An Adventure A Day

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

I hear it all the time – you are so lucky to live in (insert city here). I am not going to argue that fact. I will be the first to admit that is the absolute truth. I am not going to sit here and complain about how difficult my life is. Because most of …

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Lately I’ve just felt exhausted. Weary. Tired to the very recesses of my soul. My load has been full since we’ve moved, and we’re all still trying to adjust to new schedules, new places, new languages, new cultures, new people. It’s the kind of soul weariness where all you want is some time with your …

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“For us to go to Italy and to penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery.” – D.H. Lawrence (writer) In June, we packed up our life once again, this time setting in Belgium. After three years living in the mayhem of Rome, it is a welcome change. Unlike Shelley, Keats, Goethe, …

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My Relationship with Italy Lately I’ve been thinking about my relationship with Italy. For me, it was not a case of love at first sight. In fact, it’s often seemed more of a wary acceptance that has more or less developed into a comfortable coexistence. As I try to piece together my complicated relationship with this beautiful, …

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August marked the one year anniversary of our move from Germany to Italy. The first year was a good year, but it was not a great year. I frequently found myself feeling lost, overwhelmed, and incompetent. I should really read my own blog more. It wasn’t until someone left a comment on a post I …

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 I have just returned from making my fourth hair appointment – this year. That may not seem like a lot of haircuts to you, but I’ve seen decades through with fewer trips to the salon than that. But not here. In Italy, it’s not just my hair that’s being taken care of, it’s the relationship …

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Let me take you back in time to a cold midwinter’s eve early in 2011. It is early in our second calendar year living in a small German town in Southern Baden-Württemberg, and we are in the midst of our first pre-Lenten celebration in Germany. It is the last night of Fasching and the witches are jumping over a bonfire. …

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Friday Photo: Vibrant

February 5, 2016


Most people consider the long winter months after Christmas to be dull, grey and dreary. While I have always loved the cold winter months, it was living in Germany that made this my favorite time of year.

Even though the days are short and often grey it is the most vibrant time of year in Germany. From unexpected schnapps drinking visitors, to colorful decorations throughout the streets, to parties, costumes and revelries, the deepest winter days mean one thing – its Fasching Season. Fasching, known as the fifth season, officially begins on November 11 but the biggest events are on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. This pre-Lenten celebration is unequaled in vibrant displays of costumes, colors and music. It will always be one of the things I miss most from years in Germany.

In my former German hometown of Pfullendorf, the festivities have already begun. On Schmotziger Donnerstag, the day begins at 5:00 am – with whips cracking outside your window. Today, everyone wears a costume. You will run into clowns, cowboys, fairies and pirates everywhere you go. Early in the morning members of the various Fasching Clubs will free the children from the schools and kindergartens, take over the town hall and raise the Narrenbaum in the town square. The festivities have begun.

Over the course of the weekend, there will be balls and parties and on Rosenmontag (the Monday before Ash Wednesday) is the giant parade – a highlight of the festivities, where the schnapps flows freely and spectators and participants alike are fully costumed. Tuesday you’ll find the Preisschnellen in the Marktplatz – a whip cracking competition in the main square, and that evening you’ll find the hemdglonkerumzug mit hexenverbrennen – the nightgown parade with a witch burning.

The burning of the witch signifies the end of the celebrations, the next day is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten period. But the vibrant memories of the Fasching celebrations are enough to last you through the remainder of the dark winter days.

Here are a few pictures from Fasnet in Pfullendorf.

The first thing you notice are the Vibrant decorations throughout the town. Brightening the darkest of winter days.

 

Head over to WordPress to find more examples of Vibrant

I forgot Groundhog’s Day. Granted, not the most major of holidays to forget. Quite a silly one actually, but the point is, I forgot all about it. For anyone not familiar with this American tradition, Groundhog’s Day is the day when Punxsutawney Phil is jolted out of his winter’s nap for a prediction about the …

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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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