Fünfundfünfzig and a Smile

Hof home of fünfundfünfzig smiles

The quaint town of Hof

In the mid-eighties, my dad traveled to Germany for a business trip. With a daughter living in Germany, he was determined to immerse himself in the culture and interact with Europeans every chance he got.

He was like a child in a candy shop. Everything was new and exciting. If he ordered something he didn’t like in a restaurant, he’d grin and pull out his little notebook, quickly jotting down the new word he learned. Now he knew what not to order. Sore feet? A great opportunity to buy some of those famous German stabile Schuhe. (Stable shoes) (more…)

Anywhere Is – Part I: The Bear and the Madrona Tree

Flamenco PaintingThe middle-aged woman with the raccoon mascara sidles closer. Dragging from a slender cigarette, she mentions casually that she was the inspiration for Gretchen. “You know,” she says with a dusky voice that pierces the smoke in this place, “…James Michener?” She says she likes the way I play the piano before remarking on my accent. “You’re American.”

I counter that I’m Canadian.

“Oh, you sound like an American.” (more…)