Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Berlin Winter Blues

I have taught English here in Berlin to students from all over the world. A few times I even had some students from Siberia. A native Californian, I've always had a winter phobia that stretches back to when "winter" meant two months of some rain and a few days under 40 degrees. In the Bay Area, scarves and hats and gloves are fashion accessories rather than means of survival....Anyway, whenever I had a student from one of these far off, distant northern plains I always asked, with fear in my heart, "What is the Winter like there?" Invariably, they always answered, "Not as bad as it is here in Berlin!!" It's not that the days are very cold here compared to, say, Wisconsin. The problem is you never, ever see the sun. Gray day after gray day, the sky a ceiling of slate that feels like it's closing in on you. And though the temperature is far from as low as it would be in Siberia, there they have a dry cold whereas her it is a wet cold. The kind of cold that seeps into your bones. Nothing anyone likes, as you can see from a wan, drawn faces, but especially killer to someone who is from warmer lands. The problem is, I know it can be different. This winter has been especially hard. With two small children (one 20 months, the other 3 months)it is hard to even leave the house. Two snow suits, two sets of mittens, two sets of boots, one child screeching or, if I'm unlucky, two. Now more than ever my creative pursuits are a lifesaver. Not only have I been active "making stuff" I also try and add extra little touches for my own amusement. Like the two necklaces down below. To the one with the pink flower I added an angel prayer coin to the back, giving hope and watching over the wearer. To the other one I added a ten cents (Euro)coin. For those of you who don't know, the Euro is the shared currency of many countries, but the back of each coin is distinct to the country it is from (the fun of it is that the coins get mixed up after a while. It's always cool to see a different back and try and figure out where it is from.) The ten cent coin in Germany has a picture of the Brandenburg Gate on the back, which is what I have showing on the pendant for a bit of hidden local pride....Both of these necklaces will soon be posted in my etsy shop, Rose, red Rose which you can visit by clicking here


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