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Almost finished! Packing is a process for me. Especially when I’m packing for three months, three seasons. We’ll leave Dallas where it will be in the 70s and sunny and land in Munich where it has been snowing and raining. It will be in the 30s when we land. Hmm. Even dressing for the flight over is a challenge. Winter dies hard in Germany.

A week after we arrive in Munich, we’ll leave for Macedonia for the Service Project with International School students from all over Europe. The weather will be unpredictable, warmer during the day unless it’s raining, cool at night. Maybe. Then, we’ll return to Munich and drive to our apartment in the Black Forest. Hopefully, the sun will begin to shine and Spring will arrive. By June, we’ll be in northeastern Spain for training. Summer begins, It will be quite sunny and warm.

So you see my problem. I know. I know. You’re saying, Poor you, traveling to all those places. It’s true. I have a great job. But seriously, packing takes thoughtful planning. (Was that redundant.) I first lay out EVERYTHING I think I might wear in piles on the bed. Then, I leave and do something else for awhile. Later, I come back to my piles and rummage through them, pulling things I really don’t need. Again, I wander to the kitchen for chocolate and a coke. Finally, I return to the bedroom and make a final run through, holding up each piece of clothing and asking myself, is this really necessary, or can I pack an extra package of flour tortillas in its place? At this point, I put everything in the suitcase and weigh it. Now I can decide what shoes/boots will fit. I, of course, will be wearing the heaviest pair on the plane!

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Now to pack my carry on. What books will I need? I’ll be working on my new novel. (I MUST BUY A KINDLE.) Then, the DVDs, chocolate, more books, laptop, more chocolate, pictures of the family, additional chocolate, passport, deck of cards… Done.

I know what you’re wondering. Isn’t there chocolate in Germany? YES. Amazing chocolate, but hey, it’s a long flight.

I’ll try to take pictures and do a better job of documenting our journey while we’re at home on the other side of the pond. Auf wiedersehen!

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(Me, in 2002, in the Highlands near Inverness, Scotland, listening for a word from my ancestors. I had to wait three more years before they spoke up.)

It seems I’ve been spending a lot of time waiting lately. And I just have to say, many of the things I’m waiting for are good, or the possibility of good things anyway. Now I don’t want to complain, I really don’t mind waiting from time to time, but it’s a bit crazy for me right now. What do you mean? Glad you asked.

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(Stopped at Sonic to get my caffeine/sugar fix after a 24 hour fast for my PET Scan in February. PS: I was radioactive in this photo can you tell? Are my superpowers showing? I had my cape on just for the occasion.)

I had labs drawn last week in anticipation of my oncology appointment tomorrow. I’ve been waiting for three months since my last one to see if all is well…to see if I’m holding steady in my battle against cancer. This time around it was fairly easy on the front end. I just had blood drawn. No tests, no scopes, no scans, no…well you get the picture. I’m not so much in a battle right now, I’m waiting. And this is one time I don’t mind the wait! I’m hoping for healing or a new form of treatment that is less destructive to the rest of my body. This is the heavy one when it comes to waiting. It’s better from here on out. I promise.

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(Here he is! Dr. Livingstone at Stuart’s, Land Cruiser mechanic extraordinaire!)

I’m waiting for my sweet ride to get a makeover. Dr. Livingstone, my 1974 FJ40. I love him. He’s rough and rugged and has been known to rescue many a young man’s TRUCK out of the mud. Just sayin’. You all know who you are. He is right now in the greasy but loving hands of Stuart, my new mechanic. This will be worth the wait. In the meantime, I’m without wheels.

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(This is sitting atop my dad’s desk. Just wanted you to know I don’t keep a large current photo of myself atop my own desk.)

