How is it going for you? I hope you are well and happy (bonus points if you are reading this while drinking hot chocolate or something along those lines)… Me, you ask? I am a-ok. Mike is traveling for work (he’s in Switzerland, calling it “work.” Rrriiiiggghhhhtttt. Whatever you say, sweetie), but I have my ever-present friend, a book, to keep me company (I’m now reading “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain and I LOVE IT. Perhaps I’ll review it for you later, but I’m 52% through with it now and am feeling empowered and understood in a way that makes me want to quietly encourage you to also read this book). I’m going to have to figure out how many books I’ve read this year. I’m pretty sure I’ve set a personal record, or at least a record since my Nancy Drew-reading days (I devoured those, sometime over and over again). And, of course, I have my trusty blog! 🙂
I’ve been a little slack on updating y’all on the comings and goings around here, haven’t I? I am sorry about that, but more for me than for you, if I’m being honest! I don’t really think that your day changes all that much depending on whether I post a blog entry or not, but I do enjoy writing these, and my day is better when I post than when I don’t because I feel more organized in my own thoughts when I have written a little bit. I used to keep a journal, and perhaps I should re-start that for myself. After all, I don’t think that you really want to read everything that I want to write… Trust me. Sometimes, the things that I think about? Usually not terribly risqué, but… Like I said, you’ll have to trust me on this one.
Since I last posted, and I am being serious here… Mike actually spent time thinking about posting. It is progress that we are looking for here, and progress we have! I’m afraid it won’t be a fashion post (although, really, who better than Mike to write-up a lovely little piece on Swiss fashions?), but keep those positive vibes heading his way! It really is starting to work!
In any case, before I finish posting pictures from our lovely “Roman Holiday,” I thought I’d share with you a couple of things that I really miss from home. They probably aren’t what you would expect (and I’m assuming that it is a given that my family (including Kramer) and friends are at the top of any list of “I Miss…”, and that is absolutely true. If I know you, I miss you. I miss seeing familiar faces – living in a small town like good ole ATL, you know, you start to feel a little bit like you know people. I’m for real here. I would see familiar faces everywhere, and the people I know well enough to know some dirt on? You know I miss you! (I’m kidding, here. I don’t miss knowing ‘dirt’ on folks, but I do often love even what you might think is your ‘dirt.’ It’s part of really knowing someone to know some of that stuff…). But anyway, there are a lot of things that I don’t love that I still miss, and I thought I’d share them with you. 🙂
For instance, I miss shopping carts where there is some sort of reasonable chance I might be able to steer the sucker, even after there is some weight in them. The buggies here? Their wheels (all 4 of them) turn 360 degrees. This means that they always want to go sideways. ALWAYS. I feel some consolation when I see some other poor soul struggling with their buggy while trying to navigate the parking lot, knowing that it isn’t just me (and then I feel bad about having someone else’s struggle helping me to feel better), but seriously… I miss you normal-Publix-shopping cart.
You know what else I miss, speaking of Publix? If you go to a grocery store in Atlanta (and I believe that this is true America-wide), chances are pretty good that not only will someone bag the items you purchase, but they will at least offer (even if it is clear from their facial expression that they want no part of leaving their happily-climate-controlled-environment for the wild and wonderful outdoors) to help you to your car with your bags. Here? It is strictly bag-it-yourself. I am QUITE sure that it has never crossed the mind of any staff member at my local Edeka (which I do like, as grocery stores go, don’t get me wrong) to help anyone to their car with their things. The instant that someone here offers to help me to my car? That is the instant that we’ll all know that the Mayans were right, after all. Let me tell you, though, it is stressful to try to get all of the items I’m purchasing in my (brought from home grocery bags, lest I have to purchase new ones as there is no such thing as a free bag at the grocery store) bags before the cashier is through ringing me up, all the while staying hyper-alert, just waiting for her to begin a barrage of German (which I am not likely to understand much of) telling me what I owe (or perhaps chastising me for failing to weigh some produce item, asking me if I have a punch card, or any number of other similar emergencies that seem to arise when I’m checking out of the grocery store).
While I’m on a grocery-store kick? I’m going to throw in having to put a coin in to get a buggy, a buggy that is always parked in a hangar outside the store in the middle of the parking log, so I forget to get it until I’ve actually picked something up. Then I have to put the bananas (always the first thing I pick up) back, go outside (insert nearly freezing to death and perceived close calls with pneumonia), remember that I have to put a coin in to get my buggy, take off the gloves that I just put back on so that I can walk outside without getting frostbite, find a coin (hopefully; each and every time I need a buggy, I just know that I will have just dumped out all of the coins that have accumulated in my wallet), and begin the wrangling with the four wheels that always want to go sideways).
Now, for something a little less-grocery-store related! I really miss going into the bathroom and THEN turning on the light. Occasionally, I still forget to turn the light on before I enter the room (the switch is outside our bathroom in the kitchen). You make think that this is a minor annoyance (and in truth, it really is; I am ABSOLUTELY aware of how “1st world” this list of I-Miss is), but… I am a very light (er, no pun intended) sleeper, and this means that it is impossible to shut the door before turning on the light (read, before Mike can turn on the light) or to turn the light off before opening the door. Sigh… Even at the hotels we’ve stayed in, this has been the way of things. I don’t get it! WHY, EUROPE? WHY? I do feel like there may be a well-meaning or seemingly logical reason for this (especially since it is so widespread), but it is completely lost on me.
Alrighty. Enough of that! Now – on to some pictures of Italy! (aka one of the last days that I didn’t see snow!)