Friday, April 27



Snowdrops, always the first glimpse of what's to come:

Cut pussywillows, in the tradition of my grandmother and great grandmother:

De-stash/de-clutter/give-away/sell lists, in the car on the way to buy a couch (oh, the irony):

2 types of sunshine; the friendship kind and the burning ball-o-fire kind ;)


Tulips, at the Keukenhoff in Lisse, the Netherlands:

And tiny animals and bugs greeting us everywhere, like Mr. snail here:

Monday, April 16

Lennon Wall

I only had two things I wanted to see in Prague, one was the Lennon Wall.

Form Wikipedia: "The Lennon Wall or John Lennon Wall, is a wall in PragueCzech Republic. Once a normal wall, since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspiredgraffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles songs.
In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime of Gustáv Husák. Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described ironically as "Lennonism" and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic, and agents of Westerncapitalism.
The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the second day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of youth ideals such as love and peace.
The wall is owned by the Knights of Malta, who allowed the graffiti to continue on the wall, and is located at Velkopřevorské náměstí (Grand Priory Square), Malá Strana."

There are tons of photos all over the internet of it, these are mine. I will be getting them printed and framed soon :)

(there's a little bit of space invader in there, too! although i'm not sure if it's authentic?)

Amsterdam, London, and Paris.

There are a lot of pictures I haven't posted from earlier this year that should be put up before I post about my latest adventure...

Some of us 'girls' went to Amsterdam in January:




 Water + Bikes = Amsterdam.


And then Brenda, Zak, Melissa and myself made our way to London. It. Was. Awesome.

 Lots of warm coffee, it was fairly cold! 

 Vegan food- ALL weekend! 

 Occupy London, this was one of my favorite parts.

 A classic view.

Another protest, in conjunction with a protest going on in the Middle East, they were basically skyping over that big screen.  

 London at night, from the plane.

The new constable in our house :)

Then, last month, Johnny and I made our way to Disneyland Paris with our friends who were visiting from England. He really loved the train, naturally. We went into Paris the next day and rode around on the Red bus, spent some time in the Louvre, and gazed up at the Eiffel Tower. No photos of all that tho, my hands were pretty full :)

We are actually headed to Amsterdam again next week, and Paris again in three weeks (that will be Chris's first time!). I will make sure to take plenty of photos!

Sunday, April 15

Why I haven't cried and why that's okay.

I'd love to be signing in here all cheerful and chirpy, to tell you about my most amazing trip to Prague that recently ended.  But I need to write first about my great-grammy Esther.
About four years ago my great-grandpa Harold (Grandpa Quit-it!) passed away, just a few weeks after I last saw him (I had visited while Chris was in Iraq). There were a lot of feelings and regrets floating around at that time. Mostly I was mad that I would miss his memorial since I had just been home; trans-atlantic tickets aren't cheap. I was grateful for having seen him that one last time and for having said my goodbyes properly. But mostly, I was mad. Mad at the choices we'd made to move so far away and that I couldn't just drive to New Hampshire. Mad that we had missed several years of holidays without our large family nearby. Mad that the universe had given me 26 years with an amazing great-grandfather, only to take him away in the end. (How about that one? Seriously, grief makes you think crazy things.)
Well, this week his wife, my grammy Esther, also passed away. A lot has changed in four years and, while I feel sad that I won't be able to kiss her cheek again, the emotions I felt after grandpa's passing are long gone. In their place are happiness, calm and patience. Happiness, that I got to know her more than ever since moving over here. We emailed often and I learned just how much we had in common. Calm, thinking of every moment I spent with her, as she was a strong grounding center in my haphazard life. And patience for myself, to allow feelings of regret to pass and disappear. Living so far away has been difficult on many occasions, times like this are certainly at the top of the list. The one thing I need to keep in mind is that we wanted to experience something new... and we did. Regretting that would be a shame, and Gram would not approve in the least.
I didn't know what to think of her death these past few days. I didn't know what to say, or how to react if anyone said something to me, so I mostly said nothing (which worried my family, sorry family!).
While in Prague, staring at some of the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen or wanted to see, it hit me. I don't need to know. I was confused because I wasn't grieving. I wasn't grieving because everything was as it should be. Seeing her one last time would have been nice, but this is where I belong right now. There was no grief in the living of her life, and her passing was only merciful. How could I truly be sad? I wasn't. I'm not. And I hope my family understands this; I think my dad does. I don't want them to think me uncaring or cold, I'm not either of those things. I'm full of love for her and everything she offered me, she truly was a monumental role model for me and will be missed. But I have many, many years of memories and I will write them all down just as she did.
I won't be going to her memorial in May. We had planned on coming home a few short months after that, and flying home in between now and then will only cause stress in an already super stressful situation (moving home will NOT be fun as it is). Again, I hope my family understands. I knew her well, more than any great-granddaughter could hope to know her great-grandmother, and I can say my goodbyes quietly when we get home in August or September.

Her life has re-inspired me to pick up that pioneering spirit and move forward with a head held high. We got our base choices and they seemed bleak at first, adding to a dismal week, but whatever we are handed we will take and make the best of it. I had forgotten that for a moment- that we can get out of a situation what we put into it. But now I remember, and it will all be okay.