WINTERING

It’s January 8, 2021. Today is my eldest son’s birthday! It is a day that I will always remember being it was the day I became a mother for the first time. I was just a kid when I had him and didn’t really have a clue as to what I was doing. He taught me so many things, as did the rest of my children as they came along within 5 years of his birth. What a busy time! I think I felt that I was inside a whirlwind or tornado that eventually spit me out about 23 years later when my youngest went off to University.

This year and this past year will be so different than other years. We have not traveled in just about 1 year as of 17 January. It’s the first time we have not had a scheduled flight. One of the reasons I am missing it so much is that it keeps me from seeing loved ones. We don’t all live within driving distance, both of my son’s live far away (one in another country).

One thing this not traveling gives me is a sense of hibernation, or wintering as other writers have expressed. Since I live high up in the Colorado Mountains, I am also given a sense of this every time I look outside my window. Snow covered houses, snowy roads, river and the shorter days are all whispering “it’s winter, stay warm! Sleep later!, be kind to yourself, drink tea and Glühwein, make soup”. Also being outside is a big part of who I am. I get a lot of my energy from clean air, mountain scenery, and feel connected to my environment.

Monarch Mountain ski resort with Aetna mountain in background

With the crazy violent terrible happenings in the US right now, my feeling of needing “to flee” is heightened and I feel disturbed inside by reactions of the people on social media. Some that I worked with a few years ago are on the side of what I see as very evil, spouting evilness and lies. I can’t believe they think this is all free speech! What happened to common sense that my parents instilled inside my very being? Love your neighbor as yourself? These people who were storming the Capitol were not loving their neighbors. They were only for themselves.

The only hope I can take away from all this is that it might be a turning point for people to see what is really someone’s character. In the weeks ahead we here in the US will see history unraveling and the rest of the world will watch with amazement. What’s going to happen next?

A quote from Katherine May from her book Wintering:

“We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.”

Un-Traveling

It’s been over 10 months since I have traveled any great distance. I have written before how sometimes I feel like I am waiting for something to happen. Waiting for my next flight to someplace different. With the Covid-19 virus skimming around the Globe it seems to me the best thing is to stay home and just wait until it’s over. But what about all the people who aren’t? How come they get to keep on going places? Seeing new things, experiencing new places. I even thought perhaps that I’d contracted the virus and had myself tested (it was negative). I kept home for 14 days, isolating myself, staying away from even my close neighbors.

At first I was really sick, so didn’t care, but then after a week started to feel better. I got the phone call from the Health Department saying my test was negative! Phew! But I was reminded I still needed to isolate. Seriously!? What’s happened to all the kids who can’t go to school because of a positive virus case? How do they deal with all of this? I have felt many times like my oldest child, who was always wondering what he was missing out on. It’s not the Social dilemma that I am talking about. You know, those people who are scanning the Social media for things that they feel like they are missing out on. They aren’t having as much fun, making as much money, being with the right people, etc. That is just fake news. I am talking about all of the cars, RV’s, and Camper Vans out on the road zooming past at breakneck pace! Where are you all going? Why aren’t you staying home? Why do you have the freedom to travel?

Maybe most of you are saying you are staying home! You have been isolating! You are sick of it too! I am sure I am not the only one feeling like this.

Dream now, Travel later………

unknown

Autumn feelings

It is with great thankfulness that I write this post. I have been ill the past few days and this morning got tested for the COVID-19 virus. At first I was in denial about it. But after experiencing the breathing difficulties and fever I had to admit to myself and my husband that maybe I got it. I talked to my son who lives in Germany and he simply said „“ mom, go get tested!“. He was right, it was the responsible thing to do. To isolate myself and care about other people. Right now we have a leader who cares not about others but only about himself and he has been the epitome of a horrible uncaring person. My parents raised me to love my neighbors and put myself last. So it takes 5-10 days here to get test results so in the meantime I am isolating myself and telling others. I know of others who have had the virus but who had to spend time in hospital ICU. I am on the mend after having a few days of difficulty breathing but I also had support of my wonderful caring husband nursing me, bringing me gallons of tea, essential oils to help with breathing (eucalyptus oil works!), and making me soup and toast . He has been so wonderful. I think our clean mountain air helps too just like in Heidi!

