All posts tagged: autumn

Pre-Holidays, Inspiration Trumps Isolation

It’s happening. Fall-themed merchandise is now on clearance, making plenty of room on the shelves for Christmas stuff. Some things aren’t so different from America after all. I’m definitely somber about the absence of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. Ever since college, the anticipation for Thanksgiving has always paired naturally with the nip in the air, ochre and auburn tones, hearty stews, and a longing for family. But the gaping hole in November on the Austrian calendar is sending me in a tailspin. Without the lockstep cadence of Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas, I’m feeling disoriented. Dear Christmas, hold your horses. Especially because I won’t be with my family in America on Thanksgiving. I know you’re waiting in the wings for your faaaaabulous entrance, and you’ll get it, I promise. I’m just asking for some time to defend myself against an inevitable bout of homesickness. Thanks. If you’ve ever been away from your loved ones during the holidays, you know how much the distance strengthens your love and connection to them, and how acutely it intensifies the loneliness and the guilt. …

Hiking the Kaskögerlweg

Autumn has definitely arrived in this part of the world, and it’s the perfect time of year to be outdoors. Juergen and I recently spent a gorgeous afternoon hiking the Kaskögerlweg, an 11 km trail in Styria’s Vulkanland just east the village of Poppendorf. It was a family outing that included his parents, uncle, cousin, her partner, and their darling one-year-old who enjoyed the hike from the luxury of his stroller. The young family only intended to walk a small portion, but in true Austrian fashion (i.e. the daytime version of “I’ll stay for one beer”), time was forgotten among good company and they stayed with us the entire way. The three-hour trail was not strenuous but considering some narrow climbs and a few slippery footbridges, it wasn’t exactly stroller friendly. We must’ve looked like a caravan of pioneers heading west with our little wagon. Through woods, fields, and vineyards, I noted the abundance of green that was still holding on. In the last few kilometers, we climbed uphill through rows of apple trees on …