Coping with a winter lockdown through my camera lens

Documenting your own backyard as a method towards mindfulness

When lockdown version 1.0 launched last March, there was so much we all didn’t know. How quickly everyone maneuvered and managed new distanced learning dictates and the people who could, set up their personal spaces to continue working from home. Since my office was already at home, I shifted my computer to afford the best places for the students. In fact, we have become experts at hot-desking in our house.

Continue reading “Coping with a winter lockdown through my camera lens”

It Will be Good Again | Det Bliver Godt Igen

Denmark Begins the Second Phase of Reopening
SECONDARY SCHOOL KIDS RETURN, RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS CAN OPEN

Hej from here. That’s Danish for Hi. Sounds a lot like… “hi.” At least to an American. Even after living in Denmark for over five and a half years with my family. Last week, I was contacted and interviewed by a prominent American news source wanting insight as to why we didn’t consider returning to the States during this ever-evolving worldwide pandemic crisis. Simple answer? We live here. In Denmark. We have jobs here and our kids go to school. Here. But in reflection, it was more than that. Do you want to know? Why? Did we decide to stay? First a little timeline of what’s gone down. Over here. In Denmark. Continue reading “It Will be Good Again | Det Bliver Godt Igen”

When Extraordinary Situations Strike in a Life Lived Abroad

Don’t Underestimate the Emotional Quotient of Feeling Far Far Away
AND ALSO | PLEASE DON’T JUDGE MY RESPONSE

We live in Copenhagen. For the last five years. And last night, the Prime Minister of Denmark announced that the country would go on lockdown, in an effort to mitigate the spread of the novel Coronavirus COVID19. Schools and universities and daycares would close. Public sector employees would be sent home (with pay.) Cultural institutions should shutter. People were recommended to work from home. Indoor gatherings of 100+ participants to be banned. This is serious stuff. Not since World War II has the little Scandinavian nation of Denmark recommended such a lockdown. Continue reading “When Extraordinary Situations Strike in a Life Lived Abroad”

How One Little Word Can Mean So Much When You Live Around the World

Sometimes it’s the simplest of interactions that make the most impact
SAYING SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR IN DANISH

Ses!” 

Walking away from our middle son’s most recent football match, we were passed by some of his teammates heading home from the game by bicycle. Because it’s Denmark. It’s how you do. As they rode past, each called out, “Ses Q!” See you. A small head nod or raise of the hand with his reply, “Ses.”

See you. It’s such a simple phrase. Ses. Spoken between boys. But the sentiment behind it? So very powerful. Especially for an expatriate. Or an immigrant. Or a migrant. Whatever you want to call me. It’s powerful. For me. For him. For us. Choosing a life lived across borders. Calling Denmark home. Continue reading “How One Little Word Can Mean So Much When You Live Around the World”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from this American Mutt

I am going to go full American on you for a minute. Or two. Bear with me. But it’s Saint Patrick’s Day today. And with 32.3 million¹ self-proclaimed Irish-Americans, myself included, it’s a fun day to do so. That’s 1 in 10 Americans people. But wait. Isn’t St. Patrick’s Day Irish? Like from IRELAND. Yes. Yes. It is. Did you see what I did there? Claimed it for my own? Pretty American eh? Hang on. Don’t be offended yet. Let me explain. I have learned a few things living abroad.

Growing up, Saint Patrick’s Day was a pretty big deal in our family.  My given name is Erin Kathleen. Kind of Irish. My brother is Michael Shannon and my other brother is Colin Patrick. We had an Irish Setter named “Paddy” growing up. And as cliche, groan-worthy, or just downright confusing as it may sound to actual Irish people, every year on March 17th my mom made corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and a side of green jello salad. I now know how Irish-American that meal is. Especially the lime jello. There was nothing grown from the earth in that “salad,” just saying. My own children made leprechaun traps at school and my sister-in-law puts green food coloring in the toilet as “evidence” of their sneaky appearance overnight. Think of it as the “Elf on the Shelf” of March. Thanks, Pinterest. March 17th is a big day. To us Irish-Americans. “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” Continue reading “Happy St. Patrick’s Day from this American Mutt”