Tag Archives: Music

Back with Julie

One week after landing in a hazy, overcast, gray Geneva, Switzerland, I had my very first taste of what I’d moved 3,000 miles to experience.  And it was, of course, magical.

I was alone for the first time in weeks.  Exploring.  John was working, Jacob was safely at his first day of school.  I was on my own, with only our Bernese Mountain Dog, Charlie, for company when it happened.

I was driving down the Route de Divonne when the clouds, at long last, parted.  And there they were – just past the now glistening Lake Geneva — the mountains.  The Alps!  Mont Blanc, with its year-round snowy peak, the highest mountain in Europe. The Alps danced right there — just through my windshield.  I could practically reach out and touch them, taste them, smell their beauty.  It was magical.  Breathtaking.  Inspiring.  Unforgettable.

Google Photo

Google Photo

I felt like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.  You know just what I mean, don’t you.  I felt like Julie when she is up there in the mountains all by herself.  When she throws her arms wide and sings with all her heart, The Hills Are Alive, With the Sound of Music.  And they are.  Trust me.  They are.

I slowed down, tried to breathe, tried to memorize the moment and keep it in my heart. Tried to capture the moment forever.  I also tried not to hit another car.

And then, well, something else happened.  From a side street to my left came a small car.  It turned in front of me, pulling behind it a long green open-air trailer.  Neatly stenciled on the back in a lacy, delicate script were these words:

jardin naturel

“Natural Garden,” in French.

On top of that trailer sat the largest pile of steaming cow manure I have ever seen.

Yes, my first solo excursion in the Swiss countryside became a metaphor for life as an ex-patriot living there:  There were moments of majestic beauty that I call “Julie Andrews Moments,” when I was filled with beauty and awe.  When I honestly felt like the luckiest person on earth.

And there was a lot of shit.  These two elements combined with travel to places I never dreamed I’d see, made our time in Geneva the adventure of a lifetime.

 

*     *     *

My bloggin’ buddy, Naomi, a wonderful traveler who actually posts her own pictures and does not cut them from Google, wrote this post about a trip to Switzerland.  Naoimi inspired me to re-post this old, old post.  I wrote it back in the days when you didn’t know me.  When you didn’t realize that some way, somehow, shit is always a metaphor for my life.

And if you ever get the chance to go to Switzerland, do it.  Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 — it’s not worth all that much over there!

Google Photo

74 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Driving, Family, Geneva Stories, Huh?, Humor

Birthday Board

There are some songs that just make you smile.  There are others that make you think of people.  There are some that get stuck in your head.

There are people like that too.  People who make you smile, who make you laugh, who make you hit yourself upside your own head and say to them in the most embarrassing moments,  “You’re Nuts!”

This song is like my son, Jacob.  He makes me smile, makes me feel good.  Sometimes he keeps me up all night swimming around in my head, thinking, “He’s Nuts!”  And you know what?  He IS!

Happy 22nd Birthday to my favorite longboarder (see Mom shudder.  Shudder Mom Shudder).

Holding up the Tower in 1999

Holding up the Leaning Tower in 1999

71 Comments

Filed under Childhood Traumas, Family, Holidays, Humor, Music

Me and Julie

One week after landing in a hazy, overcast, gray Geneva, Switzerland, I had my very first taste of what I’d moved 3,000 miles to experience.  And it was, of course, magical.

I was alone for the first time in weeks.  Exploring.  John was working, Jacob was safely at his first day of school.  I was on my own, with only our Bernese Mountain Dog, Charlie, for company, when it happened.

I was driving down the Route de Divonne when the clouds, at long last, parted.  And there they were – just past the now glistening Lake Geneva — the mountains.  Mont Blanc, with its year-round snowy peak, the highest mountain in Europe. The Alps, danced right there, just through my windshield.  I could practically reach out and touch them, taste them, smell their beauty.  It was magical.  Breathtaking.  Inspiring.  Unforgettable.

Google image

I felt like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.  You know just what I mean, don’t you.  I felt like Julie when she is up there in the mountains by herself.  When she throws her arms wide and sings with all her heart, The Hills Are Alive, With the Sound of Music.  And they are.  Trust me.

I slowed down, tried to breathe, tried to memorize the moment and keep it in my heart. Tried to capture the moment forever.  I also tried not to hit another car.

And then, well, something else happened.  From a side street to my left came a small car.  It turned in front of me, pulling behind it a long green open-air trailer.  Neatly stenciled on the back in a lacy, delicate script were these words:

jardin naturel

“Natural Garden,” in french.

