December 6th… and really the first day after my return home where I feel like myself again. I cannot believe what havoc a 28 hour day without sleep can play on one’s life. Yes… I was up for more than 28 hours on November 24th, my day to travel home from Germany.
I am so glad I am finally feeling up to spending time in the studio! Today is St. Nikolaus day in Germany, hence the appropriate images. 😉 Best wishes to all those whose name derives from St. Nick… We are celebrating two family’s members’ name days today.
Today also marks the anniversary for posting under this blog address for the first time in 2011. Where did the time go? So much has happened and yet, so much stays the same…
I have been in a deeply contemplative mood this week. Monday, December 2nd marked the 40 anniversary of my arrival in Canada. Forty years… when I spell it out I can hardly believe it myself! I came for a visit to help out with step-siblings, extended my stay to help my dad with his orchard in the Okanagan as he was getting settled, applied for a work visa and took a nanny job in Calgary… and then I realized how much great potential Canada provided. I was able to reinvent myself many times, something I could not imagine if I had returned to Germany. Marriage, raising a family, work, building a business and travel followed.
And now, gone are the days where I can say that I have spent half my life in Canada… these days my statement is: “I have lived in Canada for nearly 2/3 of my life!” This regularly serves as my wake up call as to how life seems to slip through our fingers… quotes like “The Sands of Time…” have made way to “Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny!” and “You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream!” (both quotes by C. S. Lewis)
Perhaps I am in a more reflective mood these days because I have just returned from the country of my birth. There are things I sorely miss, like my sister and her family, dear friends I left behind so many years ago. Old traditions like Christmas Markets with all their glitter and festive anticipation, ancient architecture like churches that take your breath away with high arches and breathtaking art, or the vastly different countryside, and a much milder climate… The older I get the more I realize that as an immigrant it is difficult to fit into a community fully. (I first heard about this during a Sociology 101 class at the University of Calgary in 1984 and brushed it off!) However, experience and ordinary life have taught me that the same holds true when moving from one province to another later in life… The definition of a friend in this country is much looser than what I can relate to from my childhood and youth. I am grateful for the friends I am still in touch with from the time I was growing up! We pick up where we left off and the distance shrinks instantly. Thanks to WhatsApp calling friends and family in Europe is so much easier and virtually instant these days. Best of all, it is completely free!
Aquaintances I have met in Canada over the years drift in and out of my life and often the relationship slips into a state of hibernation or suffer a quiet death still demanding a period of mourning, at least for me. I don’t make friends easily, so those I let into my life are special and the relationship is deeply meaningful to me. These days I realize that people I have grown closest to are those who have had a similar upbringing and, despite my early efforts to integrate fully into Canadian society, I find myself surprised that those friendships are often with German immigrants closer to my age and/or those of German ancestry. How strange! This realization comes from someone (me) who regularly ducked behind grocery store shelves when she heard German spoken in the other aisle the first two or three decades I lived in Canada. 😉 How times change!
Enough reminiscing! Time to move forward and embrace the Christmas Season. I brought back some yummy treats for Colin as these days I don’t bake anymore. I can’t eat it (yes, thanks to my way of eating I managed my entire time away without even one migraine! Hurray and make space for the happy dance!) and Colin doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth.
And here is something to put a smile on everyone’s face: Much of my time right now is spent making up for lost cuddle time with Ash! She has doubled in weight since we got her in early October. Soon she will be 4 months old. Housebreaking is going well but we are still cautious when we take her places. She will have our undivided attention over the holidays. In early January we are enrolled in a puppy class to move along the behaviour training, always a good thing and an important refresher for Colin and I as it has been over 16 years since I took Lucky to one of these great classes in Calgary.
Ash is content to spend time in the studio with me and I am about to open the cupboards to jog my memory about which projects were stored away before my trip already six weeks ago. I believe I have a couple of jackets waiting for me to be completed. And who knows, perhaps I can find some new inspiration within the stash of hand-dyed fabrics. My sister secured a solo exhibition for me in Germany for Spring of 2021… and I am waiting to hear about a photography exhibition there as well. These are all things to look forward to and work towards! 2020 is already shaping up to be a busy year.
It’s supposed to snow tomorrow and the temperatures are dipping below my comfort level… I say: Bring it on!!!
It’s good to be back! It’s good to be back to blogging…Enjoy your weekend, everyone!!!
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Anna, could I ask what you have done re. your diet that controlled your migraines? Mine are under control with medication & I sure would like an alternative approach.
Hi Nan, so good to hear from you!! I am truly off all meds since February. In 2018 I first changed my way of eating to keto but it didn’t help that much. While I was part of a group on FB someone recommended the book “Fighting the Migraine Epidemic – Complete Guide How to Treat & Prevent Migraines without Medications”, Angela A. Stanton, PhD (I downloaded the Kindle version and joined the FB group where you get the latest info and updates as well as amazing support!).
Gone are medication side effects, weight gain from the meds, days in a dark and quiet room, no more cancelling of commitments or suffering through teaching days because I had to honour a contract! I feel liberated!! Email me privately or call me if you want more info. Good luck!!
Happy to hear you are home safe and sound. Loved your pictures and showed them to my husband trying to encourage him. So many opportunities for photos here.
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Glad you enjoyed the photo blog posts, Katina! If you ever need a tour guide for Germany…😜
I know all about the fabulous photo ops in NS! Fond memories of breathtaking vistas and wonderful people in Nova Scotia!
Welcome back my friend. Home fires are always the warmest. Your reminiscing hit a nerve with me. Some things of my oldest & dearest friends are from my youth. I always find it a type of miracle that after long absences we can hug, speak for about 20 minutes & it’s as though we were never apart. We cherish that as we get “more mature”. Lol
Bud’s on the mend after hip surgery so we’re both feeling better. Hope to see you next week.
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Hi Eileen, such great news about Bud!!! What a relief! Yes, isn’t it amazing how we connect easily with old friends! I agree – must be due to our maturity!
Sorry, but I will not be coming up for the Christmas gathering of the embroidery group. Evening travel is not my favourite thing during the winter and with our new puppy we are not keen on imposing ourselves on friends who usually welcome us for an overnight stay! Don’t want to tax the relationship🤗
I understand completely. Merry Christmas to you & Colin… & of course Ash.
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Anna, reminiscing about first meeting you with Colin and Linda and Bob’s place in Calgary. Happy St Nicholas Day!
Sent from my iPad
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Hi Brenda, so great to hear from you! The “good ol’ days…” in Calgary! OMG – that was ages ago and I think I had not been in Canada for a full year yet!