Children of the Forest – the Waldkindergarten

P1080989As we tucked evergreen branches away from our faces, stepped over pools of mud, and climbed the steep embankment by the creek, I didn’t know what to expect.  When the forest cleared slightly, it appeared we had stumbled upon a well-organized homeless camp, or, from the looks of the handcrafted objects hanging from the trees, a site for practicing traditional religion or witchcraft.  However, this was certainly not the case.  This was the German forest kindergarten – waldkindergarten.

 

Notably absent at the site was plastic.  There were plenty of manufactured items – cooking pots, buckets, tin cans, fabric teepee, etc.  But no plastic, much less plastic toys.

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P1080991The young daughter of our American hosts had attended a waldkindergarten and was eager to tell us about all the activities.  Everything is conducted outdoors.  Simple, wholesome and cheap, I thought, instantly romanticizing the concept.  My kids would love this!  Children as young as three-years-old will learn – after demonstrating the proper safety techniques – to whittle sticks with sharp knives, saw wood, create outdoor structures with hammer and nails and, in winter, probably even learn to make an igloo.  Waldkindergarten is one of the public school offerings in Germany for children who have yet to start grade school.  So many questions arose as we explored the “school” with our children.

Where do they go potty?  A board is placed on two stones.  At their leisure, the kids squat on the board and do their business with their hineys hanging off the side.  The board is moved frequently so no place attracts a stench.  No question is too personal for a kindergartener, so I asked “How do you wipe?”  She shrugged and ran off into the woods.

No question is too personal for a kindergartener, so I asked “How do you wipe?”  She shrugged and ran off into the woods.

What about the cold winters and rain?  Don’t they get cold?  This is the clincher.  Waldkindergarten is expensive because your kid has to be dressed in the proper, appropriate, top-of the line gear to stay warm and dry.  Galoshes, rubber pants, heavy down coat, the works.  Fifteen dollar (or Euro) gloves won’t keep your kid’s hands warm in the winter.  You’ll probably have to opt for the $50 pair.  Just a fair warning.

Speaking of cold, don’t they get sick being in the cold all the time in winter?  Quite the contrary.  Germs can’t survive in the cold either.  And with a regular washing of rain, bad germs are kept at bay. Statistically, the waldkindergartners are sick less frequently than kids who go to the more traditional schools.

Waldkindergarten sounded like a great idea to me.  My kids could play outside all day AND learn important developmental skills AND it’s called school?  Then my friend clarified.  It’s not all day.  It’s only a half day.  BUT, after a half day of waldkindergarten, most kids take a long nap.  Win-win!

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Wikipedia has plenty of information on waldkindergarten, if you want to know how it will make your kids healthier, stronger, smarter, less prone to injuries (because they know how to be safe and do risk assessment), less stressed, more agile and balanced and overall more successful in life financially, emotionally, relationally. . .  Okay, that last bit is a slight exaggeration, though the literature on the subject might lead you to believe otherwise.

The Five Highlights of Lisbon – a child’s perspective

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It was easy to get the girls, ages five and three, excited for a five-day trip to Portugal to visit friends and be with daddy on a work trip. “Hey kids, we’re going to visit Portugal!”  Blank stares.  “We’re going to eat lots of pastries and go to playgrounds!” Much cheering and excitement.  Then it was up to us to come through on our promise, which was not at all a problem during our time in the Lisbon area.  True, some of these highlights are also relevant to other cities, regions and countries.  But for a kid, that doesn’t matter.

Here are my five must-do’s with small children in Lisbon:

P10806381.  Eat a PASTRY every day.  Portuguese pastries aren’t like French or German pastries.  They’re better. And you won’t find them in your bakeries at home. Every morning we walked across the street from our Airbnb apartment and took a seat at the small pastelaria – a Portuguese pastry café.  Locals came in for a quick bite to eat and a draught of eye-wateringly strong coffee before heading to work.  Our children expectantly pressed their faces and hands against the glass display and had their choice of a treat each day.  Of course, we didn’t just go in the mornings.  Each afternoon we made it our mission to find coffee and a pastry, not a very challenging goal in a city known for its high coffee and pastry standards.  Every day since we have left Portugal, Lil’ Peanut (3) has been asking to go back and get a pastry across the street from our “hotel” in Portugal.

