On July 29, I walked out of Amsterdam ‘s OLVG hospital, my home of twelve weeks, and into Florida’s Shands Hospital. It was almost as easy as it sounds.
It was touch and go for the following four weeks, but Ray was buoyed by the very welcomed arrival of our daughter Victoria and my sister Susie. Our daughter soothed me with empowering words and calming strokes. My sister held my hand for hours. Ray tells me that the three of them would retreat from…
My parents were both half Norwegian. Mom's maternal family originally were the Kjilis, which someone at Ellis Island translated as Kelly. Dad's paternal family were the Amundsons, which someone at Ellis Island translated as Amerson.
If you're going to break The Christmas Rules, don't settle for a misdemeanor: go for a full-out felony.
The ground was sprinkled white by the time we pulled up to Mom’s childhood home on Wilson Street in Winona. It looked like the coating of powdered sugar from the Embassy commissary that Mom shook to over our Norwegian Christmas cookies.
There stood a witch. A long horrible nose quivered in the middle of a face framed by stringy black hair. She opened her mouth, revealing a few yellow teeth and dark holes where other teeth should have been.
By the time you’re halfway through your second tour, third tour bidding goes from an abstract concept to very applicable. The end of first and second tour “directed assignments” means the beginning of your own advocacy to get your next Foreign Service position.
The nomadic life of my youth taught me four things: 1) be at home where you are; 2) let go when it's time; 3) settle in fast; and 4) forget there's anywhere else to be. This cycle puts you right back at 1) being at home where you are.
Before Hispanic Heritage Month 2018 comes to a close, let me jump aboard with this declaration: I am half-Norwegian, one-quarter Scottish, one-quarter German ... and 100 percent Hispanic.
And now, a little photography interlude with a zen garden not far from me in South Florida....