Sunday, January 25, 2009

scottish breakfast tea. [settled]

I have almost updated this a number of times in the last week or so, but haven't quite have the determination, or the words to say anything. I wouldn't necessarily say that I have either of those at this point in time, but I thought if I sat down and tried to write something inspiring might flow from my fingertips and end up here.
Now that I've gotten settled back into my life in the US, I've discovered a number of things:
1. It's really hard to find a decent job, even with a degree.
2. Everyone assumes that I want to be a pastor when I tell them my major, and then proceed to tell me that maybe Bible and Religion wasn't the best major to choose now that I'm in "the real world."
3. School was a great distraction, and I miss it a bit.
4. I really want to live in the UK.
5. I really want to work on my novel, but something is holding me back, and I'm not sure what it is.
6. I avoid confrontation, contrary to what some may believe or what my attitude sometimes tends to exude.

I really only want to address one of those six points, because frankly I don't have any answers or sentiments that I want to express here about any of the others. I did not go to college to get a job. If had done that I would have gone to a tech school, and gotten a degree specific to what I want to do. Since I really don't know exactly what I want to do (still), that would have been silly of me. I went to college to learn, period. I went to college to broaden my mind, and stretch my intellect. I decided that I wanted to learn about this religion I claim as my own, so that I can not only answer my own questions, but my family's, my friends', a stranger's and eventually my kids'. Now I really can claim this religion as my own, not just following blindly and unquestioningly because my parents told me it was true. I don't find anything wrong with what I did with my college career, and I don't regret anything at all about what I chose to major in, or not major in. I may be having a hard time finding a job, but so is the next person who majored in Business or Biology. The difference I find in myself is that I know that my God will provide for me, even if it takes a while. I'm surviving, and I'm learning life lessons that I may not otherwise have learned if I had it easy. So, while I'm frustrated and wishing Jeremy and I could just be comfortable and not worry about money, I know that we are experiencing life below the poverty level so that we know that we can survive, and live comfortably--not comfortable to some standards--but comfortable enough. I'd rather rely on God than my own resources because I know that if He's in charge, He will bring me what I need, and keep me on my toes, and keep me learning--even though I'm not in school anymore. It's not easy, and I'm not happy with it all the time, but I know that if we can appreciate what we have now, how much more will we appreciate the blessings that will come later. Or you know what? If they never come, I know that I can live like this; content with being able to answer people's questions about my faith, and living below the poverty line with my husband and our ever-loyal spaniel. Things work out the way that they should, and it's our job to be content with them, even when we think we're not.

Content (most of the time),


Thursday, January 15, 2009

english teatime black tea. [the belated last post of europe.]

So now that I've been home for a few days this post might seem a bit anti-climactic, but hey, I promised a last post about Prague, and that I shall do.

Jeremy and I, and my parents went to Prague, Czech Republic last Saturday. We were all very excited about it, and we thought we knew and were prepared for how cold it might be, but let me just say I could have never been prepared for how frozen I was that day as I walked the cobble stone streets of Prague.
It took us about two and a half hours to drive there, and a few minutes after we passed the border into the Czech Republic the telltale signs of the wintry conditions to be born further in began to reveal themselves. I was reading and as we passed the border I looked up and nothing really caught my eye, but as we drove on, and the minutes passed, something inclined me to look up again, and that's when I saw the trees and landscape speeding by me. All the trees, and the ground, and anything immobile was crystallized in a beautifully frozen carapace. When we reached the outskirts of the city and got out of the car, we were greeted with the temperature that usually courts that type of beautiful lansdscape.
After a rough time getting the 400 krone that we needed to buy metro tickets, and finally getting it after Jeremy worked his charm (and a British accent) on a blonde girl working at an Asian fast food place, we finally made it to the city center. From there we proceeded to not know where the heck we were, and ended up asking a local then getting back on the metro and going one more stop farther than we had originally, but not before I found an awesome sculpture outside the great cathedral we happened upon (see photo). Once we got back off the metro we saw the National Museum, and the statue of Saint Wenceslas on a horse. The chill beginning to take its toll, we stopped at a street vendor to substantiate our heat reserves, and eat some Czech sausages, they were quite delicious, though I was still cold afterwards. After trying to fiure out where we were on a stupid little map, Jeremy found a tourist shop and we purchased a wonderful map and Jeremy became our handsome tour guide. We found the square with the astronomical clock and then also proceeded to Charles bridge. That was when I was my coldest, my fingers numb with the freezing air still somehow able to bite at them with some feeling. It was also quite frustrating on the bridge--there were vendors selling photographs of the bridge, photographs that I couldhave taken myself just a well if not better if it wasn't for all the stupid people milling around, and the vendors, and some random taped off portion of the bridge. Frustrating, yes. Then we could see the castle up on the hill above the bridge, and the original gate to the castle grounds at the end of the bridge. Unfortunately, we had wasted too much time being cold and we weren't able to see the castle--it's rather upsetting, when am I going to be in Prague again? Surely not in the winter months if I do happen upon it again.
We ended up having dinner and driving home (after some time running about trying to find a restaurant that ended up elluding us all together, and another trip to the astronomical clock to get night photos.)
Sitting here in my chair, sweater on, tea nearby and within, I can say it was an enjoyable day seeing the sights in Prague--but to be honest, I would like to go back someday and overwrite this experience with a better, warmer one.