And on top of that trailer sat the largest pile of steaming cow manure I have ever seen.

And so, my first solo excursion in the Swiss countryside became a metaphor for life as an ex-patriot living there:  There were moments of majestic beauty that I call “Julie Andrews Moments,” when I was filled with beauty and awe and felt like the luckiest person on earth.

And there was a lot of shit.  These two elements combined with travel to places I never dreamed I’d see, made our time in Geneva the adventure of a lifetime.

*     *    *

Some of my bloggin’ buddies have asked me to write more about our time in Geneva, and I figured it is about time I did.  It was a wonderful experience, and not a day goes by that I don’t miss my  non-home-away from home, Switzerland.

88 Comments

Filed under Driving, Elections, Geneva Stories, Humor, Music

Who Am I?

Even before computers I found a lot to laugh at.  But since computers?  I’ve found that it’s hard to not laugh at whatever happens to appear in front of my eyes, magically, through the tubes that are the internets.

Just now, while sitting alone here at my kitchen table, sipping a cuppa, I laughed loudly enough to wake up Cooper, who is stone deaf.  Yup, it was that funny.

What was it?  What could it be?  What could make me stop writing what I was writing to share a laugh?

Well, I really don’t know how it happened.  Or I don’t know how I got to the starting gate.  You see, I was Googling pictures for a post when I suddenly found myself at Moondustwriter’s Blog.  I had never seen it before; it’s a photography blog, and the picture on this particular post was a beautiful shot of a rocky beach in the moonlight.  It looks like Maine to me, and I love Maine.  The accompanying poem was beautiful too.  But not being a poetry lover, I was quickly distracted by what I saw on the sidebar:

Can you see it there on the bottom right?  I write like Mark Twain.  Pretty cool, don’t cha think?  Of course, I wanted to know who I write like.  So I clicked on the link.

Wait, wait, come back!  Don’t you want to know what happened next?  Don’t you want to know who it is I write like?  Or like whom I write?

Well, I looked at my list of favorite blog pieces, and chose what I thought was my best:  Both Sides Now, my story about how all my family members die on holidays.  And I learned :

Wow!

Cool.  I like Kurt Vonnegut, but I never considered myself in his league, or even remotely like him.  But I’m guessing the dark humor is Vonnegut-esque.  Interesting.

But, I wondered, are all my posts so dark?  I didn’t think so, so I plugged in another piece:  Downsizing, a story of how hard it is to resist stuff.

And lo and behold, I write like Chuck Palahniuk, who I’d never heard of.  I immediately went to Amazon.com and ordered all of his books though.  That is, of course, what I want anyone who hasn’t heard of me to do when they find that they write like me.  Here’s a sample:

Look, it's even got my face on the cover!

Again, I wasn’t sure that either of these two posts really reflected just who I am.  I mean, my blog is a mish-mash of stuff.  So I tried it again.  And again.  And again.

  • I entered my About page:  David Foster Wallace (damn, more books to buy).
  • I entered Take Me Back, about how Sarah Palin thinks that President Obama wants to go back to pre-Civil War days:  H. P. Lovecraft
  • I entered Color My World, my recent piece about Redbud trees:  Margaret Atwood.  Hey, I’ve read HER!

Lastly, I entered Great Balls of Fire, my piece about my neighbor Beau who built Tara Oaks, and who, I’m sure will soon host Civil War reenactments on his meadow:  this time I was Margaret Mitchell.

Apparently I am either wildly talented or have a multiple personality disorder.

Here’s the link.  Let me know who you are!

Hey, wait, I need to keep checking the link until I find that I am, in fact, Victor Hugo.

99 Comments

Filed under Awards, Conspicuous consumption, Humor, Music, Technology

Mom’s Song

In her teens and twenties, my mom was a singer.  She had a lovely, haunting voice and great style.  By the time I came along and was growing up, Mom mostly sang while she did chores.  She always seemed to have her hands in the sink with a load of dirty dishes from our good Irish Catholic family of five.

Mom was a Connelly and her mother a Kennedy.  Yes, we’re related.  But then, Ireland is a small island; everyone is really related to everyone else.

So on St. Paddy’s day, here is the closest thing I could find to my mother singing her very favorite song.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day up there, Mom. I hope your Irish eyes are smiling and dancing up there with Dad.

Everyone else keep safe!  Me, I have dishes to do.

36 Comments

Filed under Family, Humor, Music