one million words

find your voice. tell your story.

XXVI: On learning English

Having taken four years of English class in grades 7-10 allows me to understand about 75% of what’s happening when I arrive in the U.S. Although on occasion I will hardly understand anything. No worries, someone informs me, this person is from the South. Americans are very friendly yet most tire quickly when conversing with a […]

16th Anniversary

Marriage is hard. Not nearly as hard as my head but hard nevertheless. It’s just hard to be nice 5840 days in a row. My daughter keeps asking why so and so can’t be her sister because said friend would treat her sooooo much nicer than her actual siblings. I can’t seem to make her […]

Germany Re-cap

I have not said much on the blog because we travelled most of May and although I took my laptop I only opened it once. It’s hard to find your rhythm after vacation. The best part about coming back from Europe is the kids asking to go to bed or falling asleep in 30 sec […]

XXV: Arrival

September 22, 1994 is the day I leave Germany for my year abroad. I have a return ticket for Christmas in my pocket just in case things go badly. I can handle 11 weeks of anything I tell myself. Nothing terrifies me more than changing planes in Chicago though. I fear I won’t find my […]

XXIX: Departure

In the summer of 1994 first love and I attend an international christian youth conference in Switzerland. Leipzig to Lausanne is an 8 hr drive but we’ve never been to Paris and talk my parents into letting us take a detour through France. Paris is amazing and we also love the Verdon Gorge and French […]

XXIII: Romanian Romance

“I am going to Romania this summer.” I inform my 8th grade friends with slight embarrassment. “Romania?!” Big gasp. “Why??” I loved travelling to Romania in 1986 with my family but it’s no destination to brag about now. My classmates are heading for Italy and Spain, France, even Africa. Our family has too many kids to get on an […]

XXII: Nearsighted

In second grade I can no longer read the blackboard. I squint, guess and copy my neighbors notes. My grades decline but I won’t ask the teacher to move me upfront. I don’t tell my parents and am careful around my friends. The truth needs to remain hidden because I don’t want glasses. They’re perfectly […]

Liebster Award: Q&A +meet 2 friends

Hi friends! One of my readers Katharina nominated my blog for the Liebster Award which is a virtual award that recognizes and connects bloggers. “Liebster” is German and means “sweetheart”, “beloved” or “dearest”. Katharina is German girl who lives in New York and is passionate about art, God and people. She is an artist who […]

XXI: Not moving West

Although the West appears superior in every way, my parents never discuss moving after the wall falls. For generations the East has been our home and it makes little sense to abandon it now. We don’t own any property but love this land and honor our roots by staying close. Our little sealed-off country has […]

XX: Money. My first 1000

July 1990. The West German Mark becomes our official currency. This is thrilling. I eagerly trade old aluminium coins for weightier change made of cupro-nickel, brass plated steel, even silver. The new paper money looks different too. It’s bigger, has security strips and features different faces. Our old currency looks like communist play money in […]