LOVE IS IN THE AIR

It is official: Our teenage son has a girl-friend! After weeks of speculation, casual remarks about her, several visits to her house and late night text-messaging I finally – officially – met Mystery Girl!

Good Lord, our son has taste! (He probably got that from his father…) She is gorgeous! Everything about her is long: her overall size, her hair and her legs! If this isn’t enough, she seems to be very nice, polite, fun, well brought up and well mannered! It seems to be too good to be true, but pretty and nice can go hand in hand together.

Here I am, home alone with our teenage son and his girl-friend. They went up to his room – and from then onwards, silence! What are they doing? Actually, I leave this to your imagination and mine! I did what (hopefully) every mother would have done: I avoided the upstairs – in fear of being accused to spy on them! Instead of sorting through our laundry upstairs I decided to spent a delightful afternoon on YouTube, searching for the songs which would bring back vivid memories of my first kiss, slow dance and the other innocent, but still slightly naughty things I did when I was a teenager!

What was I worried about? A stolen kiss? Or that little bit more? I don’t really know!  Our teenager is fully aware of the story with the bee and the flower (i.e. reproduction). He spent his first ten years in the Dutch school system. A system were they don’t shy away from graphic illustrations when it comes to sex education and STD.  This country has the lowest pregnancy rate among teenagers in all of Europe! Need I say more?  Honestly, I am pretty sure our son knows more about any of the dating do and don’ts than I ever knew. So if it’s not the S.. I was worried about what was it?

From now on I am the mother of a teenager who has a girl-friend! This is a new step into unknown territory for me!   Am I the only one or do you agree when I say, as a parent you have constantly new territories to conquer? On the other hand, this new job-description is another opportunity to shine as an “extra-ordinary” mother (e.g. don’t spy on them).

Finally, after I relived all my first time adventures, the laundry couldn’t wait any longer.  Hesitantly I went upstairs only to realize the couple wasn’t around after all!  At that moment I figured I had to avoid our den. But, I am only human and a woman and my curiosity got the better of me. I went downstairs.

I was prepared for hot flushes and embarrassed looks! But all I could hear was rapid gun fire (good decoy) and laughter. Here they are, in front of our TV screen:  The gorgeous girl-friend was kicking my son’s ass on the Xbox!

So much for my vivid imagination! When I was a teenager we didn’t have electronic devices! We had to entertain ourselves with different objects of desire…

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Childhood Memories, Nordseeinsel SYLT: Blessing or a Curse?

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This awesome picture is my Past

Dear Island, You are responsible for shaping my early childhood memories.

I blame you for setting a high standard for every other island I visit.

You are the reason why for example I prefer eating shrimp fresh from the boat and not at a fancy restaurant.

Subconsciously you make me compare every beach I walk on. Every other one is too hard, too dark, too muddy or has too many pebbles.

My mother is convinced your wonderful, healthy air is responsible for my overall good health (North Sea air contains a high amount of salt- which in turns equals healing power!)

This is not your fault – I should blame my parents for dragging me to you, year after year. But even now, as a “mature” woman the love affair continues. I left Germany over two decades ago, today I live in Vancouver, but the memories remain!

It has to stop, right here and now!

Believe me:  Nothing compares to you- nothing compares to these wonderful Nordtfriesen islands up in the top left hand corner of Germany.  The Friesen-style houses only look good on the islands; sunsets look spectacular when you watch them from your Strandkorb with a glass of cooled white wine in your hand.

Friesen House

You are the love of my life, always will be, but it’s time to give something else a chance to shine, to  be extra-ordinary!

The following is your lesson I have to learn from you:  If I want to fully appreciate the beauty of something else I have to stop comparing!   Sylt, you are not better, you are only different!

Sylt, I imagine we can form a harmonious partnership – but this may also be the reason why I never attempted to live with you! In my mind you are perfect- and I don’t want to be disappointed. I’d rather live with the illusion than be proven wrong by reality.

Instead of living with you permanently, I will enjoy you in short spurts whenever I return. And when I visit you it will be with another bottle of wine from “Gosch.”(The islands most popular fish and wine bar) It’s fun to watch the rich and beautiful (in Germany that is) strut their stuff.- Or shall I rephrase this: the many wanna – be rich and of average looks waddling past.  The idea of paying to walk along the beach is still unheard anywhere else in the world, but then, you have your reasons for charging us!

This was then, this is now:

Pender Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands, lining the coast of Vancouver.

Like the rest of Vancouver, Pender is understated. If Vancouver holds the trophy of one of the worst dressed city in the world, Pender Island needs an award for “Easy Going” and “Hippy Chic”!

These two islands are worlds apart – but oh so special in their own unique way!

On Sylt you are judged by the clothes you wear, the size of your wallet and the colour of your AMEX card.

On Pender you don’t show off, you are not here to shine with your new trophy wife – you come here to just be yourself!

Pender is a rough beauty, raggedness on an unprecedented level.

Nothing cries “chic” or “sophisticated” here. Nothing eludes arrogance. Everything is so nice and refreshingly normal on Pender. Let it be the local residents or the day visitors.  I have seen and tasted more organically produced fruit and veggies on Pender, I have noticed more hand produced – or – crafted items here than I have ever noticed on my childhood friend.

If Pender is the rare diamond found on water, then Sylt is the fine cut and polished sister. And I love them both!

Extra-Ordinary places are found around the world and yes, my heart is big enough to carry them all!