This still holds true for me.
My first love was mysteries, and Sherlock Holmes kicked my butt. I remember a game I received for Christmas one year. This was the gist of it: The player received a binder. In the binder was a copy of the London newspaper dated appropriately, interview dialogues, a map of London (also dated appropriately), and a book with the beginning of a mystery. The idea was to solve the mystery in the smallest amount of “moves” possible. Each time you read an article, reviewed the map, or read an interview, it counted as a move. Over and over, I would try each mystery and try to “beat” the score. I didn’t do very well, but I never gave up. I was hooked on trying to figure out the puzzle of the mystery! I did the same with a book on Jack the Ripper. Really, with today’s technology and advances in psychological studies, that would be a mystery easily solved, or would it?
This presented me with a puzzle. How do I meet the requirements for the degree without following the traditional path of sticking to one foreign language? I researched and, lo and behold, I found out the requirement was four years of a foreign language, with the last two years being upper-level courses. But! Those upper-level courses did not have to be in the same language. Sweet! I went to my favorite English professor and asked for her assistance. During the next year and a half, I took Old English (which required translating Beowulf), Latin (translating Aeneid), and Sanskrit (no translating, that was hard enough on its own!).
Another Life puzzle: Being a single parent also presented its own challenges. How do I stay involved with my kids as I work full time and attend school full time? Easy peasy. I tortured my kids with my homework! My son lucked out with Beowulf. Because really…what boy doesn’t like a story of a hero coming to save the day of a wounded town and frightened king? He also got drawn into Latin stories. Myths, Gods, treachery…he soaked them up. This led to video games and books of fantasy for him. And yes, mom had to reciprocate and learn the video games. Those wicked things can be addictive. Live interactive books. Genius!
Some folks call these challenges. I’ve chosen to call them puzzles. Why? Because eventually, puzzles can be solved, I believe. If one takes the time to look at the entire picture and then plunge in. That’s the scary part: plunging in. But, it’s also the most thrilling.
Have you had a life puzzle that you figured out a unique way to solve? I’d love to hear about it!
I’m not sure where my affinity with water started. I’m not a big swimmer, I’ve never participated in water sports and my favorite movie of all time is Jaws. Yet, when I meditate or am looking for someplace to settle my mind, I seek water. Water calms me in all its various forms.
Last weekend, I went with my sister to a conference and helped her work her vendor table. Located in Cape Canaveral, I had the opportunity to find the object of my stillness in various forms.
Do you have an affinity for nature? Is there some form of nature that automatically calms you and allows you to find an opportunity to reflect or even let your imagination run? What about creating a “happy place”? I’d like to hear about it.
While we waited to board the river cruise boat, we took a stroll along the park outside of the hotel and was treated to a display of local artists sculptures. (Note: I tried to capture the info posts on all, but only caught some.)
Here are a few more that I missed the placards for:
Very talented, don't you think?
The day before we were due to board the bus and head to the airport, I started having trouble breathing. I feared my last Covid test might return positive. Luckily, it did not. But, unluckily, what I thought might be an upper respiratory infection, turned out to be much worse. My breathing worsened, and after a long, difficult flight home, I ended up at urgent care. The result? I got pneumonia and enjoyed (not!) an ambulance ride to the hospital, where I stayed for two days before I could beg the doctor to let me go home. Not the best way to end a trip.
But I certainly enjoyed every minute of my time abroad and on this river cruise. I hope you enjoyed traveling with me (even if only in your mind).
What did you think?
Our last day aboard ship we packed our belongings and headed into Basel on our way to Lucerne. There we stayed at the hotel for two days before heading to the airport. Here is the view from our hotel room. (Swiss Alps in background)
I got an earache and went to the local pharmacy to see if they might have something I could take. I loathed the idea of getting on a plane with ear pain as I’m sure you can imagine how awful that would be. As a result, the above photos are courtesy of my sister and the sights she saw while I lay in bed in the hotel.
I would have loved to go along. Aren't these awesome pictures?
Another amazing day which started with a trip to the Black Forest. Of course, everything tastes better when not at home, including the infamous Black Forest cake. What a grand time to watch one being made by the local chef. Yummy!
And speaking of stories…this is the Hohenzollern Bridge. It’s hard to see, but the walkway wall is filled with padlocks. Tons of padlocks that lovers have placed there to represent their love. It’s listed as one of the “Love Lock Bridges.” What if you didn’t bring a lock with you? No worries. On the walkway along the river, sat many vendors selling them!