• Czech Republic,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Living Through the Pandemic, One Year Out

    It was nearly a year ago that the very first Coronavirus case showed up here in the Czech Republic. About ten days later, our lives would suddenly be disrupted when it was announced, after an emergency Tuesday morning parliamentary session that schools would close, effective the next day. Those early times — from the end of winter last year through the spring, all of our lives changed. Everyone was scared and uncertain, and despite what we would consider now to be very low case levels, I did not meet with another soul for almost two months. Absolutely nothing in-person took place. As spring gave way to summer, we saw cases…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Winter

    A Time of Simple Holidays

    Well, it’s hard to write anything without a computer, isn’t it? Fortunately I feel like I have an office again, a little home again, and my brain can sort of organize itself properly. (Note: Try to avoid ever having to purchase a new computer in mid-December. It is not the time.) Here we are in December, finally at the tail end of 2020. Funny about this year. As I’ve now been quite settled in České Budějovice for nearly eight years and counting, there isn’t a lot of expat stuff or cultural differences that I feel compelled to write about. Most of it is no longer so novel. Add to that…

  • Christmas,  Daily Life,  Thoughts,  Winter

    Grieving/Healing

    Perhaps it’s yesterday’s full moon bringing all of these ripe feelings to the surface, but the turn towards Advent time hasn’t been an easy one this year – an odd, uncomfortable feeling towards something that has always felt warm, comforting and joyful. I am still grieving and feeling so many heavy things, mostly a bit different of what I choose to show on the outside, but today, the first of December, I can feel the healing begin. I woke up and tiptoed to the kitchen where I saw a marvelous pink and purple sunrise, welcoming in this new month. As I went out with the dog, the sky was doing…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Herbalism,  South Bohemia

    Autumn Lockdown Feels Like

    Do you think optimistic, positive people ever just… lose it after awhile? I consider myself one of those and was wondering when that breaking point would come. After holding it together so well since lockdown started in March, I’ve had more work than ever before (none of this Corona free time) and I guess last Sunday, in mid-late November it all sort of came to a head. It came to me today that of course our Christmas trip abroad would be cancelled this year – it would be folly to go through with it. I thought of all the sadness and destruction that 2020 has wrought. I wondered when I…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Thoughts

    October, Lately

    This October – different from all other Octobers. The last of the warm early autumn weather has faded away and it definitely feels like fall now. I caught a bit of a nostalgia wave this week, as I am wont to do in the autumn. Eleven years ago I was visiting one of my best friends in Berlin for two weeks, having the time of my life. Ten years ago was another one of the best Octobers on record with epic festivals, parties, being one of maybe twenty-five people to see one of my favorite bands play Sunset Tavern in Ballard, Seattle. Eight years ago, living the Scottish life as…

  • Summer,  Thoughts,  Yearly Recap

    At Summer’s End

    Someone recently asked me “What did you do this summer?” and when I told them, they proceeded to sort of frown over my answer. Better put into a metaphor: This summer was like having a best friend come to visit for three months, but finding that you don’t get along as well as you always have, and when they leave, it’s sort of on a weird note and you don’t quite know how you feel about it, compared to their previous visits. Our holiday in Croatia in early-mid August was really the only concrete thing or the easiest to mention, but this summer was more full of small moments of…

  • Summer,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Croatia in a Pandemic Summer

    Hi, friends. How have you been enjoying the summer? It’s funny that the biggest hindrance to writing new posts these days involves the photo part — uploading them from my finicky phone (or rather, from my new phone to my finicky old computer), editing them, rounding other random snaps from Google Photo. It’s 2020 – you’ve got to think there’s a better way? (or likely there is, and I’m far too stubborn) But regardless, here we are! We spent much of August in Croatia this year. Like many who were able to travel this summer, I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to post about it on social media. In…

  • Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  South Bohemia,  Summer

    The Saturday of Summer

    July, my favorite month of all – the Saturday of summer! It blew in with a flurry of gatherings, barbecues and a spot of camping at a lake (Lipno, naturally) at the beginning of the month. Camping in Europe has been… interesting. This was our third camping trip here in Central Europe and I have to say, I really prefer American camping a bit better! Usually for tent campers, you get literally just a patch of grass on which to pitch your tent and nothing else. No picnic table or fire pit unless you go to a campground with a bit more of a bougie situation. Also, we don’t have…

  • Daily Life,  Spring,  Thoughts

    The Earth is Shifting

    Hello, friends. What a strange but impactful few weeks it has been. In the days leading up to last week of May, I had rare bout of anxiety about the world opening up again after the worst of Coronatimes had wound down here in the Czech Republic. When the director of your school e-mails you and starts into “good news! we can go back to school!”, it’s incredibly unsettling because for the previous two months, we had all been unlearning how to be and teach at school. How to do everything from home. How wonderful having no commutes were, let’s be honest. That first week back, I was a little…

  • Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Milestones,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Travel

    May, Lately + More Thoughts of Traveling “These Days”

    What a beautiful spring we are having this year! Unlike other years where it’s been like winter winter winter SUMMER and maybe one week of spring temperatures, we’ve really seen spring this year. April has been full of warm days and sun, trickling into May, even though we’re in a couple days of a cold snap right now (a good excuse to sit down and write something), I have really been enjoying it (ughhh, I probably say this every year, so here it is). I just actually learned about the days May 12-14 here called the “days of the ice men” (Ledoví muži). This is because those days are the…