My hero husband and friend Harry

New Year

Hello 2019. It’s here ready or not. The whole year is sitting out ahead of me like a blank slate. Saying goodbye to 2018 is bitter sweet. My Mum passed away, on her birthday of course, which is also a sort of blessing. It gives me a peace of mind, that when her birthday comes around, I can give thanks for her life, that she brought me into the world; and that she left it on the same day.
Love you so much Mum! I miss you every day.
IMG_5659

We traveled in 2018. We began the new year in Austria on a skiing holiday. What a beautiful amazing place!! I had never skied anywhere but in the US, so this was a very special memory. It was truly glorious and luxurious.
IMG_5371

Then at the end of June, me and my husband left the US for 3 months to just take a break from everything, and not spend another hot summer in Colorado. Don’t get me wrong, it is lovely to live near beautiful mountains. One just seems to never get up to them except for a day here a day there. It is frustrating to me to be so close to the place that I love the most but hardly ever get up to it. There I said it. Enough. I am so grateful to have spent three months in beautiful countries, meeting new friends, seeing the local cows and goats, eating wonderful food and tasting even more wonderful wine!
IMG_2519

The other part of the year was the time with my children. I was able to visit my son and his family in Munich, Germany while we were over there and that was so special. Munich is a wonderfully friendly city, easy to get around on public transportation and incredibly beautiful. The time there was priceless.
IMG_2863
Then visiting with my youngest son and his wife in Wisconsin was another memorable part of the year. They have made a big move but it has proven to be very good for them. I am hoping to be able to visit them at least once or twice a year! My two daughters live within 2 hours; but the time I have with them is beyond special. It is never enough and I always feel like it is too long in between visits. Family is the cream de la creme!
77a6ac59-3ff1-4e71-94d4-b513aa3db52d

Grief

My mama just died last week. Wow, such a hard sentence to write. It came about suddenly after she had an elective surgery that was supposed to take away some of her pain and suffering. We all knew that her heart was weak, but none of us expected to loose her so soon. The hardest part was to be the oldest daughter of three and be the strong one. One of my sisters was so angry, and the other dissolved into a pool of tears. I had to be the strong tree rooted into the ground so far as to survive the worst of storms.

flight landscape nature sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Saying goodbye to her over the length of a week was difficult but also a gift. For my Dad, he is an Engineer, and he needed questions answered as to her passing. He needed closure to all of the engineering questions as to why she could not be “fixed”. So he was granted time to process, ask, interview doctors, seek out opinions, and then finally arrive at the realization that his life partner of 59 years was gone. Poor Dad.
My mother was a prolific quilter, who over the time of 25 years made at least 200 quilts. She made quilts for all her children, grandchildren, and then great-grandchildren. Also for charity, churches, hospitals, neighbors, and friends.
IMG-0829
Christmas was her favorite time of year. Her birthday was also her favorite holiday. We always tried to make it extra special for her. Her passing away during this season is extra hard, but also bittersweet. I will always keep Christmas with her in my heart.
rain of snow in town painting
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

A friend sent me this quote yesterday and I want to add it here.
Grief never ends…..
but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…..
It is the price of love.

Thankful

My feelings this morning are warm, fuzzy and happy. Together with family is the best place in this world.

We are up in Wisconsin visiting my youngest son Bryan and his lovely wife Olivia. They have made every possible effort to make us welcome and comfortable.

It’s been a joy to get to spend more time with them now since they moved away from Colorado. In our fast paced lifestyles seems to be able to visit and relax together as a family takes much thought and planning. It’s ok though and it can help to have better relationships I believe. To be able to really slow down and meditate upon what is really important.

It’s so precious life and being with your loved ones is especially so. My wish for all is for a time of reflection combined with just that – time. Don’t hurry into the next thing. Just be present.

Seasons

This morning my thoughts seem to revolve around what has been on my mind a lot lately. My favorite time of year is Fall. I love the leaves all scattered about in various beautiful reds, yellows, oranges, and brown. I love the cool, crisp air that forces me to put on my winter hat and gloves when walking my dog. This year for my birthday, my daughter Ashley knitted me a gorgeous hat complete with puffy white ball on top. I think my kids all know how much I love having to put on coats, gloves, and hat. So the new hat means so much to me.
It is also the season of holidays here in the USA. I really wish that Thanksgiving was during the Springtime. I love to decorate and enjoy the moment so much, but feel hard pressed to get it all in. Halloween is over and we take down all the scary decor, for Harvest/Fall items. Then the minute Thanksgiving is over barely three weeks later, its all Christmas. It’s all too fast for my liking, and I usually start listening to Christmas music in October to the chagrin of my sisters, who belittle me for doing that. My mother used to do that very same thing, so I probably do in honor of her. It makes me remember all the fun decorating we would do as kids, and then the same I did with my own children. I see my daughter do the same with her small children, which is so heartwarming. img_4104
The happy face of my grandson Luke in the big pile of leaves behind our house