P10807812.  PENA PALACE in Sintra.  Never heard of it?  Most haven’t, but I think it is more splendid than Germany’s Neuschwanstein and the tour has more interior interest to a child than France’s Versailles (save, perhaps, Versaille’s Hall of Mirrors, in a league of its own).  Built on the top of a mountain with views to the Atlantic Ocean and an older Moorish castle on an adjacent peak, the vibrant colors, Moorish tiles, detailed sculpture work and completely furnished interior are a delight.  My photos hardly do it credit.  For the children, this palace far surpassed any Disney imitation.

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In one of the first rooms, the children were so excited to spot a faun, who we quickly dubbed Mr. Tumnus from C.S. Lewis’ Narnia.

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The view from the palace wall of the nearby castle.

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3.  The vast urban PRAIA – beach.   Unlike many of Europe’s beaches, the beaches around Lisbon are comprised of sand, not pebbles and stone (like Nice, France; Croatia; etc).  Parking at the beaches is cheap or free at this most popular destination for locals and tourists alike.  The Lisbon area boasts seven Blue Flag beaches, one of which I spent a day at with the children.  Good thing we were there in May.  Later in the summer, visitors from around the globe flock to the urban beaches unique to a European capital.

Photo courtesy of A.F. Freitas.

Photo courtesy of A.F. Freitas.

4.  Chase the PIGEONS.  My oldest loves to chase pigeons.  My husband and I can relax on a bench while all the kids burn energy chasing these European avian staples.  Give us a platz, piazza, praça or town square any day and we’ll be happy campers.  Regular readers of willtravelwithkids may remember our excursion in Lyon, France last September, where we had an eye-opening experience concerning the behavior and practices of pigeons.  What we discovered – primarly, that they are cannibalistic and known to eat vomit that contains remains of ice cream cones – has not deterred Lil’ P from enjoying the pigeons everywhere we go.

5.  In the spirit of the Portuguese explorers, discover a new PLAYGROUND every day.  New city, new playgrounds.  Different continent, different playground equipment – and different laws about what is considered “safe.”  It’s not a stretch say not one of the playgrounds we visited in Portugal (or Germany, for that matter) would be allowed in the United States.  Many of the playgrounds were relatively new, yet still contained metal slides, moving parts where small fingers can get caught, random water features that create a slipping hazard, non-rubber-covered chains and ropes that beg to be used around a child’s neck.  Am I complaining?  NO!  My children, along with all the other local children, had a blast playing while parents, grandparents or nannies watched them with due diligence.  My children learned new physical skills utilizing equipment they had not been exposed to before.  On vacation, one does not always need to run around seeing the sites.  Sometimes, a playground (with a pastry in hand) is all we need to experience local culture and make new friends.

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Germany – The first day in Anywhere

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We have a routine the first day.  Whether it’s a cross-country move or international relocation, the first day sets the tone.  After struggling through a night of jet lag, unfamiliar beds and feeling our way to the kitchen for a stomach-in-the-wrong-time-zone induced snack, at some point in the morning everyone is finally awake.  Some semblance of breakfast is optimal.  Coffee is a must.  Then we do it. We take a walk.

It can be a few blocks or a mile.  We need the fresh air.  We need sunlight.  We need our eyes to adjust and become accustomed to seeing unfamiliar sites and faces.  Our ears need to be comfortable hearing languages we don’t understand.  And, in some cases, we need to become comfortable with people staring at the obvious foreigner. We need to get out of the house.  If we stay indoors, it becomes easier to easier to never go outside.  Inside is comfortable.  Outside is unknown.

 Inside is comfortable.  Outside is unknown.

There’s no day like the first day to become familiar with the unfamiliar.

We are fortunate in that our first stop was Germany.  We could pass for Germans, thus, aside from the occassional high-pitched English whine from our three-year-old, no one gives us a second look.  And, perhaps more so than any country on earth, Germany is designed for walking – wandering, as the Germans call it.  Thousands of miles of paved walking paths crisscross the countryside, villages and cities, beckoning us outdoors, no matter the clime.  Germany makes it easy.  This is where I have to remind myself it won’t always be easy.  Our next stop may not have paved paths through blooming fields of canola.  We may not look like the locals and, quite the contrary, we may look woefully out of place.  But that’s okay.  Things will normalize. Things will become familiar. The first step to normalization after any transition is getting out the door.

