Cards for a Rainy Day


Do they call it fall because your sinuses try to fall out of your head? Or do they call it fall because your emotions plummet like a dropped brick? Do they call it fall because your happiness slumps to the floor like a shed coat?

Maybe it is the dreary weather. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been sick this week. Or maybe it’s just that ongoing battle for mental/emotional health…but today it hit me…that gloom. That feeling of pointlessness, that feeling of loneliness.

After a year of being here, the feeling is illogical. I have friends here. I have a life here. I have fun here.  I have my husband and dog here! I have adventure and amazing experiences here. And yet today I felt the lack of something. And I craved…home.

But luckily, my mother knows me. When we left, she had everyone write letters at our going away party. She sealed them up, put them in a big envelope and had me save them for a rainy day. Two other times I have broken into those letters. On this rainy day, I tore through them like a kid left unchecked with their Halloween loot.

And they healed my soul.

Kristen saying, “and you have all of us at home with open arms whenever your amazing experience ends…” reminding me that they haven’t forgotten my friendship.

Gracie speaking teenage wisdom into my heart with, “and always know, you’re in Europe. You don’t need to be sad. People would die to be in your place, so make your time there eye opening and jaw dropping.” I can almost hear her saying “suck it up, buttercup!”

Amy and Terrell quoting “Bridesmaids,” – “Auf wiedersehen, Asshole!” Terrell demanding a full recount of my travels – charade style – upon my return. Amy claiming, “there will definitely be a gaping hole without you in Dallas,” again reminding me that I’ll still find friends when I return.

Riley warming my heart with, “I remember when I was assigned to write about my hero and I wrote about you.”

Jenna trying to convince me to move to Fort Worth – “Some say it’s the new Dallas,” but also reminding me that she is “counting down the days.”

And then of course there is Grant, who simply wrote Lance a letter solely focused on calling him something obscene…but it made me laugh.

They did the trick, mom, so Thank you. I can take a deep breath and feel lucky, blessed, and a little silly for ever feeling down in the first place.

And I have a few left over for another rainy day.



Is it Safe To Travel?

No Fear

I refuse to let fear lead me.

Lance and I are often traveling to areas of cultural importance and events with large crowds. Carnival, Oktoberfest, Christmas markets, concerts, UNESCO world heritage sites, or even just the train station I pass through everyday for work … every time we go, it crosses my mind…it could happen here.

Acts of terror and violence are happening everywhere. And it seem to be happening more often.  Acted out by groups, by individuals;  acted out with bombs, with cars…with guns.

When I first told friends and family that we would be moving to Germany, several people gasped in fearful astonishment. “Whitney! It isn’t safe over there!”

(And is it safe in The United States of America? Forgive me if I sound bitter; perhaps I am. Honestly, I feel heartbroken. Mothers, grandfathers, daughters, uncles, friends… they went to a concert, and 58 of them never came home. I’m sad. I’m angry. Something has to change with gun control in America. Something has to happen with mental healthcare in America. Surely we can reach a middle ground that keeps Americans safe from gun violence? But don’t get me started…)

I didn’t start this post to argue about gun reform. I’m writing about fear. I will not stop seeing the world because others seek to make me afraid. The world is too beautiful and full of good not to explore it with childlike eyes of wonder. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to take a vacay to Syria or Iraq anytime soon, that would be reckless.)

The diversity of humanity is too beautiful to stereotype and fear. The beating hearts across this globe are too inspiring to leave room for discrimination against whole groups, all for the atrocities committed by a few. The Bible says that men are created in the image of God, and so how can we know God truly without embracing and loving His/Her (yes, I said it) many faces?

For some reason, when a white man attacks, he is a “lone wolf,” or “crazy,” but if a person of color commits a crime, a whole group of people suffer the social ramifications of said crime. I refuse to be afraid of people because they don’t look like me, speak like me, or pray like me. The world is richer because they don’t.

I will celebrate the coming of 2018 in the crowded streets of Paris. I will see Saint Patty’s day in Ireland. Romania, Africa, Asia show me your best! I will go to concerts, parades and street festivals. Because what is life if we refuse to live it? And everyday I will breathe air deep into my lungs with thankfulness for the life, beauty and diversity abounding in this world.

Where do you suggest we should go? Has anyone gone to Istanbul recently? We would love to go before moving home. Comments welcome!

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