Then there are three very cool events I’m waiting on that have to do with The Stone Manor, my novel. I’ve entered it in two different writing contests for unpublished novels. The first is the Golden Claddagh Contest, of which my novel is a finalist in the Celtic category. Woohoo! The winner will be announced September 5th. Waiting! The second contest is The Catherine Toronto Romance Writers Contest. Finalists to be announced mid-late August. Waiting. And last but by no means least, I have submitted my manuscript to a NYC agent. She’s considering representing my work. No timeline on this one. Waiting!!!!!

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(Our container preparing to leave our German apartment for Texas. Bon Voyage! Or I should say Gute Reisen!)

Jim and I are moving from Munich to the Black Forest in Germany. We are also downsizing (if that can be possible) so we’ve shipped most of our personal belongings back to Texas, where we’ve taken an apartment near our daughter and her family. So at this very moment, much of our earthly things are in a container on a ship somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. Wait! I didn’t word that quite right. Hopefully they’re not in the ocean literally, the ship is sailing ON the ocean. Does that sound better? I have seen pictures of freighters plodding through stormy seas, containers sliding off into the water. Not a pretty sight. Image be gone! The container should be here in about a month. Wait for it.

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(Isn’t he handsome? Well worth the wait!)

Finally, Jim has been in Germany without me for a month and will arrive back in Texas on our anniversary, in just a few short days. BEST ANNIVERSARY PRESENT EVER! Waiting!

I could go on, but I won’t. We all are waiting for one thing or another on any given day. Some of us wait expectantly, some excitedly, some with great fear and dread. The danger is always this, we’ll miss living in the moment, the here and now, while waiting for the future to get here. Each day is a gift. It comes and it goes and we can never, ever get it back. I don’t know what you’re waiting for, but I hope you don’t miss what’s right in front of you while you’re looking ahead. I’m writing these last words for my own benefit, really. I needed to hear them. What about you?

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I save movie stubs. Just my favorites.I look at them periodically, and they make me smile. Or I’ll find one randomly, and it’ll make my day just remembering how much I loved the movie. That being said, I’ve been waiting…anxiously waiting for BRAVE to open in theaters. Then, I had to wait even longer till we were able to actually go see it. FINALLY, a few days ago, Jim, our kids in Austin, and I went to the 7:37 showing. I was so excited when the previews were over and the movie actually began I giggled, like I was five years old. Then I did that silent clap with my shoulders scrunched up around my ears. Still giggling.

So what’s up with the stub from SPIDERMAN I’ve displayed above? (And of course it doesn’t say SPIDERMAN, it says SPIDER! Are you kidding me? And yes I know, I could use a manicure.) The guy working the window at the theater gave us tickets to the WRONG movie. We didn’t notice till we were already inside. I was so upset. You have no idea! Of all the movie ticket stubs in all the movie theaters in all the world, I REALLY wanted this one. I wanted to look at it and have it say BRAVE. I wanted to open my wallet in a couple of weeks or months searching for my insurance card or the right change and find it…and smile…and maybe giggle. Our son Sean said not to worry, this would make a good story. He was right, I guess.

The problem is I HATE SPIDERS! I don’t even want to put this stub into my wallet. I don’t want to touch it because it has the word spider on it. I don’t even like having to type out the word in this blog post. Just sayin’. I’ve been learning to be brave lately. But there comes a time when a person just has to put their foot down and say “no sir.” I will never conquer my fear of spiders. If you knew how quickly I just typed the s word you’d say, “Wow, that was really fast.” I’m telling you they totally creep me out. Okay, I’ve talked enough about “them.”

Just so you know, BRAVE was a beautiful movie. The animation was beautiful, the music was beautiful, the accents were beautiful. It was a little short on story content, but hey, I left wishing my hair was bright red and curly and I could speak in a Scottish accent. (I’ve been secretly practicing the accent.) If you haven’t seen the movie…GO.

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Easter Egg Hunting

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I went on an Easter Egg Hunt today with my niece’s daughter. This is her Easter Basket. I love it. I love that we were using a FROG basket to hold the easter EGGS brought by the easter BUNNY. And what would happen if we found a GOLDEN EGG? What then? Don’t you just love a good fairy tale?

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