So, about that six month break I took from blogging…

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How does one start blogging again after a six-month absence? I suppose the best way is to jump back in and start posting—and also to apologize.

The last time I wrote, we were headed to Washington State for winter break and I had every intention of posting regularly the whole time we were home. But, the vacation was kicked off by Laken’s first of what became a winter of illnesses. On the airplane she spiked a 105 fever and was so out of it we ended up having a flight attendant summon doctors over the intercom. Laken was driven by ambulance to a Wenatchee hospital the following afternoon and diagnosed with RSV (a virus I’d never even heard of until she got it.)

From there we had a few weeks of health until it was a severe bout with Rotavirus (and she spent two nights in the hospital for that, too, because she lost about 10% of her body weight. The diarrhea was that bad.) Then we were on to stomach flus and colds and pneumonia and the sniffles (which she didn’t mind all that much because she’s developed a fondness for eating her boogers.)

Laken’s Game of Thrones worthy winter of illnesses aside, I just got lazy. And preoccupied with raising a toddler. I wrote blog posts in my head, but they never materialized.

But, it’s time now. My goal is to write at least once a week. I miss blogging—I miss writing and reflecting on life here in Germany. And, I miss reading other people’s blogs. Do you ever have that sudden awareness, when you pass through a crowd of strangers in some public space, that you’re most likely never going to see a single one of them again? That you’ve glimpsed their face incidentally, but you’ll never know their strengths, their intense fears, the way they take in and interpret the universe through their senses?

Well, blogging seems to me like a way to get to know some of these random individuals. To hear their story. To get their take on the quirks of life in whatever part of the world they inhabit. To hear what lessons their day dealt out.

I have lots to write about these days. For one, we just moved away from our beloved Heidelberg and will be living in Wiesbaden, Germany from now on.

How do I feel about this? I asked my husband Todd this question earlier. “Where are you right now with Wiesbaden?” I asked.

Todd ‘s fine. He said that he’s home wherever his family, TV, and beer mugs are.

I’m taking longer to get there. Right now it feels like we’re on vacation and exploring new stores and restaurants (and, BTW, it’s a freaking back breaking vacation, because we have a LOT of stuff and have been working our hineys off.)

I wonder when, or even if, Wiesbaden will go from being a place that feels like vacation…to being home? Is it just time that helps the transition along? My bet is that memories are the foundation.  Relationships are the bricks.

As we walk through Wiesbaden I admire the fact that it’s a very pretty city. There’s no doubt about it. It’s easy to see that there’s a lot of wealth here. The buildings are opulent, have a “frosted wedding cake ceiling” feel to them (to rip off a line of Fitzgerald’s from The Great Gatsby.) There are lots of designer stores on the main drag (Wilhelmstrasse) and good restaurants—we’ve already become regulars at one that makes their own tortillas and is well stocked with craft beer.

See? Wedding cake-like.

We got lucky enough to find a massive apartment right in the middle of the city. Inside it’s very quiet and the rooms have high ceilings and a balcony space covered in unfortunate pigeon droppings.

One highlight for me, so far, was to discover the Kurpark. It’s set behind the Kurhaus and Casino and trails around a man-made lake and goes on for quite a while through a wooded area and crisscrossing trails that pass by opulent mansions that sort of make you want to cry from jealousy.  (Or to stand in front of them for a while in hopes that the owners will see you, find you interesting, invite you in, and spoil you.  Kind of like parties? I still pass by parties, or picnics, or people on boats and have this weird, off base hope that I’ll be invited over.)

But Heidelberg is still home. It’s where I discovered the expatriate life, where I found a love for teaching at international schools. It’s the city I met my husband in, the city that created our test tube child.

I’m getting wordy already. I know that blogs are supposed to be succinct and I’m trying to work on that–but as I’m drafting this I’m realizing there’s so much I’ve needed to reflect on. Why do I do this with writing? Start and stop?

Anyway, let’s wrap this up.

Here are my first impressions of this new Wiesbaden life.

