Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why Another Blog?

Blog: n. a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.

The High Bridge in St. Paul
I have lived most of my life within a few miles of the greatest river in North America: The Mississippi. When I was young I canoed and water-skied in its waters. I hiked its shores and explored its caves. I watched steamboats filled with people and barges filled with grain make their way down the river from St. Paul. I dreamed of being Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer.

The Mississippi near Grand Rapids, MN
For the past fourteen years I have lived two hundred miles north of St. Paul. Here the mighty Mississippi is little more than a large stream. These years have been filled with the sounds of the wilderness. We see eagles and deer almost daily. Bears and wolves are less frequent, but still a reminder that we live in untamed country. The silence of the wilderness is broken by the wind in the trees, the call of the loon, and the haunting howl of the wolf.

The Rhine River near Strasbourg, France
Our lives are about to take a dramatic turn. In a few months my wife and I will move 4500 miles to Strasbourg, France. We will live near the Rhine River, one of the great European rivers. Starting high in the Alps, the Rhine flows over 750 miles through cities such as Basel, Switzerland, Worms and Cologne in Germany, before finally ending in the North Sea.

My boyhood home of St. Paul traces its origins to the building of Fort Snelling at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers in 1819. My new home city of Strasbourg traces its origins to the building of a fort at the confluence of the Ill and the Rhine Rivers...in 12 BC! My boyhood home has a cathedral that was built about a hundred years ago. My future home has a cathedral that was started almost a thousand years ago.
A chocolatier near our new home.

My current home is in the wilderness. It is surrounded by towering pines and has a view of a quiet lake out of three sides of the house. My future home will be two bedroom apartment. It is within walking distance of bakeries, chocolatiers, a couple of grocery stores, and a dozen wonderful restaurants. 

My native tongue (and my only tongue) is English. I can drive for over a thousand miles and never need to speak another language. In my new home I will walk down the street and struggle to buy bread at the bakery. The people in my new home speak French and we are only a couple of miles from Germany. Strasbourg is truly an international city and dozens of languages can be heard as you walk its streets.

This blog will be a journal of sorts. I will write of my thoughts and the things I learn as my wife and I embark on this adventure. Hopefully you will learn something about what another part of the world is like. Perhaps you will begin to understand why we decided to sell everything we own, leave our family and friends, and move half-way around the world. Perhaps this blog will allow you to experience our adventure with us. And maybe it will inspire you to embark on a great adventure of your own.


  1. Thank you. I'm already "émue".

  2. Ooh, I'm excited! Putting you on my reader now! Janet took French, didn't she? You're good to go. :-)

  3. Wait...grandfather? Seriously? Very sad about that goodbye for you. Yikes, obedience is costly.