Bittersweet feelings overwhelm me as my two week visit in Louisiana has come to and end.  Sad to say good bye to my family.  Sad my visits with friends were brief.  Even sadder there are so many friends I didn’t get a chance to see.  BUT…I’m off to the Florida Keys to meet up with G and excited to see him.  Excited about trying to catch my own lobster this year, not just an assist. And excited about a whole week of fresh seafood eats, mmmmm!

Coming home is nostalgic candy with that unavoidable trek down Memory Lane.  Some flashbacks are icky like licorice, while others are as sweet as pixie sticks.  This trip was full of pixie sticks, family, and special friends…

College Roomies

The Hubbies

NOLA Roomie

NOLA/NYC Friends

Little Man!

Ballet Buddy

Mini Me is all about shin guards, not leotards 😦

Baby Shower for Sorority "lil sis"

My Nanay’s Playground

The days are still going strong with triple digit temperatures in Bossier City, but that doesn’t stop my nanay (‘mother’ in tagalog) from tending to her garden and making sure the hummingbirds have fresh food.  The heat has taken its toll on the withering plants and flowers, but a few of them are fighters and sprout a veggie or flower here and there. With a chance of rain for tonight/tomorrow, I am —for once— doing the proactive rain dance.  Not just for the plants, but for all of humanity in north Louisiana.

In between rain dance sessions, I manged to squeeze in some shutterbug time and capture some scenes from my nanay’s playground.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I have this past week.

Patience paid off to catch this little guy

This one was a bit easier


One of mom’s favorite spots to sit and enjoy the scenery


A bit too much sun, but hanging in there


Adding a touch of Dutch


My niece helps with the “harvest”

Ampalaya, a Philippino veggie

One man’s heat wave is another man’s cold spell

In The Netherlands, a heat wave is defined as 5 consecutive days where the maximum temperature exceeds 77 °F (25 °C) given at least 3 of those days exceeds 86 °F (30 °C).  I  know, some of you in the U. S. South would give up your first-born for temperatures like this right now.  During my first summer in Amsterdam, we had a heat wave in early July. With no air conditioning in the house (which is not unusual), it was my biggest adjustment next to learning how to bike in the snow while toting groceries.   Little did I know this “heat wave” with no A/C would be cake compared to what was ahead in August.

In the States, the definition of a heat wave is less defined as I discovered (i) a heat wave is where the temp is 90 °F (32 °C) or above for three consecutive days, (ii) a heat wave is an extended period of temperatures considered extremely high for a particular area, and (iii) a heat wave occurs when temperatures hover some 10° F above normal for several days and are accompanied by high humidity.

In Louisiana, at this very moment, I am experiencing something beyond a heat wave.  Either my pilot had a little too much Mary Jane before departing ole A’dam and flew me to the Equator (or possibly the surface of the sun), or I am in some kind of pseudo-inferno-purgatory serving penance for the amazing 8 months I have had in Europe with G. When I left Amsterdam on Friday, I was enjoying lovely temperatures in the upper 60’s.  Sixteen hours of travel later, I am welcomed by triple digits…as if 16 hours of travel wasn’t enough.  The “lows” at night don’t even come near to the highs in Amsterdam right now.   Three days later, my body is still in shock and I wonder how I survived for 25 years in Louisiana before fleeing north.  I am also amazed by the number of people trekking around town in jeans!!!  Heaven help them if they pass out from heat stroke.  I’d be sporting a bikini for my daily wear if not for the ridiculous amount of food I recently inhaled in Spain.

Despite the weather man mocks me with a week-long forecast of triple digits, it is good to be home.  It is wonderful to see my family and I am looking forward to seeing more family and friends over the next few weeks.  I will savor the sunny (albeit scorching) days ahead as the overcast rainy A’dam days are not far off when I return.

The heat is on!