24 September 2005

Warsaw Autumn

While I was in Seattle, I found out the Seattle Chamber Players had been invited to perform at a music festival in Warsaw, so of course I had to go! I took the 3 hour train ride from Poznan to Warsaw, met a friend at the Koneser vodka distillery, and enjoyed a great concert of contemporary chamber music. Granted, a distillery is kind of an odd place for classical music, but the acoustics were surprisingly good. It was really a treat to see a Seattle group in Poland, and made me even more determined to subscribe to the Poznan Philharmonic this year. As soon as I figure out how.

It's officially fall/autumn/insert your chosen name of the season here. The mornings are definitely chilly - we're into single digit temperatures. This is the time of year when I wonder why I chose Poland, when there are so many warmer countries in the world. I will continue to wonder until spring. If anyone has any ideas, please share them with me - I'm looking for ways to appreciate the coming winter. So if anyone can be Pollyanna about temperatures well below freezing and 5 hours of daylight, I'm anxious to hear from you.

P.S. Can you believe it, I FINALLY figured out how to add links! So be sure to check them out!

18 September 2005

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Now that I'm back in Poland, I'm starting to reflect on my summer "vacation" and how non-vacationy most of it was. Let's see:

I rushed home on 12 hours notice so I could see my mom before she underwent triple bypass surgery. I spent a month at my parents' house in the middle of nowhere, helping said mom through recovery.

The day after Mom's surgery, Grandma went back into the hospital with her 2nd stroke in 3 weeks. It was the same hospital Mom was in, so at least visiting was easy.

Then came the actual vacation part, I spent a week in San Francisco & another week in New Orleans, visiting friends & seeing parts of my home country I had not yet appreciated. I even made plans to return to New Orleans for some data collection for my thesis.

I trekked back to the Seattle area, put in some hours at my former job, saw more friends, but wasn't feeling exactly perky.

I went to my great uncle's funeral. He lived to 100, so it wasn't really a tragedy, but funerals aren't generally the most fun you can have on a vacation.

Still not feeling great, I crashed out at the parents' again. On Sunday, Mom put in a call to 911 - for me. Wait, isn't she supposed to be the sick one? Monday we spent the day in the local ER, and I got some nice drugs. The following Monday, we spent another day in the local ER, this time for the allergic reaction I had to the nice drugs.

Due to my illnesses, I cancelled my trip to New Orleans. Six days later, everyone else cancelled their trips to New Orleans, and the people who really needed to get their asses there were on vacation.

Finally, I spent a frantic week collecting the research data I should have been gathering all summer, and winged my way back to Poland.

I have to say, there were a few more positive events interspersed with the negatives, namely a trip to Wild Waves with the nephews, lots of visits with family & friends, and plenty of cheddar cheese. And everyone's much more healthy than they were at the beginning of the summer - with the possible exception of the great uncle, but again, the man was 100 years old.

So that was my summer vacation, hope yours was less eventful!