So now we're home, thanks to Chelsea picking us up at the Charlotte airport and letting Jeremy drive the car home. We thanked her with dinner at the Taproom in Hickory.
At this point I am searching for a job, and realizing how hard that is at this time of the year. But I'm home with my husband, and I have my puppy by my side again, and my friends are just a phone call away--so I'm happy, even in want of a job and money. I have faith that God with provide.

Warmer than I was in Prague, though it is rather chilly in my house,


Monday, January 12, 2009

home again, home again.

Jeremy and I are up and just about to leave for the Munich airport. Pray we have a safe and uneventful trip to Charlotte and a safe drive back to Montreat (thanks, Chelsea.) I'll update on the last part of the trip when I get home, and settled.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

scottish breakfast tea. [new year until now.]

As promised, I now sit in front of my parent's computer, cup of tea sitting faithfully next to me, and I will attempt to relate to you the last ten or so days of our jaunt in Germany. After I last wrote, my Dutch sister, Fabienne (or Faye), came to visit us for New Year's and a few days before and after. It was great seeing her again, I hadn't seen her since my wedding--and even then I didn't really have the time to really hang out with her between the stress of the wedding week, not to mention the wedding day stresstivities (yep, I just said that.) So Faye and I were able to spend some time together playing tennis on the wii, joking around, and being silly--the latter two being what we do best together. New Year's Eve my parent, Faye, Jeremy and I went out to eat at the Greek restaurant that is a five minute walk from my parents home in Velburg. I've never had Greek food that amazing; we had warm pita bread with tzaziki to start, and I ordered a baked gyro dish with melted cheese on top and permeated throughout the rest of the ingredients of peppers, beef, and other delicious goodness. (We actually went back to the restaurant last night, and I ordered the same thing. Yum.)
While Faye was still here we all went to Rothenberg for a day as well. Rothenberg is about an hour and a half away from my parents town, and the old city is still surrounded by the original stalwart wall that has surrounded it now for hundreds of years. It is the last walled city left in Germany. The city within the wall is also ancient and beautifully aged as the wall is, every turn revealing another faded pale blue, cracked yellow, or heather red building that has more stories within its frame than an old crone sitting around the fire telling a story for every wrinkle on her withered face. Walking around the city, though it was frigid beyond belief, I couldn't help but let my imagination run away with me as I considered who walked this path before me, what they were concerned with, where they were going, what they were wearing--did a young lover one night walk these steps to his heart's window, rap lightly, and whisper words of admiration and boundless love. Like I said, I let my imagination run away with me--but one can't help in some of these places in Europe. While in Rothenberg, we also found a Scottish shop where we purchased the lovely tea I am enjoying as I write. We also found Jeremy an amazing awesome gray wool flat cap, with red plaid stripes. He looks incredibly debonair and handsome in it.
The next aspect of our trip was the vacation away from our vacation in Heidelberg with Meghan and the girls. We got there on Sunday afternoon, and in Germany everything is closed on Sundays, we ended up watching The Fall, which I highly recommend. So Megh made a vegetable soup, I assisted her in chopping the veggies, and we enjoyed some award-winning French wine that she can get at a French grocery store for a ridiculous price of about two euro. So we enjoyed dinner, continued enjoying wine, then participated in a traditional New Year custom of the Germans. The melting of the Bleigiessen, which is a little lead figure that you melt over a candle in a spoon, then you quickly drop it into a glass of water. It immediately cools and you fish it out with your spoon, the shape that molds into is supposed to be representative of something that will happen in the new year for you. It's actually really interesting, and fun to see what it molds into. It's all so subjective, you can says that the shape is anything. You also hold the molded lead up between a wall and a candle, sometimes the shadow is more conducive to see what the shape might be. Megh had done it at her New Year's Eve party and had some left over, so we each did it three times. Jeremy came up with some really cool ones. We stayed up talking and playing a couple games until almost 4am, it was a great time.
The next day Jeremy and I walked down the the Hauptstrasse to finish some shopping for people, and do a little for ourselves. We walked around all day, again reveling in the beauty of the old city as a light snow fell upon our meandering journey through the Altstadt. We ate a an Irish pub, we always tend to find the Irish places in German cities--our favorite pub in Regensburg is an Irish one. On Tuesday, Jeremy and I walked up the the castle on the hill above Heidelberg, we took a guided tour, which we enjoyed very much, especially Jeremy--he loves history. I allowed my imagination to work its magic again, within the walls of that ruined fortress. Like I said, it's almost impossible not to do it in places like that.
We came home last night, and we leave for home in less than a week--and I am so ready to be home. We have one more jaunt on our trip, on Saturday we go to Prague, which I am very excited about. I'll write again after that trip, I'm sure I'll have more silly imaginings to write about.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

apfel schorle. [travel day.]

Today Jeremy and I traveled back from a three and a half day vacation from our vacation to visit my sister-in-law Meghan and her two lovely dachshunds, Lola and Bella. She lives in the Altstadt in Heidelberg, a short walk from the main street, and right across the river from the fortress on the hill--which is also visible from the living room window. So, this being a rather exhausting traveling day on numerous trains with the temperature outside never rising above zero, and the fact that I'm in a rather climactic part of Foxmask--the prospect of curling up with my book next to my space heater of a husband sounds better than discussing the last 10 days in full right now. I hope to follow this post up with a more substantial one tomorrow. Just look at it as something to look forward to. Here's a photo to tide you over, taken from the lower courtyard of the Heidelberg castle.