Shambolic indeed, but things are starting to settle down

Ella up in the mountains with her prominent tongue

shambolic: Word of the Day from Dictionary.com https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/shambolic-2020-06-05/

I’ve been meaning to get back to the blog, and now’s as good a time as any.

Miriam’s mom passed last summer right after we had a scare and thought our 14-year-old Ella would die while we were in Italy.

The old girl couldn’t make it up the stairs and out of our little flat where Miriam had lived when we met. It’s actually a curious place that you enter by way of really steep steps, so we’ve gone back and forth on perhaps finding something more suitable for a small child.

Although we’d planned to be down there for the month of August last year, the turmoil of losing Oma Margarete and helping Opa Günter get settled into his new life meant we had to decide where we needed to be.

Alas, it wasn’t in Liguria as we’d hoped. We stayed home in Bavaria and went back and forth to Franconia as often as we could manage. Timing our trips to avoid the Stau (traffic jams) on the Autobahn towards Nuremberg, we were there for Miriam’s papa and it gave the baby lots of time to be surrounded by her remaining maternal grandparent and assorted extended family up there.

Then in October, we ultimately lost the dog. She’d been by my side pretty much constantly, aside from travel where I couldn’t take her, along with her brother, and if you know anything about me, those dogs had been a central part of my life for many seasons.

I’ve had dogs my whole life, and I’m thrilled Ella could be the progeny’s first dog. She was just the right amount of tolerant with a small child. When she’d had enough, she’d simply move away and wait for the next baby intrusion, which was bound to happen.

So there we were without Miriam’s mom and that dog I’d loved so madly. It was a rough 2019, but we were happy to have gotten through it with as much dignity as we could muster.

Back to the word shambolic. The change of year didn’t stop the life altering events, because in February we lost my mom. It certainly wasn’t unexpected, but even when you know its coming?

You never know how something’s going to affect you, and this was no different. The shambolic nature of our life just seemed to shift into a higher gear. It was almost surreal.

Now with a bit of distance from those shocking events, we’re starting to settle down again. We talk about Oma Martha all the time, and how she and the progeny’s other grandmother would love to see how this child is growing and learning.

The deeper grief starts to work its way through our systems, though. Miriam going through her mother’s winter coats a few days ago. Me packing up as much of my mom’s stuff as I could manage. It’s all just too much crap, which makes me now want to accumulate fewer things.

We grabbed what we could back in Texas, crammed it in our overweight bags and got on the plane grateful that we were allowed to go back home to Germany.

What next? Hopefully this year gets less shambolic, but the world outside and the drama surrounding how people deal with this Covid19 virus seems to have other plans.

Perhaps because I’m my mother’s son, I’m always looking for the best in difficult situations. It has been nice to stay home, work online and reassess the things that matter.

Shambolic or not, I’m hoping we keep finding the silver lining in the dark clouds swirling round us and everybody.

Here’s a photo of the progeny and one of my mom’s best friends Kaye’s cat Fred:

Hope you’re all making the best of these weird times. I’ll certainly keep writing about our adventures here. Hope to see some of you along the way. Virtually or face-to-face, whichever the case may be.

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