The war raged, but in the city, we moved freely. Though the sound of gunshots was rare, signs of the perpetual crisis were all around. Most notably, the grocery store was never fully stocked. Let me rephrase. The shelves might be full, but the store continually lacked bare necessities. One day the aisle would be… Read More Crisis Expectations
Shoes, soled with layers of dense mud, lined the porch. It had recently rained, turning the dirt driveways and road-side pathways into sludge traps. In this environment, shoes don’t come into the house. This was my front porch in Romania during the wetter seasons. In no time at all, the children’s shoes were trashed. I… Read More The chore of responsbility
Just as a crash test vehicle comes to an abrupt halt as it smashes into the brick wall, so the Christmas season is over. Some people feel like a crash test dummy, head bopping around, still in a daze as the whirlwind subsides. Aside from a lone aisle with clearance items, the decor in stores… Read More Distance and incense
On a recent morning in Sydney, Australia, I stepped out the front door of our Airbnb row house and breathed in the comforting scent of a winter hearth. It was late November, my mental season of harsh cold outdoors and cozy warmth inside. It only took me a few minutes to find a coffee shop… Read More Nescient comfort – Sydney, Australia
I’ve been on many a safari. In English usage, the word ‘safari’ is used almost exclusively to describe an animal-viewing expedition in Africa. Having grown up on the continent, however, I like to use the word in the context of its native tongue. ‘Safari’ simply means journey in Swahili. Like many words in Swahili, it… Read More The Trigger Scent of Safari
Sunbeams burst through the fog that nestled among the fields and groves along a rural, two-lane road in southern Romania. On this early morning I was headed to the airport several hours away. Normally my car was loaded with three carseats and rowdy kids. On this day I felt the infrequent release of freedom that… Read More A murder in Romania hits close to home
It was a new-to-us botanic garden. Shaded pathways led through the foliage of South Africa and plants of New Zealand. Each curve brought curiously shaped leaves and vibrantly blooming flowers. I allowed the three older children, the oldest nine, to explore freely. After an hour of bamboo groves, manzanita habitat and all type of herbage… Read More Children, are you lost?