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The ‘lasts’ and the life of transition

Transition begins long before the goodbyes have been said and the suitcases packed.  There are ‘lasts’ for weeks before the departure date – last playdate, last meal at a favorite restaurant, the last Sunday at church, the last iceskating lesson, the last time at the library. . .  I don’t emphasize those ‘lasts’ to my children.  I keep a mental tally, but don’t remind them in the final days that this will be the last.  I know it is only the last for this season, but not necessarily the last for a lifetime.

The transition for me began when I went through my children’s copious amounts of artwork – colorings, drawings, cuttings, paper puppets.  They spend hours every day creating things.  I can’t keep them all.  Some get repurposed as stationary.  Others get mailed to friends or relatives. Some get stored in that special box for posterity.  Other pieces find themselves in the trash bin.  This is when I know we are moving – I can no longer hold on to every piece of my child’s creations, crafted during the season we lived in this particular location.  At our next locale which, in this case, is Romania, my children will have different experiences to draw upon, different inputs.  Their creations will be unique to this new season of life.  Just as I quietly lament the passing of the season, I eagerly anticipate the season to come.

This transition will be long.  In fact, with no firm housing arrangements, we may not have a permanent home for months.  Before we arrive in Romania we will be in Portugal, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.  This is a season of travel, but more pointedly, a season of transition.  And I am reminded that whether we feel it or not, everyone of us is always in transition – babies are born, children are growing and changing sleep patterns, we change grades in school, friends move, jobs change.  The unsettled feeling of transition is the feeling of life.  It is the longing for our eternal home, the only place where there will be no uncertainty, no transition, and no instability.  In the meantime, while we wait for that glorious moment to come to fruition, we will live the life that is transition.  Join us for the ride!

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One of our ‘lasts,’ for a season – the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in spring:

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Why Airbnb? (Part II)

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We took the plunge and listed our house on Airbnb.  Want to know why and how it impacted our lifestyle?  Here are reasons number three and four.  If you missed reasons one and two, read Part I.

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3.  I bought scented laundry detergent (and other upgrades).  If I learned anything from going to a university with co-ed dorms, I learned that it’s not clean unless it smells clean.  If I walked into a guy’s room and he claimed he had ‘just cleaned it up’, it still seemed dirty if it smelled like a locker room. With this collegiate experience in mind, I bit the bullet and scrapped my for-sensitive-skin-unscented-earth-friendly-organic-free-range detergent for one that could care less about sensitive skin, but sure smelled like a spring morning.  Now my sheets, instead of smelling like, well, sheets, smell like the breeze across a field of wildflowers.  They smell clean.  We don’t have sensitive skin anyway.  I hope my guests don’t.

Along with the no-cost upgrade of scented detergent, after a year of living in our house I finally put up my living room curtains.  To be clear, I do care about privacy, but our living room faces the neighbor’s house. They are hardly ever home – and it’s not as if we walk around in our underwear.  But after further consideration, I realized I can’t guarantee our Airbnb guests won’t walk around in their underwear.  For the sake of the neighbors, I put up curtains.

And I bought waterproof mattress covers.  I bought them because I want my guests to feel free to leisurely sip a cup of tea in bed while watching the morning rays touch the tops of the trees out the window, perhaps daydreaming about a life where servants à la Downton Abbey bring you breakfast in bed.  If tea spills, the mattress won’t get a stain.  And if a toddler with leaky pull-ups ends up sleeping in that particular bed, the mattress is still saved.  And other stains. . .  Well, waterproof mattress covers are just a good idea in general

4.  We joined a community that believes in the worth of hospitality (and trust). I didn’t make a meal and fix a single cup of coffee, but I made sure everything was there, available for their use.  Who wants to make a grocery store run for coffee creamer ten minutes after you arrive (or be forced to go out for coffee first thing in the morning)?  No one.  The first time we stayed in someone’s home through Airbnb (in France, by the way), the fridge was stocked with butter, eggs and cream for coffee.  It was a lifesaver the following morning.  I intend to pay that forward.  Does a hotel do that for you (all included in the minimal fee)?

