An Adventure A Day

Because "life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" – Helen Keller

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” ―Victor Hugo, Les Misérables “Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations    I find that these two quotes really distill the essence of what it means to be Optimistic: every moment passes, and it …

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Friday Photo: Alphabet

January 22, 2016

This week, the WordPress Photo Challenge takes on the theme of Alphabet

In his children’s book “From on beyond Zebra!”, Dr. Seuss writes about a character whose alphabet does not end with the letter Z, but goes on to include a smattering of the fanciful words and creatures Dr. Seuss is known for. At the end of the alphabet, little Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell is just learning his letters. When he reaches the letter Z, the narrator takes him on a tour of the letters beyond Z, the ones that most people don’t bother to learn. As the narrator explains:


“You can stop, if you want, with the Z.

Because most people stop with the Z.

But not me!!!

In the places I go, there are things that I see

That I never could spell if I stopped with the Z.

I’m telling you this ‘cause you’re one of my friends.

My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!”

From On Beyond Zebra! by Dr. Seuss (1955)


Themes like the arbitrary nature of language and the alphabet itself, the importance of creativity, the value of imagination, and the importance of continuing to look beyond what is known. Dr. Seuss is an incomparable genius of children’s literature, surreptitiously drawing the reader through several entertaining and thought-provoking elements.

When I read this book, I realized that like the narrator, my alphabet has expanded, through the study of language and travel. My thoughts are peppered with phrases and letter sounds that far exceed the 26 letter alphabet I was taught in grade school.

The Austrian-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote “Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt“. The boundaries of my language signify the boundaries of my world.

Learning new languages has provided an opportunity for me to expand my alphabet, and my understanding of the world around me.

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After I’d written the first part of this story, I knew the tale was incomplete. My shopping habits have changed dramatically since I first moved to Germany in 2010. I no longer rely solely on the grocery store for the bulk of my needs. This is becoming even more true the longer I am living …

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Friday Photos: Weight(less)

January 15, 2016

This week, WordPress takes a look at the theme of Weight(less)

First a look at the Weight of ages:

Then a look at the Weightlessness of youth:

Now, ponder this quote by Polish Poet Stanislaw Jerzy Lec:

“Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art”

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When I began this story, I was thinking about what I missed most from my passport country. I was writing after a particularly vexing trip to the supermarket, with both children. Although they have become great helpers as they’ve grown, it is still a near constant barrage of questions. Trying to make sense out of …

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This week the WordPress photo challenge is taking a closer look at the ubiquitous circle. In the Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History, Author Joseph M. Marshall III writes that “life is a circle. The end of one journey is the beginning of the next.” I love this sentiment. What a truly uplifting way to …

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When we travel, I become the designated family passport carrier. This makes sense, because at home I am the caretaker of all the paperwork that enters the house. Over the years, I’ve developed systems for controlling paper flow and important document storage, but I was still searching for the perfect system to handle all of …

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The holiday season has ended – for the most part. Tomorrow is the Feast of the Epiphany, which is a public holiday here in Italy. This year, not only do we have an additional week of Christmas break but we have a new tradition to add to our growing list of international customs – a …

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