Squirrels

It is squirrel season at our place. We have a lovely green park area behind and between the other homes where we let our dog Harry out to exercise. Usually it is a fun game of chuck-it with a tennis ball. But, not now, it’s Squirrel Season! They must let off a catch me if you can odor or something. Harry is all distracted, I throw the ball and he starts after it, but something turns his nose, and he is off in another direction after a clucking-screeching squirrel with fluffy tail! It reminds me of myself at times. I will admit that I do have a short attention span. I start on something with a gusto, then nothing, or just start on something else. Luckily, I don’t do this while driving! I have started a new job recently. It is different than the previous jobs I have held at hospitals. It involves teaching as a clinical instructor. Something I never thought I would be good at. You need to be an extrovert to do it. My second daughter is a lot like me. Today at lunch together we were talking about being introverts. She said, “you know mom, I think we are outgoing introverts”. I think she is right. I do love people and like to be around others more than not. But, I am not the first person to have an answer at the ready. I have to think about something for a few hours, then come up with a great answer.
Not sure why I went into that from squirrels, but somehow it must go together. Short attention span, dogs, squirrels, introverted and outgoing.

squirrel on wood
Photo by Antônio Ferreira Neto on Pexels.com

IMG_6631
Harry the Wonder Dog

Giving

I was listening to a podcast this morning while walking my dog Harry and it occurred to me that I have been living in a bubble. What does it take for someone to get outside of their own selves and look really look at others who need some help. Then, how do you go about helping them? There used to be a community where mothers got together with other mothers to do laundry, bake bread, sew, teach their children, nurse their babies, etc. Now we all stay inside our large American homes and do our own thing. It is a very lonely existence and so different from our ancestors. I realize that not everyone was included in community, there have always been the poor, the unwashed, the outcasts. Course lots of people are going to work to pay for all their stuff and their large houses. The other part of this is our families are all over the place, children move away, live far enough that I can’t just pop over and babysit, or play. It is hard not to feel like they have chosen to live away from me.
One of my desires is to be with people and help them. The thing is that there is this stigma in America that if you go and knock on your neighbor’s door you are bothering them. We are afraid, we stay inside of our houses, we peek out the window to see what’s going on when a fire truck siren is heard close by. Some of us actually will go out and see what’s up. Most of the time I stay inside not wanting to bother someone else. Is that what it is all about? Bothering someone else if you involve yourself into their lives? I am really troubled this morning after hearing about two more teenagers who committed suicide at one of the High schools near us. I think it is time to break out of my comfort zone and help someone.

IMG_6214
Oma holding Alice the cutest little baby of my daughter Ashley

Re-entry

After returning back home to the USA after traveling to the UK and Europe for three months is not an easy thing. One would think you simply get back into your regular routine and run with it. There are some very real things that really bothered me upon my return and I was feeling angry, sorrowful, tired,and strangely enough, bored.
I was also melancholy, missing certain things that I fell in love with abroad, like church bells ringing. They were always ringing in all the towns we stayed, here there aren’t any that I can hear.

greyscale photo of concrete tower building
Photo by Katy R Mahoney on Pexels.com

Bakeries!! English, French, and German bakeries provide endless daily bread, croissant, rolls, sweet rolls, cakes. Here in America we have to go buy our daily bread at the grocery store. It leaves a lot to be desired when I remember the abundance of goodness in those foreign lovely bakeries.
brown wooden rack with baked bread displayed
Photo by anna-m. weber on Pexels.com

Trucks! The hugeness of the vehicles in America is quite scary to someone who is not used to them careening at you and the loudness and stinkyness of the exhaust. You just don’t see it very often over there.
pexels-photo-1149058.jpeg
Photo by Scosche on Pexels.com

Walking. People in the UK and Europe walk EVERYWHERE! There is also a good infostructure of moving people, whether by train, u-bahn, undergroud, metro, etc. You walk to the station, hop aboard and off you go!
city night architecture metro
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Sheep, cows, and bells. Once again, I am missing bells, the bells tied around the neck of the farm animals, in case they wander too far from home, the farmer can always hear their bells. Everywhere you go away from the larger cities, there are animals with bells. Here, not so much.
agriculture animal bell calf
Photo by Tobi on Pexels.com