~one year anniversary in eu~

January 7th, 2009


A year ago today we stepped on to European soil with the intention of hanging around awhile.

In that time I have traveled more than I ever hoped or expected to, seeing bits and in some cases much of Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Suisse. I have learned about life in foreign lands and about my (American) self.


I have written a good deal, both bloggish and bookish. We survived life in a one-room studio and got married.

I once upon a time referred to life with Alfonso as the German I Love Lucy show. I was the nutty, willful American dame who got to “splain” all the time to the hapless but warm-hearted foreigner (/night club singer). While Ali doesn’t dance around the house embracing his own torso and I’m not really a wacky plot-hatcher (well, I don’t admit to it anyway), we have over this year resembled a classic 1950s household in the most basic way: Man goes to work, woman home-makes (in addition to writing). It’s pretty great, I must say. I could really get use to it, though I’d like Ali to get to be the wife too. We are working on it. Then we can both wear the pants and the aprons.


I have felt blessed all year, even when feeling lonely or frightened or not up the task of fighting the demons that ring truth to the phrase “where ever you go, there you are.” One gift of having suffered–even a little–is getting to relish the times without real suffering. This is no small thing. You appreciate your health, and the health of those you love. No news is good news. Relative stillness is a wonderful thing I was beyond ready for and have not tired of (tho a movie now and then would be grand).


The ever-present longing for friends and family has been bittersweet: I am glad to miss them, honored to have that love in my life in the first place. 2008 was a storm of love from all directions. Not always easy, but dense and full of opportunity to learn and grow, with more laughs than tears. What else to ask for?


I am feeling calm (I first typed “clam” which is good too, they are happy, I’ve heard) and ready to greet the cold winter days here in the twenty-four weeks before I turn 40, and (I dearly hope) turn the last page on the first draft of my first novel. Kindly hold this in your thoughts.

click on image to expand

Spain/Portugal blogs to follow shortly.
For now, the ever-mutable Lake Neuchatel and a wish for a joyous, rich, enlightening new year.

One Response to “~one year anniversary in eu~”

  1. angelina says:

    What a great adventure you’re engaged in! Both the housewife show and the living abroad while writing part. I have to admit that I have a little envy for where you’ve taken yourself in your life. Yet I suppose in my own way I’ve done the same thing- uprooted and moved away from family and friends and am having adventures in the weirdly rustic state of Oregon surrounded by conservative Christian types.

    Yes yes- you will finish your first draft and enjoy the next 24 weeks!

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