Sunday, 4 November 2012

Nine things I miss about home.

There’s no place like home….sometimes

We are just past the three month mark of our peripatetic year and I’m still loving every moment of it. But, as time goes on there are a few things that I have begun to miss. Such as…

9.) These…
Germans don’t do crackers,
at least not that I’ve been able to find, 
especially this variety.

8.) Fresh Newfoundland seafood.
            Having grown up on the prairies nearly a thousand miles from the ocean, you’d think this wouldn't be a biggy. But we've called Newfoundland home for the last six years and have grown so used to its availability and freshness that anything else pales by comparison. Cod, mussels, scallops, you name it, it’s all fresh, inexpensive (by comparison), and delicious. It’ll just taste that much better when we get back after not having it for a year, right?

7.) Hanging my clothes outside to dry.
            The clothes dryer is a great invention, but nothing compares to hanging your bed linens outside to dry, or everything else for that matter. Sometimes I swear it’s faster than the dryer, it’s environmentally friendly and the smell is fantastic. The crisp clean Newfoundland air with its almost constant wind results in many people, particularly those in out-ports having clothes lines. I use mine nearly all the time, unless we have a long stretch of RDF weather, and then I use the dryer. Here in Berlin I have a foldable clothes drying rack that I've tried to use outside, but it’s not the same and the air in downtown Berlin is not the cleanest, so sleeping on fresh line-dried sheets will have to wait until I get home.

6.) Clown Rounds
This is my alter ego “Sylly”.
I volunteer at the Health Sciences Centre (General Hospital) in St. John's as a therapeutic clown. It can at times be both mentally and physically draining, but I don’t care. It is loads of fun! 
Sometimes I don’t know who gets more out if it me or the patients.

5.) Driving to get groceries
I miss filling up the back of this thing, then filling my fridge, freezer and pantry, and not needing to go back to a grocery store for a while. Now I bring home what I or the two of us can carry, which amounts to maybe a day or two worth. Won’t that be fun in the winter through ice and snow?!

4.) My kitchen
            The kitchen here in the apartment is equipped pretty well considering. But it just has the basics with a couple of extras thrown in like a Martini shaker and espresso maker; though I especially like the induction cook-top and the self-closing cupboards and drawers. Whereas my kitchen utensils and appliances at home have been accumulated over many many years plus I have a very well stocked pantry with specialized items. We make do and improvise, and if all else fails there are literally dozens of restaurants of all manner cuisine within a stone’s throw.

3.) Peace and quiet.
            I grew up in a big city, have lived in one most of my life, and appreciate all that they offer but…. the place we've called home the last six years is a nearly 2 acre piece of property at the end of a dead end street in small town in Newfoundland. We love it for all sorts of reasons, but most of all its peace and quiet. We can sleep with the window open listening to the rustle of the wind in the trees. Ahhhh. Whereas here we live in the middle of the middle of constant downtown racket.

2.) Punky
My 15 year old cuddly cat and I have a routine. Every evening after I've settled in bed, she comes by, sits on my chest, and we spend a few minutes schmoozing and cuddling before I go to sleep. She also likes sitting on my lap while I’m at the computer. We also have a 1 year old cat named Stanza who we've trained to play fetch. I know they are being looked after very well by K & S (our house-sitters), but I miss them both and worry that they’ll have forgotten me when we come home next year.

1. Walks with M
            Most of all though, I miss my walks with my dear friend and hiking buddy M. We've gone on walks/hikes together along the trails and cliffs that are literally a few moments’ from our front doors at least twice, sometimes three times a week over the last few years, venturing out in almost all kinds of weather and trail conditions. Among other things, being a retired teacher, born and raised in the area she’s taught me a lot about Newfoundland and I in turn have taught her about what it’s like coming from the prairie. We walk and talk enjoying each others company and marveling at this beautiful scenery.

 This picture was taken on the last hike we went on just a couple of days before Erwin and I left. It’s taken at the bottom of Gallows Cove Road, looking out over the ocean towards Torbay point.

This picture was taken during that same walk, and as luck would have it, even a whale came by to wish me bon voyage. You can just make out his spout/spray near the center of the picture under the seagull.

M, I’ll meet you at our usual spot at the usual time on July 29th 2013, ok?

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