weekly photo challenge: monument

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

A modern monument to Islam: Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco


a break


helping with the move

One of my favorite people has moved out of state. She left with my sister (another favorite person) and her dad who has a new job. I met her the day she was born and thought we would live close to each other for a longer time. The move is good for this little one’s family and for our parents, who will be much closer to their grandchild. I really miss her laugh and giving her squishy hugs.

This winter has been stressful and tiring. My ‘interview suit’ has been to many funerals but no interviews…I have no energy to search for new opportunities.
In addition to my day job I now teach an English class on Monday nights. It takes me a ridiculous amount of time to prepare for class each week. The work is so rewarding though as my student expresses gratitude I have never experienced from my public school students. We both appreciate the friendship developing from our connection.
My husband has been away for work 49% of the time for the last five months. We are independent people and I love my space but even for me, that is too much.

The long, cold winter (which I love) is fading away and signs of spring are surfacing. One of my favorite signs of spring is a vacation to help push us through the month-long testing before more exams start to wrap up the school year.

Today, I am thankful for a long time to sit in quiet with nothing else to do.


waiting in Frankfurt

weekly photo challenge: object

pewter leaf box in 2005

Years ago during a summer break I took a pewtersmithing class. It seemed interesting and pewter was a material with which I had no experience. One of the pieces I felt I had to make was a box to hold leaves. That fall I collected some brightly colored leaves that faded, shriveled or broke into fragile bits so they were eventually thrown out. It wasn’t a very practical box but it was one of my favorite pieces so I carefully wrapped it in fabric and stored it away.

I met my future-husband a couple of years later. A year after that I was helping him clean out the room he rented in a house shared with friends. Most of the furniture had been moved out, the floor was swept clean and we went upstairs for one final check. There were a few dried leaves left on a small shelf which he picked up and considered. “These things are so old I guess I should just get rid of them…” but he hesitated. I suggested he keep them if they are important and asked what they were. He explained that the leaves came from a Bodhi tree, and were given to him by his mom as he left his home country over 20 years ago. The leaves had survived a move to California, then Oregon, DC, Florida and a return move to DC. I told him I could find a safe place for the leaves.

I took the leaves carefully to the car and held on to them as he drove to my mostly-packed-up condo. I was able to find the empty leaf box, show him what I had felt the need to make years ago and we decided it was a good place for the well-traveled leaves to rest.

contents of pewter leaf box in 2014