An Ode to the Crowbar

An Ode to the Crowbar image

A do-it-yourself adventure

By Geri Dreiling

"Sledgehammer? Check. Crowbar? Check. It would be either me or the tool shed. Vegas bookies were reportedly taking bets on my demolition project. Odds favored the tool shed."

That was the declaration of war against the tool shed that I posted -- just like any other modern nation launching an attack – on social media. In this instance, I used my personal Facebook page as the platform.  Once former high school classmates, friends, work friends, relatives and the parents of my children’s friend had seen my declaration, I knew I had to see it through. Continue reading...

 
Roman aqueduct at Segovia

A Roman aqueduct and a cream-colored cathedral

By Geri Dreiling

March 2011

As I sat at an outdoor café table near an imposing first century Roman aqueduct enjoying fat, fleshy Manzanilla olives and a bottle of sparkling water, I blurted out for the umpteenth time: “This is like a movie!” My travel companions and guides – E and his parents – smiled politely, yet again, at what was becoming my rather unimaginative catchphrase for the visit.

We were in Segovia, a city about an hour northeast of Madrid. It was Sunday morning and the last day of my whirlwind tour. We’d set out by car for the city which is also the capital of a province by the same name -- situated in the Castile and León region of Spain. As we made our way to the destination, a stream of questions and comments about everything I saw flowed out of me like a blathering five-year old. Continue reading...

 

Chainsaw Therapy

Original garden ornamental

Sometimes power tools are a girl’s best friend

By Geri Dreiling

It is said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. I beg to differ. In my experience, nothing beats a chainsaw. Fire one up – or in my power-tools-with-training-wheels example – plug it into an outlet and push a button. Then you’ll discover the joy that comes with wielding a tree-chopping, debris-clearing weapon.

My crush on the chainsaw really took off this past summer. Divorcing when your kids are teens triggers an early onset of empty nest syndrome. They spend half of their time with their father. And when they are with me, they’re headed off to the mall, out with friends, to jobs and to sporting activities in their own cars. In other words, they’re moving forward in their lives – as they should. Continue reading...

 

Arriving in Madrid

Arriving at the Eurostars Madrid Tower Hotel

Stubborn vanity, nagging doubt and a glorious Eurostars Tower

March 2011

By Geri Dreiling

In retrospect, I should have known that my visit to Spain would be an adventure. After all, the journey that led me to the Iberian Peninsula started with an Atlantic Ocean-sized leap of faith.

It was my very first visit to Europe and the first time I met the man who had become a dear friend over the course of a long distance work relationship. I had known E, a Madrid native, for a year and a half. Over the course of those many months, he became a trusted business resource. He sprinkled warm, witty observations in his emails that managed to coax my often tightly pursed lips into the upward curve of a smile. When we Skyped, he offered words of encouragement in work – and in life. Continue reading...

 

An Unfinished Story

An Unfinished Story image

Plot twists, dark roads and happy travels

By Geri Dreiling

I love plot surprises. An unexpected twist allows me to see a character from an entirely different perspective. Sudden new revelations can make me look at a story in a completely different way. Anyone who has watched The Crying Game, Sixth Sense or even The Empire Strikes Back knows what I mean.

But plot twists in real life aren’t always so pleasant. Unexpected events can threaten our dreams and dash our happy endings. In those moments, we are faced with confronting a present that was not what we expected and a future much different than what we had originally planned. In those moments, we must re-write our life’s script and redefine what a happy ending means. Continue reading...