Re-entry

Hello from America. We’ve had eleven days to re-adjust, re-decorate and re-dedicate ourselves to our old lives.

Starting to re-paint the house Dragonfly style. Andreas picked out the purple paint.
Starting to re-paint the house Dragonfly style. Andreas picked out the purple paint.

On the flight home we shared our row with a friar or monk (whatever you call the dudes in the long brown robes with rope belts) a talker, originally from South Jersey. He’s stationed in Jericho now and was coming home for a holiday at the shore. I caught up on a few movies that I hadn’t seen while we were in Germany on the plane. When we landed in Philadelphia, a half hour late, we were told that the computers in customs were down. Two hours later we happily greeted Andreas’ sister who patiently waited three hours to pick us up.

My in-laws watched our house for us using our place as a base while they build a new home. So, not only was the house clean and ready to live in when we arrived, but we had groceries and good company.

The first things we noticed in Delaware were the sounds of insects at night and the blood thirsty mosquitoes. Even though it’s hot we open the windows to hear the insects through the night and the birds in the morning. In Bremerhaven we heard drunks, sirens and seagulls. I’ll miss the seagulls.

Back to my weekly Sunday walk with friend Terri around the University of Delaware campus. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
Back to my weekly Sunday walk with friend Terri around the University of Delaware campus. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
Our local farmer's market isn't as grand as the market in Bremerhaven, but my friends are there and I can ask for what I'd like and be understood so I'm happy. Andreas doesn't want to go yet. He misses the German market.
Our local farmer’s market isn’t as grand as the market in Bremerhaven, but my friends are there and I can ask for what I’d like and be understood so I’m happy. Andreas doesn’t want to go yet. He misses the German market.

During our first couple of days back we manically cleaned, re-organized and unpacked. Andreas spent three days in the garden untangling and cutting back a years’ worth of overgrowth.

This area was overgrown, the rose bush was on the ground and there was an apple tree. Andreas removed the weeds, the tree and unearthed a forgotten flower bed in one day in 90 degree heat. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
This area was a mini jungle, the rose bush was on the ground and there was an apple tree. Andreas removed the weeds, the tree and unearthed a forgotten flower bed in one day in 90 degree heat. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

He also spent some time editing and cleaning his office at work which hasn’t changed much in twenty years. Even though we felt tired and jet lagged, the excitement of being back and the desire to do the things we dreamed about in Germany overcame it.

No wheels for me this week. I hope it's fixed soon. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
No wheels for me this week. I hope it’s fixed soon. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

My car wasn’t running well after sitting for a year, so I had it towed to the mechanics. Even though I’m home I haven’t had a car to run errands. That’s frustrating, but I think it helped me to stay focused on submitting a grant proposal before it’s deadline, and to unpack the studio prepare it for commissions and classes.

The art studio is unpacked, cleaned up and ready for new art to be made. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
The art studio is unpacked, cleaned up and ready for new art to be made. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

We had our kitchen remodeled when we were overseas. It turned out great and it’s been fun to unpack and thin out our combined kitchen utensils and gadgets. It’s so much brighter than the old kitchen!

The kitchen before photo. Dark, brown and outdated.
The kitchen before photo. Dark, brown and outdated.
The kitchen after photo. Much brighter! Thanks to Linda and Matt DelPizzo. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
The kitchen after photo. Much brighter! Thanks to Linda and Matt DelPizzo. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Oh, and I turned 50 a few days ago and had an awesome dinner out with a few friends. It was wonderful to understand the conversations at the table, to understand the waitress and to be able to read everything on the menu. Also, super great to see my friends. I kept staring at my friend Sherri. I couldn’t believe she was actually sitting there in person, not just a video on the phone!

This seems ridiculous. Fifty?! how did that happen?
This seems ridiculous. Fifty?! how did that happen?

I miss our apartment in Germany a little bit because it became so familiar. All in all, though I am very happy to be HOME!

 

Married Backwards

Our first morning back in America and we're awake at 4:00 am making pancakes. So happy to be home. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
Our first morning back in America and we’re awake at 4:00 am making pancakes. So happy to be home. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Andreas and I chose to get married halfway through our year-long honeymoon/sabbatical in Germany. Two weeks ago, we flew home to America to see friends, to go through a huge pile of mail, and to reinforce our dislike of suburban car culture. Oh, and we got married too.

Andreas with his wedding present in front of my Art Car. Driving after 5 months was fun, but I quickly became tired of traffic and parking lots. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
Andreas with his wedding present in front of my Art Car. Driving after 5 months was fun, but I quickly became tired of traffic and parking lots. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum

Saturday night came the wedding reception. We had a potluck party at our home with friends and family. It was great to catch up with everyone. We did not expect to be able to see our friends until well into next year, so this was truly fun and special.

We almost forgot the obligatory cutting the cake photo. Lucky for us Caryn baked a cake.
We almost forgot the obligatory cutting the cake photo. Lucky for us Caryn baked a cake.
My wonderful work friends. Love these women! Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
My wonderful work friends. Love these women! Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
It's not a wedding without flowers. How great to have flowers in the house in the wintertime. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
It’s not a wedding without flowers. How great to have flowers in the house in the wintertime. Photo by Dragonfly Leathrum
This photo is special to me because it shows how wonderful and caring my friends are. Other friends helped the party run smoothly as well. We're lucky to have such great friends.
This photo is special to me because it shows how wonderful and caring my friends are. Other friends helped the party run smoothly as well. We’re lucky to have such great friends.

Sunday afternoon my Uncle George officiated our wedding. This was a small affair with eleven people in our living room in front of the fire.

Andreas, Uncle George and Dragonfly. Photo by Glenn Davies Photography
Andreas, Uncle George and Dragonfly. Photo by Glenn Davies Photography

We toasted to our commitment to love and cherish with fancy champagne gifted from friends. This was not planned, because we received the champagne the night before. Half our guest had toasts prepared and delivered them while we stood in a circle with our glasses. I love this memory and recommend small weddings. We then moved on to a local restaurant. With so few people we conversed easily and fully enjoyed the experience.

Lots of kisses for the bride. Left to right: Sherri,Matron of Honor, us and Uncle George and Christina, Best Woman. Photo by Glenn Davies Photography
Lots of kisses for the bride. Left to right: Sherri, Matron of Honor, us and Uncle George and Christina, Best Woman. Photo by Glenn Davies Photography
Michael, Sherri, Dragonfly, Andreas, Christina and George. Photo by Glenn Davies Photography
Michael, Sherri, Dragonfly, Andreas, Christina and George. Photo by Glenn Davies Photography

Next year, our jeweler friend Caryn Hetherston will deliver the rings she is handcrafting to Germany when she visits and, perhaps, Andreas will propose. Ha ha

This was waiting for Andreas when he returned to work at AWI in Bremerhaven. He works with some awesome people. Photo by Andreas Muenchow
This was waiting for Andreas when he returned to work at AWI in Bremerhaven. He works with some awesome people. Photo by Andreas Muenchow