Tag Archives: weather

Euro18: and home

I woke on Friday morning to the iPad NOAA warning about extreme temperatures at Rienosslsgasse 3 in Vienna.

Fortunately, I was home in Saint Louis with moderate weather, but more humidity.

At some point my iPad will figure out that I’m in the USA. I certainly know that I am! Witness:

  • Iced tea!! I went for three weeks without it.
  • Taco Bell. I went for 3.5 weeks without it.
  • Airport staffs who are not multilingual (except in Spanish). Such a change from Europe.
  • Air-conditioning everywhere.
  • Cellular service everywhere without having to think of turning the phone on and off.
  • A fridge and a freezer. (Small fridge only, with no freezer, in Vienna.)
  • Loudness. Americans just talk so damn loudly.
  • Diet Pepsi! I went for 3.5 weeks without it.

But as my friend Alice said on Facebook last evening, she has little compassion for the slight frustrations, given what I was able to see and do. And I expect no boo-hoos for the cultural differences and the weariness because of the seeing and doing.

And DO I did.

The research grant proposed outcomes are essentially complete. The draft report is 75% there, with some details and nuance to ponder and finesse. In other words, I accomplished the stated goals. The grant outcome was successful. Now we move to implementation.

Along the way, I was a tourist nearly every day — in fact, save for last Sunday, every single day of the sojourn in Europe.

What did I not do? Well, I skipped the Salzburg and Venice/Dolomites excursions because I just was not feeling well. Summer allergies are, I’m told, quite severe in Vienna this year. I did not make it to all the art museums I would have wished, and since concert season was over, I attended only two musical performances.

What DID I do?

Enough art to keep me happy for months. Less-frequented locales such as the Snow Globe Museum, the Freud Museum, the Schnapps Museum, the Imperial Crypt, and the old Jewish cemetery at Zentral Friedhof. Anglican Church services in Florence and Vienna. Florence. Choral concert by a British choir at the British Embassy Church. A cruise on the Danube. Cooking class. Visited Mahler’s grave. Walked in the steps of Mozart and Beethoven and Schubert and Haydn and so many others. Melk Abbey. Heurigerabend. Organ recital at the Jesuit Church. Churches and parks and the Naschmarkt and gelato and beer and bubbly and schnitzel and . . . well, the whole five-senses experience indeed.

And I kept up with the daily office work. My email inbox is only marginally more crowded now than it was when I left, and no decisions have been punted to next week.

Now home for a few days, and with days off this weekend with few obligations, I can rest and recharge before the onslaught of the run-up to August 20 when contracts begin.

And I can love on Auggie, who apparently did indeed miss me.

Of all the pleasures of travel, returning home is the greatest joy.

Ice day

Webster Univ Alerts

All Webster University St. Louis-area campuses are closed Fri., Jan. 13 due to weather.


That message on Thursday around 4 p.m. found me at Schnuck’s, buying the usual provisions: eggs, tonic water, cheese, meat. (Friday menu includes chili.)

I stopped by Opera rehearsal to help figure out how to manage today’s canceled rehearsals.

And then I came home.  Auggie got a long walk, since he likely won’t be getting one for 48 hours in this weather.


Even though Webster is closed today, and we have no official school activities, I’m still jet-lagged and so was up at 5 a.m.

By 6.30 a.m., some homemade bread was in the oven.  And by 8 I had fixed homemade latkes.

Recipe:

  • one Russet potato, grated
  • 1/3 white onion, grated or minced
  • one egg
  • enough floor to thicken a bit
  • freshly cracked salt and pepper
  • a healthy dash of cayenne or a bit of chili sauce

This makes three healthy portions.  Fry in oil over medium heat until lovely brown and crispy on both sides.  Top with sour cream.



Now 9 a.m.  Texting with folks around the world.  Listening to the new Ennio Morricone album. Here’s a reminder:

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/504556507/504590536

The fireplace is on.  Auggie is being attentive.  And a pile of schoolwork beckons.

[And a 9.40 a.m. addendum — the back stoop is iced over already with just the little spittle of rain we’ve received.  Rain and 26 degrees = a mess.]

Snow

At 7.45 a.m., mild sleet.

At 8.30 a.m., snow.

Here’s the view from the choir room at church at 11 after the first service of the day (with two more to go):

Palm Sunday show.
Palm Sunday show.

Three days ago, the daffodils were ready to open.  I cut two of them after church today, so that they won’t freeze in the snow (although I think they’re pretty hardy).

IMG_4026 IMG_4013

Dear God

Dear God,

I bless you this day for the rain that is falling from the skies, and for the nurture that your nature provides this parched earth.  I thank you for the smell and scent of rain, for the dark of clouds, and the clap of thunder.  I truly do.

Now, would you please send Samson the Feist a chill pill?  This poor canine likes not the clap of thunder, or the sound of rainfall since thunder might also be attendant.

In any case, thank you!
Yours,

Jeff