Spare Change

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Remember that Seinfeld episode in the parking garage…the one where no one can remember where the car’s parked? Kramer is carrying a heavy air conditioning unit, he eventually off loads behind someone’s parked car; Elayne is worried her goldfish in the airtight plastic sack is going to die; George is worried he’ll miss his parent’s anniversary dinner and Jerry has to desperately urinate. At some point Jerry muses: Why is it other… Read More

I’m back, most of me anyway. There’s a piece of my heart in Central PA that remains affixed now and forever. I’m so grateful I had the chance to see my dad on his road to recovery. The fact that he’s feeling a tad bit disappointed that he might only be able to play nine holes golf this season, instead of eighteen, is nothing short of miraculous. That we had time together… Read More

The hardest part about living in Sweden…isn’t Sweden. It’s that the people I love (a lot of them anyway) live four thousand miles and three connecting flights away. It’s that every time I want to call home it’s my nighttime and their daytime, it messes things up. It’s that when people you care about are sick, or otherwise in need of a hug or helping hand, you can’t be there. This is… Read More

Your Christmas cards aren’t mailed yet? Mine aren’t either, at least not all of them, and I’ll be lucky if they’re postmarked before 2014. I’m not feeling too bad. A friend of mine didn’t mail hers until after Easter one year. Personally, I think Christmas and Easter go fine together. But in case you don’t get yours, here’s what we all look like (on our better days).Of course it’s not like I… Read More

Living in Sweden is the best of both worlds, the American holidays plus the Swedish traditions. There’s Halloween, uniquely American, which we celebrated by trick or treating around the offices of the American Embassy. Then Thanksgiving, a feast we celebrated with friends, a day focused on food and gratitude (what could be better?). And now Julbord, the Swedish Christmas table, from now until the end of Christmas. Julbord is the feasting season, a… Read More

While I was driving on a familiar road through the forest late in the afternoon, Maggie asked, “Are we in the middle of nowhere?” Nowhere. It certainly felt like nowhere. It was pitch black and 3:30 in the afternoon. November in Stockholm gets this way. It’s dark, really dark. Buildings, recognizable by day, vanish by late afternoon. They are no longer buildings, but blocks of light—square windows floating above the horizon like… Read More

Living in another country during the holidays can be fun…then again it can also be memorable in other ways. Our Thanksgiving feast was postponed until Saturday since the kids had school on Thursday. Meanwhile, I’d amassed the requisite 30 lb. turkey (from Germany) and all the trimmings. We’d invited friends to dine and then…yes, the inevitable, sick kids; sick husband. We canceled the party and I served up soup and crackers, feeling… Read More