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Image Credit: 118010914 © Alexey Poprotskiy | Dreamstime.com

I have this bad habit of internalizing stress. Last year I got shingles after dislocating my shoulder. I had acute abdominal pain I swore was cancer. (All the tests came back fine). When I’ve had a lot of stress, my immune system takes a hit, and I end up with blisters on my eye. Sexy, right? This is the image I don’t usually share on my blog.

These psychosomatic issues make me feel like I’m crazy. It is literally my body tearing itself apart over worries in my head. I’ve been listening to the audiobook “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk, and it scares the shit out of me. …

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Too much stress. Too little sleep. This is me breaking together.

,Ich breche zusammen’ is one of the first German phrases to confuse the hell out of me. “Break” was clear, but to add the word “together” made no sense. How can one “break together?” Of course, that was my B1 level self literally translating, which as we all know, should not be attempted. In reality the phrase can mean to “break down” or “fall apart.”

Und dieser Woche, ich brach zusammen.

And this week I broke down.

The events of the past ten days have left me feeling as if I’ve been run over by a train.

My thoughts are jumbled this morning, like when you wake up and try to piece together a disturbing dream, so I’m going to write as the pieces of this story come to me. …

How to make a house into a home

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Grandpa and Grandma L

I am 47 and am lucky to have two dynamic grandmas. One is a social butterfly; the other prefers to stay at home (even before COVID came along). Grandma O tends her garden and Grandma L tends her menagerie. Both are active; both are widows; and most importantly, both know what makes a house a home. Grandma O and Grandma L still live in the houses they’ve had since before I was born; and when I visit, each place feels like home.

Each was (and continues to be) a safe place for me. Each makes me feel loved and accepted, no matter what phase of life I am going through. For decades I’ve felt I didn’t have this talent of homebuilding. What is it about these places that makes them so inviting? It’s not even the years of happy memories I have in each of my grandmas’ houses: it’s something more; something I’ve felt lacking in my own attempts. …


Keri Lewis

American expat in Germany, formerly conservative homeschool mom now navigating widowhood; runner, writer, Crossfitter, trying to figure **it out

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