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What is the highest compliment you have ever received?  Mine arrived this year via email—from very far away. I have distant but beloved cousins in Germany. The cousin who stayed with my former husband and me for one semester of high school when he was 17, emailed to announce that for my Christmas/birthday present  his family had purchased a round-trip flight to Europe for me. They want my company during their annual ski holiday in Austria!

Mich und meine Familie!

Is that not the most amazing thing you’ve ever heard of? Well, I think it is. My German relatives are to me—well, they are my family. There may be some layers between our blood, but there is a tremendous bond through our genes (or jeans: inside joke there!) I’m the dumb, stumbling, overweight American who butchers the German language, but they overlook all my foibles and welcome me with warmth that melts my heart.

So what this means is that for most of the month of March, I will be preoccupied with life. I will be eating too well, drinking too much, desperately trying to keep up with my über-fit Germans, praying that I make it back down the mountain to the same lift where my Germans are waiting for me, dreaming in Pigeon-German, and wondering how I managed to get so darn lucky!

There will be no time for blogging, no time for journaling, only time for living. Please bear with me, faithful readers. I will return.