France: Le Colonel and Me

France: Le Colonel and Me
Three men are responsible for supporting and inspiring me to write this blog: Steve, my husband; Graham, my son; and a 90-year-old Frenchman named Paul Fossat. Eleven years ago this spring, my husband joined an online game site called It’s Your Turn (IYT). From the very beginning, Paul stood out above the others. Steve and Paul... Read more »

Greenland: Stark Majesty at the Top of the World

Greenland: Stark Majesty at the Top of the World
Greenland is the largest island in the world. A majestic but severe world that is defined by ice. The Inuit people who live there have twenty-three words for ice. Ice that glows green under the quivering lights of the Aurora Borealis. Ice that shimmers pink in the glow of the midnight sun. Ice that contains... Read more »

Bulgaria: Poetry in Cyrillic Script

Bulgaria: Poetry in Cyrillic Script
I knew very little of Bulgaria before writing this post, except that Bulgaria was recently listed as the most miserable country in the European Union. Naturally, I wondered how it got that unfortunate distinction. But my gut told me there must be more to Bulgaria than its unfavorable position on an internet list. I was... Read more »
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British Columbia: Peace at the 49th Parallel

British Columbia: Peace at the 49th Parallel
At the border of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, and Blaine, Washington, U.S.A., lies the famous Peace Arch, built by Sam Hill. It marks the spot known as the “Peace Arch Border Crossing”, one of the busiest border crossings between Canada and the United States. The arch also commemorates the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of... Read more »

Newfoundland: Open Spaces, Open Hearts

Newfoundland: Open Spaces, Open Hearts
The first time I uttered the word Newfoundland, I was pointing at a photo of a Newfoundland puppy. Pleading with my mother to let us have one. Mom looked around our small suburban ranch house. Pointed to an adjoining photo of an adult Newfoundland dog. Large as a black bear. I never got the Newfie. Today,... Read more »

A Story of 23 Chromosomes

A Story of 23 Chromosomes
“It has been said that next to hunger and thirst, our most basic human need is for storytelling.”   — Khalil Gibran  Patience is necessary to writing this blog. After all, I am prevailing upon strangers to work me into their busy lives. Without their responses, this blog would not exist. But a clog in the pipeline... Read more »
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Australia: Waltzing in an Opal-Hearted, Sunburnt Land

Australia: Waltzing in an Opal-Hearted, Sunburnt Land
  Like most Americans, I know a little about the country down under. That it began as a British penal colony. That it is home to Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, kangaroos, koala bears, wallabies, and Vegemite, the beloved bread spread made from brewers yeast, veggies, and spices. That it boasts a stunning abundance of opal and sun-drenched... Read more »

Sweden: Excellence, Equality, and Pippi Longstocking

Sweden: Excellence, Equality, and Pippi Longstocking
Sweden is the home of lingonberries, the flat-box furniture giant Ikea, the band Abba, and the Saab automobile. An ardent defender of gender equality, gay rights, and immigration rights, Sweden is also where the world’s brightest are chosen and awarded the Nobel Prize each year. There is no greater honor. I am sure the 2014 Nobel Prize Winners would concur.... Read more »

Things The World Taught Me in 2014

Things The World Taught Me in 2014
I began this blog in June of 2014 with the goal of interviewing one person in every country of the world (roughly 196). By year’s end, I’d spoken with 19 people. They humbled me with their willingness to participate. Surprised, delighted, and disturbed me with their responses. I learned so much from them. Below, is... Read more »
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Christmas Through Irish Eyes and Song

Christmas Through Irish Eyes and Song
My ancestors came here from Ireland during the potato famine. They weren’t alone. Millions like them fanned across the country, replicating their spirit and traditions in places like Cincinnati, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Boston. And of course, Chicago. Tucked in their hearts, they carried Irish stories and music. Wrapped them together to remind them of... Read more »