Tuesday, October 21, 2014


A pumpkin patch in too warm weather, an impromptu father-son ice cream date on our front porch, seasonal crafts, creating and Suzanne after the little ones are in bed, a tidy and clean home, and spurts of quiet with a hot drink in my hand. These are the moments that have kept me... sane? calm? The right word fails me. I have had very low moments since moving to Texas. There is an ache in our hearts for Germany, and yet a simultaneously reassuring and oppressive realization that we are going to be here for a very long time. The only thing I can do is sit, and wait, and rest in the knowledge that no matter how slowly I might acclimate to life in Waco, I will. When our 5 years are up, I'll be sad to leave. I laugh a little when I tell myself this simple truth, but instead of trying to speed up this feeling of home, or focus on my less than happy feelings right now, I've been trying simply to be here and take it slow.

Quiet, creative moments have always been a source of refuge for me. And I find this to be true now, more than ever. It's been hard not being surrounded with the features of Baden-W├╝rttemburg. I felt like the world around me was teeming with beauty and calm, and my mind had never been more active. I soaked up the colors of the Schwabian Alb through every season, and memorized every mundane detail around me. My ears were filled with foreign words which I mysteriously understood (mostly), and when my babies spoke, their sweet blue eyes upturned towards mine, I could have mistaken them for little German boys. Their words flowed freely, and their accents were flawless.

Things are so very different here. Is this culture shock? Or something more permanent? I knew that I would miss our lives in Germany, and yet, it's worse than I thought. I don't spend much time trying to sort through these thoughts, knowing that time will fix things or change them. We are here now, and I am thankful for the things we do have here (namely time-zone proximity to our families!). We have been blessed with some sweet and caring friends, and a city that has an amazing museum for our boys to explore weekly, an incredible zoo close by, warm weather that allows for bare feet in the dirt, and the same sweet children and husband that warm me with their smiles and love.

I am thankful for these things, and try to slowly sort through my thoughts on how we can live better, how we can be the Streckers that lived in Germany, even though we're not there anymore. That place changed us, most certainly for the better, and so, we're tip-toeing our way through this faraway land of Texas, and are thankful for simple things like a sunny, albeit strangely green, October.


  1. Oh Mary, my heart hurts for you. Yes, you will come to love Waco, but that doesn't make the longing-for-elsewhere now hurt any less! I felt that way coming back from France and I remember a couple times sitting on the floor in my closet and sobbing so that no one would hear it because I didn't have any REAL reason to cry, but I was missing the past and needed to cry about it even though nothing was technically wrong with the future. Don't be ashamed to cry a little on the way to learning to love it!

  2. thanks for your sweet comment, hannah. it's so nice to know this feeling is normal. it's hard enough transitioning to a new place, but man, going from europe to a new place in the u.s. is kind of crazy!