oh, the places we’ve been

We left over a foot of snow and arrived in a false Spring.  The air has a warm touch, and if I didn’t know better, I’d think tulips were going to be sprouting any day now.  They might be already.  And soon February through April will kill them.  The fucking birds are even tweeting like green leaves and blue skies are just around the corner.  I think we are all going to be disappointed on that front for another four months.  At least.

The calendar page has turned, and here we are back in Germany and in 2014.  I like the sound of that number.  It has a pleasant evenness about it. Rag on 2013 as you will, but it was a good year too. I published two articles in the ever-charming magazine New Escapologist and wrote a mini-guidebook of Frankfurt for The Hunt guides.  (If you’d like to hear about some of my favorite places in the city, you can read an e-version here for free.  Just click on “buy guide.”  You won’t actually have to buy it.)  I started my first fiction story in almost a hundred years, something I hope to have wrapped up and sent away in the next couple of weeks.  I wrote and edited a shit-ton of stuff for Young Germany too, though the world still seems to be infinitely less impressed by writing that is published digitally.  Joke’s on you digital skeptics!  Web writing is where most of the regular pay checks are at.

as I was saying

We went to the States.  Things happened.  We paced up and down the east coast.  We introduced Pickles to her American family, stuffed ourselves at Thanksgiving and at Christmas and at pretty much every opportunity in between and slept in a lot of beds that were a little bit too small for three people.  There was singing and snow and a trip to the aquarium.  There was bad-to-non-existent public transportation, there were peaceful car rides, there were glorious thrift stores, and there were cold playgrounds and books.  It was fun and stressful, as traveling with a kid just under two can be.  We saw a lot of people, and missed a lot more.

A few visuals of our travels (there wasn’t a lot to choose from, what with not wanting to post photos of any people, but still):

9 Comments on “oh, the places we’ve been

  1. I hereby declare that I don’t mind if you use any pictures with me in. Particularly if it involves any of those pictures with Pickles at the aquarium which I just love even though they’re so dark. Or what about you and the reindeer ears, eh?

  2. Oh, that last picture is awesome! What’s that creepy face doing on the wall? *starts humming ‘Murder in the Red Barn’*

  3. Sounds like a long, cozy, wonderful trip, bet it’s good to be in your own bed again. Like the embellishments on the walls inside and out.

  4. Nikki,
    I have been reading your blog. My what an interesting life you are leading. Your daughter is adorable. Glad to see you are still an avid reader.
    Joanna Holtmeier
    Palisades High School

  5. Hi, I admire your blog and choice of life. I have questions:

  6. I live in the USA and I likfriendsplatz, but we only have trailer parks. We have no wood lying around or dumpsters to dive or resources you mention. We live in a subdivision with an HOA w/rules. I occasionally find good furniture items out for trash and have picked them up. The USA will not allow people to live without running water, electricity or trash pickup. We have no buses that come to our subdivision and work or businesses are too far away to ride a bike. The restaurants here have rules that you may not sit unless you are a paying customer and you can be asked to leave for anyrreason so you can’t bum food of other plates. There are laws and locks on retail dumpsters. I can’t store/use my stuff or borrow from neighbors. I do admire your life. I do try to recycle upcycle. Our heat for summer avg in the 100’s/winter can be 19 degrees. We have to have central heat/and air conditioner or people die. Questions:
    1. How do you gather enough water for 3 when you are supposed to drink 8 glasses a day? Plus bathing, and washing? Cooking? Gardening?
    2. Were not allowed to pee out side because of microbes possibly infecting others, plus it smells and draws fly’s. Do you dump your chamber pot in the bathroom trailer?
    3. How do you dispose of trash?
    4. Do you use commercial items? Do you stink if you don’t take a bath everyday? How do you wash your clothes? How do you keep your job if unkemp? Iron clothes? Brush teeth?
    5. Have you ever wanted to buy an object to have it right away? Do you sew?
    6. Does life ever seem overly difficult? Because it seems like in a way that you are working more than 8hours a day.
    7. As children get bigger, what about space, or that kids want to have what their friends


  7. Sorry the grammar was bad because I’m on a tablet and wrote fast. My final question is how can Americans escape from industrialism, consumerism, and I Iive naturally without harming the planet or our resources more? We have so many rules and regulations. Keep posting! And please understand all questions are of a caring nature, definitely not criticism. 🙂 and did I mention how hard it is to find a tiny house without living in the poorest of communities?

  8. Jennifer, my answer to your questions is a simple one: MOVE. The US is obsessive/compulsive about controlling everyone’s life (so much for the “Land of the Free” — but we knew that in the 60s). There is a whole world out there, just waiting for YOU to explore and there are countries which, believe it or not, actually allow you to pretty much live as you wish! USians (funny how “Americans” don’t have their own name, like “the Dutch” “Germans” “Spaniards” etc., and how the word “Americans” implies that only the US exists in the Western Hemisphere!) are way too timid about alternatives, IMHO.

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