Europe

Hey, are you still there? It’s been too long. I got stuck in a rut, trading time for money. Not that the time was entirely wasted, because staying put for two years made it possible to turn some casual acquaintances into really great friendships. But, tired from the daily grind, it became all to easy to slip back into the habit of acquiring stuff in lieu of living a fulfilling life. Stuff has it’s uses, and gives you options for doing things, but options are only useful if you exercise them.

The impending four-day 2013 Labor Day weekend holiday led to ‘Ina and me asking one another “just how far can we go on a non-stop flight?” The answer was “Amsterdam Schiphol airport,” so off we went. We were dazzled by the bicycles, the beautiful old canal houses from the 1600’s, the restaurants, the all-inclusive road infrastructure (sidewalk, curb, bicycle path, curb, car lane, curb, bus/tram transit lanes, curb, car lane, curb, bicycle path, curb, sidewalk), the breweries, and oh, did I mention all the bicycles? Before the trip was half-over we were asking ourselves how we could stay, or at least move back. Incredibly enough, I found a company willing to move us, and our stuff, to Amsterdam.

That was the good part. The bad part: four months of living with one of the worst winters I can remember in a lifetime of living in Minnesota, and having to play secret-agent with my former employer, lest they get their panties in a bunch over my departure at my whim, not theirs.

You’ll notice the conspicuous silence. Writer’s block is a horrible thing.

Labor Day weekend 2014 just came and went. The city: Amsterdam. The weather: somewhat more moderate. Pay is low, prices are high. The job keeps finding special little European ways to disappoint. It feels like I’m going nowhere, fast, and mostly alone again.

Fortunately, epic is a state of mind.

So, what do you have when everything is up in the air, and nothing is going your way? Infinite possibilities, if you know where to look. And the best way to do something… shh… is to just do it.

I’ll let future historians comment on the value of trading editing for content. Next time remind me to tell you about bicycling in Scotland.

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