EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009


MotherhoodImage via Wikipedia

One of the sayings that my mother always pounded into my head as I was growing up was, "If all of your

friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?" She had many more like, "You have champagne taste and a beer pocketbook," which meant nothing to me as a young teenager other than I wasn't going to be able to get whatever it was that I was begging her for in the department store. She was a colorful communicator, yet she often resorted to popular phrases when she had an important point to make. She didn't always have to use them. She had the unique ability to create her own sayings to make illustrate or teach us a lesson.

For example, when the twins were very active and very small, they would race around the house. It was at times like these that she would yell, "Do you two always have to go racing around the house like mad-ass ducks?" For years we kids wondered what a "mad-ass duck" looked like

The one phrase that I hated was, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." To a teenager this meant one of two things:

  • You are hanging out with your friends too much and I need you here to help with the chores.

  • That boyfriend of yours is bad news, get rid of him.

It wasn't until the 19th century that the phrase began to be used more widely, with Thomas Haynes Bayly's (1797-1839) song Isle of Beauty, published posthumously in 1850:
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder, Isle of Beauty, Fare thee well!"

I hated that saying and I just knew that whenever she spoke it, something bad was to follow. How could staying away from a person you like to be around be a good thing? How could you be around them too much? Would being around them too often make them not want to be with you anymore? It was all too confusing and all too elusive for a young girl to conceive.

Through the years I have experienced the wisdom of this common saying, but not in the way that my mother had intended. When applied to a place, rather than a person, it becomes unbelievably clear to me. When I am in Munich, I so much want to be back home in the states. Now that I'm here in the states, I really want to return to Munich. It's such a contradiction!

What is it about not being somewhere that makes you long for it even when you're perfectly content where you are? I am so longing for the German simplicity of life. All I had to do there was decide was what time I wanted to exercise, go to town to do shopping, get a manicure or pedicure, work on my German, see friends, or play. Yet, when I was in Germany and doing these very things, I longed to be back in Ohio where I could see my dear friends, visit my beautiful grandchildren, visit our extended family, and catch up with some unfinished business back in the states.

Now, I absolutely know that I won't be back in Munich for less than 24 hours and I'll be wishing I was right back here...... where all of my loved ones are. But, I have to be truthful, with Germany comes a lot of "me" time and "us" time that equally fulfills me and strengthens our marriage.

I now believe that absence does make the heart grow fonder.... I do miss Munich.

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