Outside The Bubble

Outside The Bubble

The world looks vastly different outside the bubble. Gone were the subliminal and overt messages about what a socially acceptable life is supposed to look like. Truthfully, once you you leave it behind, it can be a bit shocking to realize just how pervasive our social conditioning is. I was able to escape the noisy echo chamber that surrounds us during the longest getaway since graduating from university — 21 days visiting seven countries. With just minutes available online each day (mostly to scan email for anything urgent) I was…

Why Waste a Good Flood?

Why Waste a Good Flood?

This sentiment delivered with a laugh from a grizzled ex-Brit has now become part of my philosophy. The wise words came from a cab driver conveying us to the Brisbane airport on the last day of a two-week, five city journey. Our knowledge of Brisbane had been limited. We knew it was situated on the gold coast of Eastern Australia. On the map it appeared as a convenient stopover from the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland on our way back to San Francisco through Sydney. With few expectations we added the locale to the end of our itinerary. It turned out to hold discoveries in a…

What’s Your Litmus Test?

What’s Your Litmus Test?

The “why” didn’t fully dawn on me until I was in the final burst of last-minute packing for a Thanksgiving family visit. Our direct flight was just under an hour and half. The destination: a picturesque part of the country, home to the world’s largest international independent film festival, a former winter Olympic site, and some of most breathtaking national parks on the planet. Our relatives, peers in age and interests and genuinely warm and lovely people, had lived there since 1998. There was only one reason why it had taken us…

Jet Lag, Mailbag, and More

Jet Lag, Mailbag, and More

A week ago I was in County Kerry, Ireland playing tourist with my niece, nephew and my better half — snapping photographs around the Ring of Kerry, hiking through the Killarney National Park, touring a grand house that once hosted Queen Victoria, and eating the requisite Irish stew and fish and chips. Above us the sky provided a variety show, moving from sunny to stormy to rain and sleet. (Note to self: the hooded water repellent jacket was an excellent choice over the more fashionable trench without a hood.) The…

Spring Break, Spring Cleaning and Springing Forward

Spring Break, Spring Cleaning and Springing Forward

Spring is almost here! What does that mean for you? Me? I’m counting the days until we leave for Ireland where the hills are always gloriously green. (Yes, there will be rain so I’ve picked up a new water-repellent, hooded jacket to keep me from getting soaked to the skin). Most of all I’m looking forward to some spring break time with my 10-year-old niece and 13-year-old nephew. They’re simply delightful and share many of my husband’s family characteristics. Among the fun is listening to their rich vocabulary. The Irish…

Oh, The Places We’ll Go!

Oh, The Places We’ll Go!

The New Year is still all fresh and pregnant with anticipation. (Oh, but it feels good to use that word in a way that evokes new life of a different kind…) Here I sit (imagine me in this chair here) with a glass of wine and scrumptious salmon cakes while Mr. T is off in the gym in the midst of sneakers squeaking against the varnished wood floor blocking shots and moving to the outside for his all-but-patented turn-around jump shot. He’ll return with animated stories of who fouled who…