Crossing Over

Literally and cybernetically.

Early early tomorrow morning, we are flying out of Australia and heading back to the States!  It’s amazing to me that the distance it took us nine months to cover by sailboat (granted, we were taking our time), it will take us less than 14hours to cross by plane.  And we will be powered by the same energies (sort of)  🙂    I mean the bernouli effect and all that.

Anyway, my point is that we’re moving off the boat and flying back to the US and this blog is also moving to   Why don’t you come too?  The site should be up and running pretty soon after we get home.  🙂

See you in the Northern Hemisphere!

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A new tradition

This year, for the first time ever, I am going to celebrate Hanukkah.  I am not Jewish.  I don’t know if I even know any Jewish people (??).  But, I do believe in God and miracles and Hanukkah is a celebration of both.  So, I hope that the Jews don’t mind me joining with them in lighting a few candles in remembrance of God’s providence and grace.

In the last few weeks, I’ve felt myself sort of step back and sense the hugeness and smallness of my life.  While we were sailing, my world became so small and, at times, it seemed all I could see was myself and sometimes even that wasn’t very clear.  Although I was sleeping under the biggest sky and on top of the biggest ocean, I had lost all perspective.  But, recently, I’ve sensed the grandeur of the universe and how silly our lives can seem in the midst of it. This has made me ask, again, the question of “what is it all about?”  I won’t go into what answers I came up with, but all of this deep thinking has made me realize that it is important to me to mark the passing of time – to recognize and acknowledge my place in it, and to participate in traditions that nourish the soul and connect me with the past.

One of my current long-standing traditions is to go to the latest possible christmas eve church service I can, so that, ideally, I will walk out of the church minutes before midnight.  I LOVE exiting the pews, everyone quiet or maybe carrying a lighted candle and singing “silent night,” and emerging out into the the cold night air, snowy white blasts of breath lingering on our lips, hands clasped together for warmth then reaching out to clasp a friend, arms hugging ourselves momentarily before opening wide to embrace another, voices ringing out like church bells, calling “Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!” over and over again until the last car door is shut, the last child bustled in, the soft glow of the church lights turned out. THAT to me, is Christmas. That moment of happiness and pure joy when presents and turkeys and old family arguments and thoughts of who-is-taking-care-of-what and how-much-did-I-spend are far, far from anyone’s mind.  All that matters is that It’s Christmas! Joy to the World!  That moment is what I now look forward to the most.

Oh, and of course, cookies and eggnog and crazy family get-togethers and little tags with my name on them 🙂

I don’t know yet exactly what I’ll do or how I’ll celebrate Hanukkah, what that tradition will become for me.  For the first couple of days, we’ll still be here in Australia and for the second half, we’ll be staying with friends in the States.  I don’t have a menorah or dreidles or gelt, and I’m not sure about making latkes, BUT, I do have a pretty little vanilla-scented candle that I’m going to light each night and a prayer of thanksgiving to say and, for now, that will have to do  🙂

What are your favorite traditions?

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On coins and lemons

Today I had lunch at the Fish n’ Chips place here on Kangaroo Point in Brisbane. It was all fried goodness – a golden crumb battered fried fillet o’ dory and glistening french fries perfectly crisped.  Matt and I had eaten there a few days ago and those fries had haunted my dreams.  On the counter, just above the register, there is a huge clear glass vase filled with water with a large swollen lemon floating on the surface.  On a piece of paper taped to the vase it says, “Balance a 20 cent coin or larger on the lemon for more than 3 seconds and win a free meal!”  Last time we were there, Matt slipped a 20 cent coin out of his pocket and bounced his hand around above the lemon trying to figure out how to place the coin.  “A ten year old can do it,”  the guy behind the counter said. “His parents lift him up and he puts the coin on it just like that. He’s done it three times.”  Matt’s fingers hover above the distorted piece of fruit, then he sets the coin on the lemon and, unceremoniously, the lemon rolls lazily on its side and there’s a faint clink as the coin hits bottom, joining at least a dozen others.  “Ah, maybe next time, mate,” the guy says.  Matt smiles mischieviously and digs into his pocket again.

I’m not quite sure yet about starting another blog, especially when I don’t feel like I have anything specific to write about this time.  My first blog was about studying for the bar exam and trying to get a job as a lawyer, and my second blog was about how I ditched all that law stuff, got married and set sail across the South Pacific.  Both had deliberate messages, both had intended audiences.  This blog – well, this blog doesn’t really have either.  But, I just kind of LIKE having a blog and being part of the blogging community so here I go again.  Aside from just being a venue for me to write in, I suppose this blog will eventually become another way for friends and family to keep tabs on us as we wander around trying to figure out what life holds for us next.

So, in honor of my new blog, today I dropped another coin on the lemon. Not because I necessarily thought I’d win any prizes, but just because it’s so much fun to do  🙂

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