  • As I said, it’s a very pretty city. Does it have the WOW factor that Heidelberg did? No. But, Heidelberg is a German city that was virtually untouched in the World War. You can walk through its narrow medieval streets and marvel at baroque architecture that went up after the French burned down the city. It’s nestled in a valley. It has a castle overlooking it. Wiesbaden looks very rich, is well kept, and has a lot to offer in terms of stores and architecture. But, it’s a newer city. As far as I understand, it was leveled in the war and rebuilt in the 1950’s. But I don’t know anything about that. I’m just repeating what Todd told me.
  • I love our apartment. I’m not trying to be all braggyMCbraggerson, but it’s HUGE. We will probably never own a house as big as this apartment is. I love how quiet it is inside, and how the walls are so insulated that I can sit in the living room and type this blog post and not hear Todd’s movie in the room next door. I’m also excited that we’re doing this city life thing for a bit. It won’t be forever. The idea is to live it up in the center for a couple years or so, and then buy a house in whatever area of Wiesbaden we fall in love with.
  • I would say the majority of Wiesbaden’s population are Muslim.  This is genuinely interesting to me because I’ve never lived anywhere that had so many Muslims. The abundance of  burkas and head scarves catch my eye. Perhaps we’ll make more friends who are Muslim and I’ll learn more about regions I only know from the news.
  • There’s lots of natural hot springs here—throughout the city, actually. I don’t know much more about them but will learn and post more.

Okay, I’m going to stop with this but more is to come! I’m sorry for the leave of absence. And, I’m sorry for blaming my child’s immune system when it really just comes down to a lack of motivation on my part.

My blogging goals are to keep on from here, to be open and honest, and to reflect on this major life change.  I have some personal goals that I’ve set, as well, and this blog will help me to work through them.  In no particular order they are;

1.) Get super fit and look 25 again. 😉

2.) Immerse more in German culture.  Do whatever it takes–join clubs, speak German as often as possible.

3.) We’ve been in a rut.  We need to travel more, explore, be involved.  We need to get out there.

4.) I am notoriously antisocial at the schools I teach at.  I chat all day with the kids, but avoid staff rooms and raising my hand at meetings.  I want to change that.

Until next time!

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2 thoughts on “So, about that six month break I took from blogging…

  1. There is so much I’d like to say, but the most important is that I’m glad Laken is okay. Much lower down but still important is I’m glad you’re blogging again. (On the scale of 1 to 10 the well-being of your child is at least an eleven.)
    And there is such a thing as productive non-productivity. That may sound oxymoronic, or just moronic, or like I’ve had too much gin and tonic, but the rule is writers always write. There’s just a lot that gets written in our heads. Not all of it makes it to the page or the screen. (My brain has thrown in references to Nigel Tufnel and Sir John Betjeman’s poem “The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel” that my fingers have refused to type, but that’s another story.) Some of it inevitably stays in your head.
    To make a long story even longer it tickles me you’re in Wiesbaden. That’s the home base of a company called Harrassowitz I deal with in the work I get paid for. Harrassowitz works with publishers on behalf of libraries and once I got an email from a customer service person that said, “We couldn’t get the publisher to respond to our queries so I went down the street and knocked on their door until someone answered.”
    That’s service above and beyond the call of duty, but I now realize they also took it as an excuse to just get out and walk around Wiesbaden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • First of all, I am SO SORRY that it has once again taken me so long to respond to your comment!! I should never say I’m going to do any blogging while we’re on our summer sojourn to the States. We always set these incredible itineraries and I never seem to find even a moment to work on anything (or respond to awesome comments like the ones you leave!) You are such a good writer. Even your responses to other people’s writing makes me smile. 🙂 Anyway, that’s funny you have a connection to Wiesbaden!!! And, I like what you said about the customer service person walking down the street to see the publisher. I can absolutely imagine people making an excuse to explore Wiesbaden. It is not a bad looking city at all. At first I was apprehensive about leaving Heidelberg because that has been home for fifteen years…but I do see a lot of potential in our new city. There’s lots to do and the Rheingau wine region is right outside of Wiesbaden and I have no arguments there. Anyway, I have a lot of blogging and blog reading to catch up on so I’ll get to it once we return on Monday. 🙂 I have read some of your posts, but have definitely gotten behind and I intend to catch up on them all!!!! I hope you are doing very well. And, I like what you said about writing, too. I agree that writer’s write. One thing that I’m struggling with–and let me know your thoughts on this–is how to deal with wanting to write about things that should technically be off limits. Like family. I have so much material from this summer. But, I can’t really write about any of it in case someone sees it and is offended, know what I mean? I struggle with wanting to write about whatever is off limits, but not wanting to upset anyone in even the slightest way. Somehow writing and good manners don’t always go hand in hand!!

      Liked by 1 person

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