Sturmfrei


Sturmfrei (noun) Origin: German | shtUrm·frI  The freedom of being alone and having the ability to do what you want.

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
― Norton Juster

I have never been bothered with being alone.  I have always been able to entertain myself. I’m very seldom lonely.  I traveled by myself through Cambodia for 6 weeks.  I hit Peru by myself and did a tour through Machu Picchu. I often start and end vacations alone.  Aloneness gives me time to regroup from the world of chaos that I often find myself in.

The traveling has been stupendous.  I was able to spend time taking photos, meet people outside of my normal group, and break out of my comfort zone.  Everything I did was the result of the choices I made. It was fun and I wasn’t bored.

However, the older I get, the more I like to travel and do things with others.  I look back on some pictures of my travels and I do not negate the fun I had on those trips.  I did have fun.  I met wonderful people along the way and even made some life-long friends through my solo journeys.

Sometimes though, after the travels and excitement ended, it was far less interesting going through some of the photos alone.  Me alone. Someone taking a picture of me by myself.  Me taking photos of scenery and people that were interesting in the moment.  Many of those stories still live on. I just cannot explain them adequately to others. Or no matter how deeply these times were explained, others simply did not care about them as they had no relevance to the situation, place, smell, culture.  I had no one to laugh or reminisce with about the wacky ways of the world.

“Never be in thrall to anyone but your own wants and desires, because only you can make yourself happy. Fly your own flag, and be true to it. Your soul is the true captain.”
― Billy Idol

I will always love my time alone. However, the shared memories I have with my family and with my friends are often more rich for the sharing.  The joined memories that pop up in my head, often pop up in the heads of the individuals or groups who shared the events.  Shared memories make you feel like you are still with that person or group.

“Humans, not places, make memories.”
― Ama Ata Aidoo

“The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died. They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you.”
― R.J. Palacio

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

pratya; cherie; jeena; Mitch; joseyphina; MJreflect; isadora; rad; anita; aviana; muse; Montanaclarks; lostmum

Dès Vu


Dès Vu (noun) Origin: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows | The awareness that this will become a memory.

ETYMOLOGY: From the French word dès vu, “seen as soon as” or “seen from this point forward”

Sometimes this is how I view the things I do as I am doing them.  I travel a lot and have lived far away from everyone I know for a very long time.  My long-standing and connected group of friends and family have built histories of togetherness and sameness.  Sometimes I am jealous of them.  Sometimes they say they are jealous of me.

This has been my intent and my dream and I have chosen this life and have very few regrets.  I turn 54 this month and though this is still young, I am quite far from my mid-life stage.  I mean really?  I truly do not expect to live to 108.  I do have some decades in front of me but sometimes when I am looking ahead, I can’t help but already feel disconnected from what is directly in front of me.  I feel like the present has already happened and I begin to miss moments at the exact time I am experiencing them.  I know that in minutes it will be gone and all that will remain is the memory of what once was…

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Once in a while you look up, and watch as the present turns into a memory, as if some future you is already looking back on it.

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
― Beryl Markham

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.”
― John Green

Dès Vu – Mina; Neveah; Winter; Murmel; Eliza; Brian; Inese; nananoyz; jay-lyn; Happysoul; Dorinda; paintdigi

Day 16 ~ XX Countries ~ Korea


“How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss

“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

I think I want to return to the first place I lived as an adult but always felt like a child.  I know they say you can’t go home again, but I sort of want to try.  I know it would be different.  I know the same people would not be there.  I don’t even know if I would like it as much as I did when I was there before.  It was such a unique experience.  Both of my daughters at one point joined me there and spent a year each at different times.  If I went back, what would I change?  If I went back, would I regret it?

