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Personal Notes

My Bestest Friend

by Toiny Westberry 8 January 2014
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At the end of 3rd grade, we moved to America.  To California, to be precise.  Before that I had spend only 6 months in America, and I knew little-to-no English.  My memories of those first months are all visual. I wonder if that is what my kids remember from our first year in Germany? I did […]

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Weihnachts Circus

by Toiny Westberry 21 December 2013
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Last week, while I was still sulking over our friends PCS’ing (Permanent Change of Station) back to the states, a new friend (Tricia) called & asked if we wanted to go to the Weihnachts Circus with them.  It was sponsored by the local big box furniture store, and only €2 each.  I need a pick-me-up and the […]

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Almost

by Toiny Westberry 7 December 2013
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Today is much better.  I can breath again, and tell random strangers “I’m okay” without bursting into tears, turning me into a liar.  Our friends made it back stateside, after an extra long day of travel, safe & sound.  Even their puppy made it, United Airlines treated her with extra care & love.  It is […]

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Today I hate the Military

by Toiny Westberry 4 December 2013
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This morning, at 2:00 am, I stood on my quiet, dark street enshrouded in a heavy layer of fog.  I watched our best friends load up the rental car, program the GPS and drive away till the tail lights faded from view.  That was it.  It’s over.  Three years of friendship, laughter, tears, inside jokes […]

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Naturally Beautiful

by Toiny Westberry 30 October 2013

Remember last week?  When I was complaining about gorgeous trees & totally-uncooperating kids (Fall Family Picture Day)?  We had another stunningly beautiful day over the weekend.  I tried again, this time with Tess & her best friend.  I could complain again, but this time it would be that almost every single one of the 300+ images […]

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Fall Family Picture Day

by Toiny Westberry 23 October 2013
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I frequently get little notes from readers, friends, colleagues; “Wow! I love that picture!” or “Great picture today!” Like most moms, I take a LOT of pictures. Like most moms, I keep my fingers & toes crossed there is one good one in the bunch.  Sometimes, no matter how many pictures I snapped, or how […]

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My Oma

by Toiny Westberry 9 October 2013
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Every time I see my Oma again, I burst into tears.  I steel myself before. I tell myself to be brave. I tell myself to be strong, none of it works.  I see her and I melt. It is just love.  It is my guilt at being so far. It is my sadness at how […]

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Zwiebelkuchen

by Toiny Westberry 21 September 2013
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Exploring our town one day, we ran into the Mayor.  An ebullient, extroverted kind of guy.  After half an hour of talking, I found myself drafted into the town choir.  Hysterical because I can’t carry a tune. I can’t even carry a note!  Since then I’ve gone to several Tuesday night practices.  Everyone tolerates me, […]

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Tess’ First Day

by Toiny Westberry 11 September 2013
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Yesterday is a blur. It was Tess’ first day in secondary school.  Unlike American school with elementary, middle & high school, German schools have Grundschule (elementary school) and secondary school.  There are 3-4 different types of secondary schools, and honestly I’m still learning the difference between each.  Tess started the Realschule, the middle-of-the road school […]

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Pièces de Monnaie

by Toiny Westberry 4 September 2013

Road trips in Europe are not the same as in the states. There’s the obvious differences, new languages, new monies (not all countries in Europe are using the Euro.  See: Chufs), new customs, and there’s the not-so-obvious. We’d done our homework, and we knew to expect toll roads.  What we didn’t know is how different […]

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