This is not a bash on hotels.  We stay in hotels too.  We stayed in one last month, actually – a chain with which we get lots of points. This chain always has a swimming pool, which our kids love.  However, hotels are businesses under the thin guise of hospitality.  (To be completely honest, some Airbnb establishments are also run as businesses and don’t necessarily qualify as staying in someone’s personal home.) When a stranger opens their home and trusts you not to use their deodorant stashed in a drawer, not to steal a dress from the closet and not to run off with the silverware, that’s true hospitality.  And if that trust is violated, those people lose the privilege of participating with this international community of travelers who value the cultural experience (and price) of staying in someone’s home. (And the host can then call upon Airbnb’s insurance policy to recoup any damages).

Photo courtesy of www.mountvernon.org

Photo courtesy of http://www.mountvernon.org

I am reminded of the stories of travelers throughout history who, while on long journeys, relied on guestrooms, small inns and the extra bed of a stranger.  Even after his presidency, George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home was a regular overnight stopping place for people traveling in the region, whether they were acquainted with the family or not.  The technology is new and the method of payment quite modern (and the Airbnb owners are making a killing charging a small fee for each booking), but this type of hospitality is as old as the camel caravan.

As they browse bookshelves, observe the contents of your pantry, and notice family photos on the wall, guests become intimately acquainted with you, though you may never actually meet in person.  To those accustomed to the comfort of nondescript photo montages and prepackaged hotel coffee, this might be considered an unwelcome intrusion.  But if you’re ready to experience authenticity, cultural diversity and a home while traveling abroad, Airbnb might be just what you’re looking for.

Why Airbnb? (Part I)

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On my first epic European road trip, which took three friends and I a couple weeks to drive through eleven countries from Denmark to Greece, there was no Airbnb.  In Sarajevo, we pulled up to the local tourist hut and a friendly guy behind the counter pulled out a binder, stuffed with papers inside plastic sleeves.  Each paper contained photos, a map and contact information of a local willing to rent out their home for a night or two.  For the price of a large pizza in the United States, we selected a home a few blocks up the hill from the river. The guy at the tourist bureau picked up the telephone and called to see if the grandma, whose home we had selected, could make her house available.  She could. He gave us the key and, in the short while it took us to drive up the narrow alley, the grandma had tidied up the place and moved in with her family in the apartment downstairs.

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia.  Photo taken during referenced trip.

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. Photo taken during referenced trip.

A week or so later found us in Ohrid, Macedonia, with no place to stay.  I’m sure hotels were to be found, but, driving down the main street, the man on the bicycle got to us first.  Sobe?  Room?  Yes, please!  He motioned us to follow as we drove a few blocks into a residential area and up to a new construction home, paid for, we later learned, by the man’s son who had immigrated to the United States.  Guestrooms were on the bottom floor with a shared bathroom.  It was perfect.

This was the land of ‘no chain hotels.’  Where there were hotels, the quality, cultural exposure, cleanliness and price did not even compare to the comfort of a local’s guest room.  A decade later, and frequently accompanied by our small children, arriving late in the afternoon with no plans or leads for a place to stay would be laughably absurd.  We need to plan ahead for accommodations, beyond a single hotel room if possible.  It’s not fun to share a single room with a snoring preschooler and a toddler who grinds her teeth in the middle of the night. A separate sleeping room is ideal.  In fact, a working kitchen, a couch and two bedrooms are ideal.  This type of family-friendly accommodation is what we find frequently on Airbnb– often at a fraction of the cost of the hotel room down the street. For example, on a recent work trip to Bucharest, Romania, my husband booked an Airbnb apartment for one night. Some apartments were listed in the residential building adjacent to our favorite chain hotel, but for one eighth the price.

For those reasons, we have become Airbnb regulars.

But, we’ve taken it one step further.  We listed our house on Airbnb.

For two weekends last month we vacated our house and let near perfect strangers sleep in our beds.  And my friends keep asking: How was it?  How did it go?  Why Airbnb?  Everyone’s curious to hear about our experience.  Here’s my answer.

1.  I became highly motivated to clean my house.  

If you are a visiting family member or friend, I will gladly give you clean linens, likely vacuum the floor of the guest room and perhaps even wipe down the toilet.  But if you’re an Airbnb guest, my reputation is on the line!  The last thing I want is for you to leave a public comment that says the shower drain was covered in hair.  Ew!  I will declutter the closet shelves and leave extra hangers for your use.  I will dust under the piano, right where the dust looks a mile high when the low afternoon sun highlights everything on the floor.  My stovetop will be pristine, because clumps of dried oatmeal are disgusting.  And all three of my toilets will most certainly be spotless.   It’s a lot of work, but it has an upside I did not originally consider – my spring cleaning is done.

