A Tie, Some Scissors, and a Bank

How on earth does that go together? I’ll tell you, and it just happened today to me for the first time. I mean, it’s not everyday you walk into a bank and a total stranger offers you his tie and a pair of scissors to add to the chunks happily cut out by various females behind the counter and elsewhere.

At this point in time, you are probably as confused as I was when I watched the teller take scissors to a perfectly good tie while attached to the gentleman in the business suit. And they were conversing as if this was perfectly usual! My curious sideways glances invited me in on what was happening however: as I finished my own much more boring transaction, the man walked up to me and offered some scissors to participate in this fun, destructive act. He then explained that this childish cutting is part of a German tradition on the first day of a commonly celebrated holiday: Fasching. Here’s a little video so you can get a small picture of the events going on over the next week around here:

While this particular holiday may not make it to a permanent location on our family calendar, it’s always fun to see different celebrations from another culture. Encyclopedia Britannica has a nice little blip on the history of events: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/202177/Fasching.

As a military spouse, I cherish these impromptu events in my life. It’s unplanned, unexpected, and sometimes utterly necessary. The fun and humor in getting to experience diverse cultural events, especially when they come at me in funny forms like chopped-up menswear, balance out all the challenges that come with trying to learn a new language, figuring out where to buy groceries, and overcoming the other various challenges with being stationed overseas.

A brief and humorous event in the life of a military wife living overseas

conversation between my mother and I on Facebook
oh bother….I’m on the stupid Skype phone trying to
get thru to the nm dmv so I can renew my driver’s license.
Just got an email saying the pelisse will no longer be lenient
with expired licenses and will be hauling people off to jail
and impounding their car. no exagerating. mine expired nov ’14
 at least I have my arizona license still that’s good until 2048 –
 but it’s got my maiden name so I think I’ll bring that
around with me including my marriage certificate

oh no but that would be difficult for them to do long distance!!
I guess I can do it online, but I went to fill in the info and it tells
me I have some outstanding citation in another state so I have to call.
not happy

outstanding citation!! wow.. you are in trouble with the LAW!!
going on 9 minutes on hold –
wasting Skype money and listening to the same
irritating line of music and being told that mvd online
has no wait time….well I’d use it if i could!!!
I know!!! I’m either wanted in the states or
chancing going to a german prison!!!! ah!!!!!!!

oh no… you have not been praying for a new ministry have you… like a woman’s prison ministry…

man, no, but I think I’ll stop digging into
info on persecution. this is tough enough
now I’m stressing that I will be on hold so long
it’ll use up my minutes before someone even
answers the dang line!!!!!

im sorry
I’m able to get an email and fill it out she
shows nothing that says I have a citation

there you go!!
did you see my status? hee hee
(we take a short break from this conversation to allow the reader to see 'my status'):
  • “did you know that many mvd transactions are now available online? just go to http://www.mvd.newmexico.gov…that is IF you don’t have some bogus citation in some un-named state stopping you from getting your license renewed…and are now sitting on a stupid iPad via Skype listening to the same line of awful music and the same ‘helpful’ information for the past 10 minutes. this is fun. this is me hoping to get my license renewed via phone??? I hope. since the alternative is apparently chancing getting hauled to German prison by some police who decides to stop me for not wearing my seatbelt only to find out my license expired and makes my overseas license invalid…I mean, I always wear my seatbelt…er”

    Kathryn Jaramillo  yuck! Hope you get it straightened out!
    29 mins · Unlike · 1
  • Melissa Solecki Yes! I was able to renew mine over the phone and they emailed me a temporay license. WAY better than taking 5 kids to the MVD. Here’s hoping you don’t get hauled off to prison!!!!
    27 mins · Edited · Unlike · 1
  • Melissa Roland yeah, a trip 14 or so hours on a plane with 2 kids would be no fun either. but after being on hold 18 minutes the nice lady has a special military spouse form she’s emailing me. sigh of relief right here
    26 mins · Like · 4
  • Melissa Roland oh geez….with 6 attachments. well, I was going to go to bed; guess not for a while
    24 mins · Like · 1
  • Melanie Lynn Kertley and she wants it in triplicate!
    22 mins · Unlike · 1
  • Melissa Roland oh I am SOOO happy right now. after looking at the different attachments: they want my name signed in blood with two witnesses taking a video, a complete physical done by a real doctor with notes and notarizations, an autograph from all of my husband’s commanding officers….well that might be a little exaggerated, but nonetheless, I was discouraged. THEN I tried the website again: badaboom! online app done and license in the mail! phew!
    and now, back to our previous snooping of conversation....

