Thursday, July 28, 2011

Has anyone ever told you how efficient the Swiss can be? Not an inch of this place goes unswept, uncared for, or untended.

And in case you don't believe me - in case you think it sounds too good to be true - here's a picture of how we recycle around here.

Some days it reminds me of the Jetsons.

Other days all this perfection drives me stark raving mad.

But over the years it does become downright comforting. I feel it whenever I get off the airplane and drive home through Disneyland; the order and predictability just seem to grow on you.

Nonetheless, I'm glad to be married to a bohemian, though Swiss through and through. Did I tell you our weeds were officially knee-high by the fourth of July this year?

It feels like we're breaking the law!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mini-golfing in "Florida" ... the most Americanized place I've seen here and a welcomed respite from the real world.

I must confess that I am a cheater at this game. But my cheating is quite fair... I cheat for everyone equally. Little Darling nearly gets a hole in one, so I lie on the ground and blow it into the hole for her. Yay!

The Russian disapproves.

But then, the way I see it, I'm the only wife who'll stretch out in the grass in the shade of a green tree to wait my turn; the only one who'll rest my head on his stomach and laugh as the clouds sail overhead. (The non-cheating moms can be heard scolding and fretting as they herd their families toward fair-play).

Drat those goody two-shoes!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

On the Swiss plateau there are flowers for sale - and they work on the honor system. You pick, you pay...right into a little tin can.

My niece from California was recently visiting and upon seeing fruit for sale in the back of a farm truck, asked "How do they keep you from stealing?"

And I remembered back to my own childhood in Los Angeles, where my mind would have gone down the same inquisitive path.

"They don't," I reply. "If you steal, you just have to live with yourself."

The last sunflower for sale, standing alone in an empty field. We were too far from home, else little Darling would have taken her with us.


Monday, July 25, 2011

a bit of winsome

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ever seen a window quite like this? I'll bet you can relate sometimes - feeling a little different than the rest;

a little quirky;
a little slanted where others seem to be straight.

But this window fits a stairwell - and endears me to itself by its individuality.

Like you do.

With your quirkiness and slanted-ness;
your off-color thoughts and unexpected ideas.
With your shocking honesty.

Never try to fix this, please. I like you how you are.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Longfellow writes:

"In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity."

After months of knowing I would eventually need to find a way to slow down, my body finally did that for me. I was in the ER, closed-in behind cream-colored curtains for hours, trying to maintain the collected and pleasant calm I usually assume whenever I approach a medical facility. Only this time I was not there for one of my children, and the arms they were poking were mine.

There came this moment when I called my husband on the cell phone and whispered across the line... "get me the hell out of here".

The doctors came in and stared at me, concern foremost on their faces. It actually touched me to see their gentleness, and I tried to force myself to submit. "I want to go home now. I will forgo the medication. No, I don't want that, please. I want to go I need to take care of my children."

Really? I watched as they considered that coming from a woman who could not stand up.

What do women do who are stuck in those places for months at a time? What can possibly keep them from going insane? The day after I began to feel better, I awoke and betook myself to the balcony wrapped in blankets. I let my eyes scan the valley and drink in the beauty of the outdoors. The light; the leaves clapping their tiny hands; the birds singing. The simplicity of the outdoors seemed to me the loveliest thing I'd ever seen. And I sat, enjoying the silence, for hours.

And then I read:

In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God - and the Word was God.

Before the pain and before the sadness, was God. Who made all things for our eyes. Who made all this magnificent simplicity for me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Do come sit and tell me how you've been...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Iron Gate at Chaindon Church

It had been a long two weeks, and my nerves were frazzled no end. I could feel the tingles crawling over my scalp as fatigue overtook me; the double espresso I'd just downed having really no effect at all.

As I drove home from the hospital, my eyes fell upon this ancient church I've long wished to visit. High up on a grassy knoll, half surrounded by towering, regal trees, it stands as a beacon... but of what I couldn't say. I found myself turning left at the intersection, driving up into green fields and pulling the car to a stop. There were people at home who needed me - but at this moment, I needed me more. I needed the silence of wind whispering through trees, the eery calm of an empty, seemingly desolate cemetary.

I will share more pictures with you this week - snapshots of an inner revival and utter peace.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stopping by the Cathedral in Holderbank, Switzerland, we ate ice cream as we walked a friendly labyrinth out front.

And then walked quietly into the holiness of this unique Roman Catholic Church.

For you, Theresa...

This clock is exactly the same as the one seen on the It's a Small World ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Who would've thought? In all my travels, I've never come across one like this, and it just served to underpin my daily declaration that ... I live in Disneyland!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Some people like to make a little garden out of life and walk down a path.

- Jean Anouilh

Saturday, July 9, 2011

little bird girl at the boat house

Friday, July 8, 2011

I glanced left while passing through a holy sanctuary and found myself flooded in light

Thursday, July 7, 2011

traveler's snapshot: life just down the road

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lac Léman by a burgeoning artist

This is your future, beautiful girl. Wherever you sail, I will be watching. Whatever sunrise, whatever sunset calls to your heart, it will be my hands pressed to your back as you journey toward it.

This is your day. This is a first step of many steps. This is freedom.

Happy Graduation.