Crystal Ship Street Art Walking Tour

Crystal Ship Street Art Walking Tour

Crystal Ship Street Art Walking Tour

We were on a mission. With three kids during COVID in semi-lockdown in Belgium, an extra week of Easter ‘vacation’, and the vaccine roll-out going painfully slow. . . what were we to do? How could we entertain the kids while still being wary of social distancing rules? We’ve made our library visits a weekly occurrence. We’ve scootered/biked/walked all over town. We’ve done the museum-reservation-thing which is okay but my museum-savvy kids become a little reckless when they can’t interact with the exhibits. While the whole of Belgium flocked to the coast last weekend, temperatures turned colder and yesterday we

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The Ties That Bind – A celebratory poem in honor of the AWCA’s 92nd Anniversary

The Ties That Bind – A celebratory poem in honor of the AWCA’s 92nd Anniversary

Weeks ago, Ariadna and I were challenged – the American Women’s Club of Antwerp’s 92nd anniversary – our Founders’ Day celebration – was looming in the distance. How were we to celebrate this year, during COVID? With restaurants shuttered and socially distant mandates, we knew, this would be like no other Founders’ Day celebration.  But like so many events this past year, we were not alone in our confusion. We turned, instead, to the inspiration that zoomed across the world a few weeks ago. The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and the subsequent virtual Celebrating America hosted

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January 6th, 2021

January 6th, 2021

Note: The following post was edited and submitted to Belgian’s leading English newspaper, The Brussels Times. It was published on January 20th, 2021, the day of the Inauguration. See published version here Or copy/paste link:  https://www.brusselstimes.com/opinion/150354/an-american-perspective-from-6-january-until-inauguration-day/ “Yes, today is the day that Congress will meet. And certify that Joe Biden will be President,” my colleague from the American Women’s Club concluded our ZOOM meeting mid-morning of January 6th, 2021. “Absolutely, exciting day in America for sure,” I responded and wished her a good day. It had been a typical Wednesday here in Belgium. My kids (as always on Wednesdays) were

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Kicking Cranberry Sausage Balls

Kicking Cranberry Sausage Balls

Growing up in Texas, there are a few staples I could always expect at my parents’ parties during the winter – homemade Chex mix, cheese straws, and sausage balls were just a few. But after moving overseas, I realized those lovely cylinders of Jimmy Dean sausages are impossible to come by here in Belgium.  And as the holidays passed, sausage balls became nothing but a wistful memory.  But then, I had a realization that changed my life. . . I could make breakfast sausage!!! (WHAAAAAAT?) I know. I know. While you are telling me to stop the crazy talk, I’m

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New Year’s Eve 2020 – Top 10 List

New Year’s Eve 2020 – Top 10 List

2020 has been the year of all years. And the heaviness of the events continues to weigh on our minds and hearts. We hope for a happy new year – full of excitement and reconnecting, but we’ve been through enough by now to set our expectations low. How will this year be remembered? What will the history books say? What will be the result of so much heartache, loneliness, and fear? The world is collectively dealing with the sudden loss of loved ones – what will be the psychological repercussions of such? But on a smaller scale, how will each

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Snow in Spa!

Snow in Spa!

With Belgium in lock-down, there are few options for entertainment during the Kerstvakantsie, but that didn’t bother us too much. After the complete and absolute mania of Christmas (and I was even prepared this year!) we spent a few days at home. Vinny took the kids and their scooters out to the neighborhood ‘square’, played a little soccer, and jump roped. In the meantime, we did a bit of a ‘throwback-to-March-2020-lockdown-routine’. I can’t say that staying at home with three kids is peaceful, (it’s not the gorgeous rainy-day postcard Norman Rockwell would have painted) but it was okay. I put

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Weird Moms

Weird Moms

Do you remember those ‘weird moms’? You know. . . You had those friends in high school who were totally cool, but then you visit their homes and the furniture seems to have come from a distant foreign land? Their house was filled with unfamiliar smells – perhaps perfumes or cooking, you couldn’t figure. Maybe before you threw your backpack on the floor, the mom bustles in from the kitchen to greet you into her wide happy arms, speaking to you in a funny accent? She offers you something you’ve never seen before as a snack and you greet it

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

“I want to talk to you about the subject of plans. . . life plans and how we all make them, and how we hope that our kids make good, smart, safe plans of their own. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, most of our plans don’t work out as we’d hoped. So instead of asking out young people, “What are your plans? What do you plan to do with your life?’ maybe we should tell them this: Plan. . . to be surprised.”   – Dan Burns (Steve Carell’s character, Dan in Real Life, 2007 movie) Christmas Eve, 2019

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How 2020 Stole Christmas!

How 2020 Stole Christmas!

Update: I’m happy to announce that the following poem was published by The Brussels Times on December 22, 2020. Click here to view: https://www.brusselstimes.com/opinion/145641/how-2020-stole-christmas/ 2020 has been a difficult year, to say the least. As my children and I unearthed the Christmas decorations from the basement and started to re-read all our favorite holiday stories, I found an alarming similarity between a familiar prose. . . and 2020’s “festivities”.   With a sarcastic, but yet enlightened heart, I wrote the following poem. Thank you, Dr. Suess, for your beautiful poem, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Who knew your message could be adapted

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Lockdown Part II

Lockdown Part II

  October 30th, 5:23 p.m. Antwerp, Belgium My daughter and I are on our way to the grocery store in our car. The Belgian radio is on and as usual, I’m catching pieces of the news report. Cosette is in the backseat, listening as well. She interprets most of what she hears, which is more than my quarter. “What are they saying, Cosette?” I ask and she confirms what I had expected. “Belgium is going into lock-down again. Well, kinda . . .” A tram passes, I maneuver my car behind it to head to Deurne’s new Jumbo. I had

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