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The Day I Went Out in My ‘Nightgown’

So I’ve been home from Germany for a few days now to help take care of my grandma. It has been rewarding, contemplative, bittersweet, nostalgic, and fun. Yup, I think that describes it well. But I will definitely emphasize the fun. My 95 year old grandmother still knows how to laugh, how to have a good time, and how to give her grand-daughter a hard time. Which is great, because then it gives me material to write about, hee hee.

Yesterday, my mom and I took my grandma out for Chinese food. She loves Chinese – and since she was having a good day, it was a day to celebrate. My kids were spending the day with my in-laws, so it was just us ‘girls.’ We got all dressed up to have a nice lunch together. But when I came out in my version of all dressed up, my grandma only had one thing to say: 

What are you doing going out in your nighty?? I don’t know if I want to go out with you, with no clothes on!

Oh, it was so funny 🙂 I made some silly excuse for my modern fashion and said I’d spent too much time in Europe; they dress funny over there (No, I was not about to have a long conversation about the evolution of women’s clothes and what people actually do wear out in public and that I was actually dressed very decently in comparison to some outfits that dare go out in ‘public’ – but grandma, true to form, made sure she said something about it every 30 minutes. Which was fine by me, she’s a funny lady. She even told our waitress at the Chinese restaurant that she didn’t really ‘know’ this person across the table that decided to go out in their underwear. I just came along and there was nothing she could do about it (hmm, true on quite a few levels!)

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We had so much fun and so many laughs. But the icing on the cake was when we were in the mall after lunch. After walking around a little and even seeing more ‘nightgowns’ for public wear that I joked about with grandma which one she might want so she could go out in her underwear too, an employee from JC Penny stopped us and said to me:

I have a dress in my closet just like that, and I have been wondering how to wear it. You look so cute!

My mom was laughing so hard as my grandma just stared with her jaw dropped as me and this lady discussed briefly the different shoes, leggings, and what not to add to this attire.


  I know I don’t have much more time with this lovely lady. So we are making memories and enjoying life and laughs day by day for now. Honestly, I’ve never sat around just talking and hanging out so much in a long time; and going out in a nightgown was a first 😉 Every joke, every hug, every smile will be stored up in my memory bank to keep me company when I miss her in the years to come. And now, when I decide to go out in public in my nightgown, I can smile and think of her.

me at mall

The second lesson learned, ha ha

Or – what NOT to do when you are going to have a birthday party…in your back yard.

I told you all I’d fill you in on the mess story. Well here it is:

telephone conversation, Friday at noon:

Me: “Love, I’m going to mow the lawn, but I want it a little shorter than you did it last week.”

My husband: “Okay, if you just do it how I did though, you don’t have to put the catcher on. But if you go shorter, you’ll have to attach the bag and catch the grass.”

Lawn mowed. Decision? shorter. Method? bagless. Result?


later that day….

My husband: “What happened? I thought I told you if you did it shorter, you’ll have to use the bag.”

Me: “oops…well, I used the bag the last 3 rows, does that count?”

30 minutes later – I’m raking up grass. 24 hours later – there is grass in the yard, grass on the kids, grass on my floor, grass in the kitchen…. you get the picture 🙂

But the cool part about this, remember how I said in the birthday story that I asked God to help me not be upset with the mess? Well, I didn’t get upset at all. But I did learn a valuable lesson.

If you’re going to cut your yard-y, don’t do it the day before a party.

Or….details in directions can be life saving….


Or…actually listen to your husband (I didn’t want to admit that one)

Down the Drain

So, a very sad event happened this evening. I’m not quite over it yet: I accidentally poured perfectly good espresso down the drain!!! 

I almost shed tears…

I know there’s probably a lesson in this, but I don’t see it yet. The horror of wasted italian espresso is still searing my thoughts. I could smell it as it swiftly filtered down the pipes. But none reached my lips. 

Hmm. there is a lesson here: goodness only seen and smelled but not experienced will do nothing for you.

Or – remember to reserve the leftover espresso from your cafeteria before it’s too late.