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”
― John Banville

The friends I made.  The food I ate. The places I went. The laughs I had.  The memories we all made.  They stay with me like an ache. I am brilliant at forgetting the times that were not amazing and when I look back at this fresh blast of freedom, I can only think of the connections I made and how alive I felt.  How very, very, very alive and joyful.
“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”
― Gabriel García Márquez
We were so active in the community we lived in.  We participated in so many things.  We played games, worked as helping hands at food drives and orphanages, acted in theater or at least carried lights, toured far and wide, and attended festivals.  Most importantly, there was a disassociation from the news, tv, internet, political and social issues that today just seem never ending and overwhelming at times.
“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
― Tennessee Williams
“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”
― Dr. Seuss
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Subway heartache (sung to “It’s a heartache” lyrics remade by me and my daughter.  Made sense at the time.  Just in case you want to sing along…I couldn’t load the video but think you would have enjoyed it.
It’s a heart ache. .. sometimes it seems sooo strange..
Sitting on the subway.. surrounded by Ko-reee eeehhh ans..
It’s a fools game.. looks like it will rain…
I think I’m lost again.. I don’t know where I eye eye am..
It’s not right.. when they all stare.. as if I wasn’t there
but I am
I think it’s quite insane.. they don’t know who I am.. but they stare..

Day 8 – Food Porning Memories


One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
~Virginia Woolf

Happy Thanksgiving 2020 reminds me of other times I have found pleasure with friends and family through the enjoyment of a wild array of food and drink.   Memories are enhanced with food shots from a variety of places and in various forms of preparedness.  Though there were hundreds of other memories associated with food, these were really some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy.

Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.
~Ruth Reichl

Other posts that made me hungry- foodforthought; kitchenandfood; gummypumpkin; cakes; plating; bread; Hobbs; Dillan; Lesou; Elliot

A few of my favorite things – 2013 in review


Thanks to all who have been following my blog, commenting on it and actually enjoying it.  I really appreciate your comments.  I mean I really, really do.  I have enjoyed and have been inspired my many of your posts as well.  Thanks again to all who have stopped by and even nominated me for special awards. In honor of the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year I am going to highlight the past year with some of my favorite, favorite photos from 2013.

I left Venezuela in December of 2012 and from Venezuela went and visited my children in Washington State, from Washington, I took a train with my youngest daughter and her son to Chicago and then went on to New York.  After a few weeks in New York I traveled down to DC and on to North Carolina for a week.  After North Carolina I went back to DC and began an 8 month Nepali language course.  During the course I had several old friends visit me in DC.  Some friends were from the military and some were from high school.  I took trips to New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Richmond, VA.  I went to wine tastings and food festivals.  Finally I passed my Nepali test and WOW.. ended up in Kathmandu, Nepal.  Those are the nuts and bolts.

What happened emotionally for me was some beautiful births from family and long-time friends.  My sister got married and the wedding was such a touching and emotional event for me. I can’t adequately describe to you now nor to my sister at the time at how proud of her I was and glad I was to be her sister. I had emotional break downs with my older sister who got me to laughing and re-thinking my state. Man I love that girl.  I was able to meet up with family and friends I haven’t seen for so long and it was like time had never passed.  There was a completely unexpected death of a very amazing young friend that shook me to the core.  I’m still dealing with some of the emotions that came from that. I was able to find a very old and dear friend that meant so much to me for so long and from that I had to come to terms with some truths about life and love.  Letting go and reconnecting, meeting new friends and re-affirming long time friendships. I have spent a lot of time this year coming to terms with who I am and what I’m willing to accept and realizing that there are some serious changes in me that need to take place. There was awe, joy and great satisfaction at people, places and things and personal accomplishments.  There was shock, horror and extreme emotional despair at people, places and things and a new-found understanding of life in general. I put up way too many photos here but there were tons more that could have been used.  No photo can clearly express how I am feeling at this moment of remembering all of these things and right now there are no more words to say.

To all, have a prosperous and happy (focus on happy) New Year. Stay safe.

I hope you enjoy.

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.  ~Edward de Bono

Have a safe and happy new year.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Attractions in 2013

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Some of your most popular posts were written before 2013. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

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