Spring cleaning isn’t usually on my agenda, but for the sake of my guest/strangers, it absolutely had to be done.  When they vacated, all I had to do was clean the linens.  One guest commented that my house was her dream home.  When I returned to my clean, comfortable home after a weekend away, I was reminded that this house, still in pristine condition, is my dream home too.

2.  The website makes it as painless as possible.  

I set my price.  I can approve or disapprove any requests.  By checking boxes, the amenities we offer (free parking, wifi, washer/dryer/etc.) are visible to any prospective guest. I block out any dates my house is not available, so I am not bothered with requests when I don’t want someone to stay.  I can review people’s profile information and, if I don’t think they have shared enough information about themselves, I tell them so.  Hey, it looks like you’re new to Airbnb and no one has reviewed you before.  Tell me about yourself.  Without fail, they have responded with too much information (TMI), but in a good way.  They set me at ease.  If they didn’t, I could simply press the ‘disapprove’ button.

All the financial dealings are online.  As soon as a guest books a room, Airbnb takes the money from the guest’s credit card and holds it.  The day after the guest checks in, the money moves to my account.  If the guest cancels (in accordance with a cancellation policy that I choose), Airbnb takes care of the money moving.  And to make sure it’s all above board and legal, Airbnb sends me a tax form at the end of the year accounting for the money I’ve made.

Colonial Place, Norfolk, Virginia – One of our city’s quiet neighborhoods

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A short article I wrote was published in our neighborhood newsletter this month.  There are many things I appreciate about my neighborhood – easy water access with groomed walkways, historic homes, economic diversity and family friendliness.  One highlight of Colonial Place and its sister neighborhood of Riverview is that they are quiet urban enclaves, free from most industrial noisemaking that permeates this city.  I posted the article below and included the relevant graphic, which was unable to be published in the hard copy newsletter.*

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Last summer I stood in the shade of tall pine trees, gently pushing my daughter in the swing, the heat nearly bearable in the enclave of quiet solitude. I glanced at the homes across the street, stately manors with seemingly more character than my own home. Neighborhood envy began to set in. Why didn’t we look for a house in this neighborhood? Before my thought was complete, an aircraft from Chambers Field at Norfolk Naval Base cruised over our heads. Oh, good thing we didn’t buy a house in this neighborhood!

All the neighborhoods in Norfolk hold a unique charm and allure. I don’t begrudge any resident of this city for choosing to live where they live. But I have truly come to appreciate Colonial Place for its historic character and quietness. When visiting friends around town I notice train horns loud enough to wake a napping baby. I’ve been told of ship horns that wake up some Ghent residents in the early hours of the morning. I only hear these sounds, off in the distance, during my waking hours. They are a comfort, signs of the presence of humanity, a bustling economy, progress, urban life – all things I find attractive and would expect in the city. But also things I don’t want to keep me up at night or to interrupt my spring nap on the grass in the backyard.

Trains, planes, automobiles, (and ships) – noisemakers absolutely essential to our coveted way of life. I also add semi-trucks to that list, which we don’t hear in our neighborhood but are staples in areas along local transit routes like Hampton Boulevard.   Drawing upon my personal experience, anecdotal information from friends who hear these noises in their neighborhoods, and the Air Installations Compatible Zones Use Study for Norfolk Naval Base (2009), I overlaid noise zones from trucks, trains, ships and aircraft and confirmed my hypothesis – Colonial Place is one of the few enclaves of solitude in a bustling city.

Aside from noise, residents are also concerned about schools, crime and environmental degradation. We have the power to change and influence those things, as the recent announcement about the improved quality of the river has shown. But the waterways, railroad tracks and major boulevards of the city won’t move any time soon.   Fortunately, the noise they facilitate isn’t something we have to worry about in our pacific peninsula.

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Legend:

  • Orange – aircraft noise
  • Blue – ship noise/horns
  • Gray – train noise/horns
  • Green – large truck noise, heavy traffic

* I do not claim this chart stands up to rigorous academic scrutiny. But I did enjoy doing the research, overlaying maps and coloring, while my kids worked right beside me on their own map projects. 

