes on and children told me…