May 10, 2011
“If you want a happy ending, that depends on where you stop your story.”
~ Orson Welles
The boxes are packed, the friends have been hugged and the blog has been written. There is nothing left to do but take one last look at Newcastle and get on a plane.
Capturing the past 9 months in a blog is as impossible as putting time in a bottle. There have been plenty of tears, a million little laughs, and a ton of blessings. Sifting back through the pages of this blog will always bring back good memories of the Glenn Family: Year 1. But we have chosen a lifestyle where change is the only constant. Maybe one day, I will make peace with that.
Until then, you can all get ready for another wild ride with the Glenns as we go to Grenada. With the new geography comes a brand, spankin’ new blog. And I must say, I am very excited about this one.
will hold all the adventure and excitement we can bring you from Grenada. Set your calendars to look for the launch the week of June 21.
This story isn’t over any time soon.
May 7, 2011
Well, we did it. We have officially made it one year. Exactly 365 days ago, David and I were married for time and all eternity.
To celebrate, I made him eggs benedict, which was our first breakfast together as a married couple. I also made a mess.
Also, David’s favorite type of ice cream is Twix. But unfortunately, no one seems to sell it anymore. So I made us an ice cream cake with makeshift Twix ice cream in the middle. Please ignore the awful writing. It was made with love and the best of intentions. And it was delicious.
Happy anniversary David! I love you!
April 28, 2011
While I would love to tell you every little story about our Malta trip, my little blogging fingers have been worn down to little blogging nubs. So I will leave you with a few final pictures of the goofy, the odd and the mildly insane.
Me in the stocks in Mdina. Yes, I am a tourist. I had to.
These are Malta’s old, run down buses. I said a few prayers as they chugged uphill, and probably so did the driver. Luckily there was always a crucifix or Madonna at the front of every bus!
Once upon a time while managing a Curves for women, a girl named Sarah met a woman named Teresa. Teresa asked Sarah if she would like to go on a blind date with her son, who was back from college for the summer. Sarah politely declined. Years later, Sarah ended up marrying the guy. Curves was such a big part of my life for so long, I had to take a picture next to the one in Malta!
These eggs are illegal in the United States. For some odd reason, our border control thinks that chocolate eggs with toys in the middle might have … ahem … more than toys in the middle. Yes, these are about as contraband as Disney gets.
These rocks were first built into a temple in 2600 BC!
April 28, 2011
“And now, as Dawn rose from her couch beside Tithonus—harbinger of light alike to mortals and immortals—the gods met in council and with them, Zeus the lord of thunder, who is their king. Thereon Athena began to tell them of the many sufferings of Odysseus, for she pitied him away there in the house of the nymph Calypso.”
To the north of Malta lies a little island called Gozo with a little cove on its north side called Ramala. We were attracted by its tales of adventure and promise of beautiful beaches. So we hopped on a ferry and made our way over.
But we weren’t the first to be lured to this place. Legend has it that Odysseus was kept in Ramala against his will for seven years by the nymph Calypso.
While the epic Greek hero was shipwrecked on the island on a little wooden ship, we opted for a more secure option.
Cars, scooters and people piled onto this ferry en masse for the 25 minute ride over to Gozo.
From the harbor, we took a cab north to Ramala beach. As there was no way back other than by cab, the driver said he would return at 4 p.m. to pick us up meaning three hours on Calypso’s windy beach. The wind was so intense the sand whipped through our hair and into places we didn’t know sand could go. Despite the wind, the sun was shining and we splashed a little in the Mediterranean and both took a great nap on the very redish/orange beach – with shirts covering our heads to keep the sand out.
Later in the afternoon, we noticed a small cave at the top of a craggy little hill that framed the beach on the east. Of course we had to explore it – or at least try. You might be able to just see it at the top of the very first photo on this blog.
After clambering up lose, rocky hillside and gingerly sidestepping overgrown (and sharp!) noxious weeds, we found echoes of a culture long gone.
Huge rock walls lined little plots where farmers and fishermen formerly plied their trades. Woven bamboo fences protected crops from the Mediterranean winds and little huts on the now-overgrown hill protected the farmers and fishermen from the elements.
We never made it to the cave – the path was just too overgrown and we ran out of time. But maybe that is a good thing. You never know, Calypso might have been up there …
April 28, 2011
In the innermost portions of Malta lies a city within a city.
The view from the citadel:
Mdina (pronounced Mmm dina) is a fortress of winding narrow streets and a central castle built on a hill – the most defensible place on the island. It was built by the Phoenicians in BC AD, who realized that a little island needed a big way to protect itself and its people.
A strategic gateway between north Africa and the rest of Europe, Malta became the target of many little conquests. First it was the Romans, then the Normans, then the French. For hundreds of years somewhere in between these conquests, the island and its castle city were run by an order of the Knights of St. John, crusaders who kept the land in the name of the church for its strategic proximity to Jerusalem.
We were told that people used to gather within Mdina’s walls for protection when the country was under attack from the Turks.
It has been nicknamed the Silent City, probably because it lacks traffic and loud markets.
Today, about 236 people live in the Silent City. Despite the population, there isn’t a McDonalds to be found among the ancient archways and classical castle architecture.
April 27, 2011
On Easter Sunday, we were conspicuously missing from church. While 95 percent of Malta was at mass, we were in the depths of ancient catacombs.
St. Pauls Catacombs really don’t have anything to do with St. Paul – just misnamed because they thought it was connected to St. Paul’s Grotto.
They are a fascinating labyrinth of 3rd-century AD subterranean tombs and the earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta.
St. Paul’s Catacombs incorporates tombs for more than 1,000 bodies in 2,200 square meters. Not all of the site is open to the public, but from what we did see it was pretty impressive. I must apologize for the lack of pictures, as you are not allowed to take photos inside. The atmosphere and lighting are monitored by many little devices planted all around the tombs.
Dark, dank tunnels lined with body-sized basins of rock seemed to stretch forever. Tiny crevices carved into the sides of the walls were used to entomb children.
The bodies were cleaned with spices and sweet smelling herbs and oils before being wrapped in linnen and gently placed into a carved rock basin. Husband a wife were entombed side by side, imprints for their heads carved next to each other.
It was a little eerie being in a labyrinth where thousands had slept for thousands of years.
The entry to the tomb had been used as an underground church in the 13th Century for those trying to avoid persecution. In later years, some tombs were looted by grave robbers. However, with few small exceptions, the dead in the depths of the catacombs have lain in their tombs for more than a thousand years.
Easter Sunday, the tombs were empty, the subject of an archeological study that only began at the turn of the 21st Century.
It made me think of what Jesus’ tomb must have been like. After Easter Sunday, His was empty as well.