Norfolk, not the one in England (Part II)

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P1050560Spring – the time of year I’m reminded what a pleasure it is to live in a climate with four seasons.  I don’t always live in a four-seasons climate.  Deserts, sub-tropical and tropical climates have their beauty, but not the kind I see out my front door every spring (pictured at left).  The crepe myrtle is a Norfolk treasure.  These trees line the streets in my neighborhood, giving us breathtaking beauty several months of the year.

Whether walking the streets of my neighborhood, biking a pathway in Ghent, or strolling through the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, I’m always surprised by the vignettes of nature that pop up in the urban landscape – whatever the season.

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Colorful magnolia leaves adorn a wreath in autumn.

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Crepes myrtles in winter.

 

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P1080012 P1080017If you missed Part I of this series, you can read it here.

Cinderella – an unexpected lesson

Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios

My mother-in-law and I took my five and three-year-old to see Cinderella.  After reading reviews and checking with friends who had seen it, I decided it was suitable.  Honestly, the romance, charm, character development, theatrical costumes, sweeping soundtrack, superb acting (think Downton Abbey) and fitting simplicity of the story line will be grossly under-appreciated by most young children (including my own).  It contains the expected themes – love, forgiveness, kindness, courage.  But in one moment of brief suspense, when the stepmother was exhibiting her verbal cruelty to Cinderella, my five-year-old asked a question that prompted an answer that I’ve been deeply pondering every since.

She was sitting on my lap, her muscles tense.  “Mommy, what’s going to happen?”

“Sweety,” I whispered with a smile.  “I don’t know what the stepmother will do, but we already know how the story will end!”

Everyone who watches already knows how the story will end.

We all knew how the story would end.  Everyone who watches already knows how it will end.  I could tolerate the stepmother’s icy glares because I knew she would not prevail.  More importantly, I knew Cinderella’s story would come to a glorious end, an end that was just the beginning.

“What happens to Cinderella in the end?”  I pursued the issue while the stepmother ranted at Cinderella.  Lil’ P relaxed and grinned.  “She gets married.”  From that point on, she had no further concerns.  She knew how it would end.

This deep truth is one I did not expect to grab my attention during a ‘live action’ Cinderella.  Hope.  Once she found hope and believed the film would end as promised, it shaped my daughter’s perspective on the entire film.  How much more so is this true of where we place our hope in life.

Jesus is the “better hope, through which we draw near to God.”  For those who follow Jesus, this hope is a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”* You know where this hope leads you.  You know where the story ends – no more pain, no injustice, no more sorrow – and a great wedding feast with the Prince of Peace.  This is the perspective that gives us the hope to endure the present and persevere to the end.  This is the perspective my daughter is beginning to understand.

*excerpts from Hebrews 6

 

Norfolk, not the one in England (Part I)

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Early on in the history of willtravelwithkids, I checked the WordPress subject database for current blogs on Norfolk, Virginia.  Norfolk, England kept popping up, with nary a notable mention of the newer city of Norfolk across the Atlantic.  Norfolk, England looks lovely, but that’s not where I live.  I live, for at least a few more weeks, in the gloriously gritty, diverse, urban, historic, East Coast of the United States, somewhat in “The South,” city of Norfolk, Virginia.  It is certainly worthy of a spot in the WordPress Norfolk blogroll.

In my ideal world, I can take pictures of whoever I want, whenever I want.  Walking down the streets I snap pics of cheery school children, a man on the curb eating a burger, a group of businessmen on a park bench, the barista at my favorite coffee shop. . .  But I don’t feel comfortable asking strangers if I can take their photo ‘”for my blog.”  So, I stuck to urban scapes made by man.

Architecture reflects the glory of its creator, but pales in comparison to human faces, which reflect the greater glory of their Creator.  Norfolk architecture, however, is still something to be greatly admired.  This small offering of photos doesn’t nearly encompass the vast collection of post-Revolutionary War, antebellum, early 20th century and art deco structures that pervade the city.  It’s just a taste.

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Norfolk is a port city, a transportation hub, a tumult of industrial activity 24/7.  These rarely-frequented-by-the-average-resident areas hold a singular beauty.  They deserve attention, so I’ve posted some photos of those ‘less attractive’ areas below.

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Part II of this series will feature natural beauty, of which there is plenty in Norfolk, Virginia (and in Norfolk, England as well, I’m sure).

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