The Quieter Front Lines
The following was an introduction during our American Women’s Club Monthly Meeting for October. My brother works as an occupational therapist in an Oregon Hospital. My mother works for a library in Dallas. As noted, my best Belgian mom-friend works at a grocery store. Stay-at-home working mandates are the rule throughout Europe and speckle the United States. My daily challenge is to keep the house quiet during my husband’s conference calls, a challenging feat. But we are all navigating unchartered and inhospitable waters right now. Our world has turned upside down. While many of us hunker down and shush our
National Daughter’s Day
I never knew there was a National Daughter’s Day, but I’ll jump at the chance to tell the world how grateful I am to be her Mama. Cosette is loving and thoughtful, strong, and determined. Nothing fazes her or brings her down. I can’t tell you how many times in the past year during lockdown (when the boys were running around crazy and Vinny was in conference calls) she asked me, “Mama? Are you okay?” and I smiled to her and said “yes, yes, I’m okay. Mostly!” She knows me too well. I can see, in these past few
The day, thick and heavy with grey drizzle irritates like a soaked wool blanket. My restless children cling to my sides, whiny and needy from being inside all day. I shiver – trying to shake off the damp creeping from under the gap in my patio door. I shake – trying to free myself from the children. My task of the week – toilet training my 2-year-old – was a failure, cleaning up messes off the floor, dragging rugs out to the porch to be hosed off, and washing his hands after playing in his own pee. A true holiday
Pop-tarts, Oreos, & Beef Jerky. These little goodies are what the USA is known for outside of the USA. Oh and marshmallows. Who knew marshmallows were so American. Some grocery stores in Europe have a USA section. This is the USA section of the Carrefour close to our home in Belgium. Awesome isn’t it? Additional confession: The “American marshmallows” are often sold in packages with white and pink dyed marshmallows. Excited to find marshmallows and rice krispies in the Netherlands, I whipped up a batch of Rice Krispie treats. The result? I had Rice Krispie treats that looked like ground
Confession: Grocery shopping in Belgium is a lesson in three languages – Dutch, French, and German.
Confession: I saw this couple holding hands through a park in Gent and it made me really happy.
Confession: Belgians eat a lot of mussels. Like, steamed in a pot with a sauce. And there’s about 100 different sauces to choose from. Additional confession: After living here eight months, I still haven’t tried them