"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." [Mark Twain]

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My First True Love

This has got to be the best and most perfect winter of mine yet. Wait, hold on to your seat. I think I've finally experienced my first love. :) 

The saying must be true: If a guy teases you, it is only because he likes you.

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I used to passionately hate him and his cold wrath. 

He regularly destroys my sunny days and steals my sultry summer tan. 

Just this season, he has hidden 2 of my mobiles and my snowball-making gloves under his thick white blankets, 2 of which were lost forever to his Houdini-like powers.

After years of loathing him, I've finally come to see his real beauty.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How he stole my heart...

I've had the chance to experience old man winter this season on two different continents/countries/cities, which is how I discovered my true feelings.

First up was in lovely Munich! Snow began to fall in mid-November and I couldn't help but loving every bit of it from start to end. Even on the very day of my flight home, my last moments breathing the Munich air were spent frozen waiting on the S-bahn bench with one of my best friends Heather. 
Surprisingly, the cold didn't even get to me as much as it normally would because I was just so distracted by the perfectly-shaped snowflakes softly piling on my legs and suitcases. 

Every snowflake to me in Munich was just impeccably hypnotizing. Each flake glistened with such a peaceful character that I was just automatically drawn in to discover each's hidden mystery. Even in the company of dear friends, I would drift away with the schools of flakes floating past me just wanting to follow them wherever they were traveling off to. 

He started up one night while we were in one of our hot hang out spots, Jäger's, enjoying my last Maß night of the year, when I just flew outside the hostel and danced around in the snow-covered street with my mouth open wide catching the landings of the tiny beauties. It felt like my little glimpse at heaven. Onlookers were weary of my amazement, but I was in another world and had no time to even care. I even stole friends, Heather and Daniel, from the warmth to dance under and catch the falling beauties. Time stood still that night.

He was even distracting at work, as I just peered out our office's big glass windows each time he decided to show his face. My manager would catch me sometimes and double check what really caught my stare. To her surprise, every time, it was only him. I was definitely in love. It was one of those "can't-eatcan't-sleepreach-for-the-starsover- the-fence, world-series kind of" loves. Undeniably, 'twas my winter heaven. 

A group of dear friends and I traveled to the Chiemsee Christmas Markets one snowy day. We put on one of the best snowball fights EVER. :) Snowballing should become a professional sport! Who wants to help me lobby?!
Final destination, good 'ole home on the range! Old Man Winter is being very generous with us this season. He just keeps sending this beautiful white fluff to us in heaps. We've had at least 3 good doses and 2 or so other flurry nights. Normal winters he gives us maybe 1 good dose, if that! But I can't complain, I'm enjoying each snow day to it's fullest with the best of fixings - company of family and friends, hot chocolate sippings, bonfires with s'mores, the wonders of nature, and the silent beauty of the little white gifts sent from above. 

I dove into that perfect sheet of snow to make my angelic mark :)
And the difference between a German and an Arkansan winter-man? 


True Appreciation.

It was the Germans who taught me to appreciate the 4 seasons, all the rainy, cloudy and sunny days. Reason being, they have one of the best seasonal variety packs I've experienced compared to the imbalanced-plethora of gorgeous warm sunny days and skipping of some winters and falls in Arkansas and Texas. Weather was always a daily hot topic when I lived in Germany. Whereas in Arkansas and Texas, we are used to our regular schedule of hot sunnies and chilly drearies. I used to hate rain that would destroy the chance for yet another blissfully sunny day, but now I've come to appreciate the variety as the Germans do. I guess I will have to agree - it does keep things interesting and the weathermen well-known! 

However, just as the Germans have taught me the topic of seasonal appreciation, I almost never saw them appreciate anything but those perfect sunny days. They cursed winter - slow traffic, the winter tire law, etc. Odd? Why yes, I do think so! Although I wasn't too fond of anything but sunny days before, I've come to see just how much more appreciated the variety of weather is here in Arkansas. Being one of America's top crop producers, farmers here depend on the rain and sun for a season of good crops. Still, when old man winter comes our way, you better believe we are all on our tippy toes awaiting our first, second, and third snowy forecasts with snow-day excitement. So, only when I came home did I learn how to appreciate the seasons and, specifically, him.

Well folks, hope you all are enjoying this wintry season as much as I am. Old man winter ain't nothin' but a big hunk 'o love, and if he ain't sent some love your way yet, I'm sure it's a comin'! Who knows? Maybe he could be your secret Valentine. :)

I'd like to conclude my personified love of winter banter with the words of Albert Einstein: 'Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.'

Watch out!! Professional snowballer here!! :D
Just imagine... (:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beachy Daze on the Funny Farm

So maybe I have had a bit too much of this?


I wish! 

It has been too many days to count since my last life update and experience tracking. Watch out folks, Jessica is back with an agenda! 

My adventures in Munich have been put on PAUSE since December 16th, 2010.

I really dislike whoever pushed that button. Now, I'm getting my player checked out, so the PLAY button will finally be working again. I've had to write up many applications and set up many interviews to find the right handyman. I feel I'm on the cusp of solving this mysterious dilemma. My PLAY button shall work - I can feel it in my bones. February is the month of the magical fix. 

Till then, here's my fantastic life on the Funny Farm in a nutshell.

Lots and Lots of beloved family time - The thing is, I just discovered this and felt super bad about not realizing this great advantage of being able to spend time at home without work obligations or others. Please forgive me beloved familia! I haven't had this much free time to spend with family since ummm...before I got a job at 16! I've been a workaholic since then, went off to Uni in Texas for 4 years and studied abroad and worked in the summers - leaving family time to just find it's place among my busy life. Even though this break has been detrimental to my social life off the Funny Farm, I thank God for this PAUSE

Applications and Interviews Galore - You don't even want to see all that goes into this. It drove me crazy in the beginning sorting it all out. But, now I've got such an amazing system of organizing everything that I feel like a real pro and I could teach my methods to other job seekers. So, here's an open offer for anyone wanting tips!

Hobby Catch-Up - This is mainly my wild crafty side. I LOVE creating. Anything. I've made a few nice selections of jewelry for friends and family - earrings, necklaces, etc. I've also thought of some great ideas for purses. I've got the medium, but now I'm on the hunt for the right covering/decorating materials. Also, cooking. Send me your fave recipes ladies and gents cuz I've got kitchen duty and I'm lovin' it!

Me Time - Much needed breathing time. Like I said before, even though it has just been less than 2 months of being home, I haven't had something like this since I was 16. I see it as a good pit stop in the middle of my journey. I'm out of the car and taking in the fresh air, preparing to step back in and slowly put on the gas to my next spot in life. I still can't decide which is better. Manual or Automatic? I guess it just comes down to the situation. Most of the time, I like to just go with the flow of the wind. But, sometimes it is all about stepping in and taking control of that gear, slowly releasing your foot from the clutch. The key? Balance.

So, let's Prost to the joys of family and friends and all that life brings. I'm off to enjoy another lovely family adventure and taking that sidekick travel bug with me!