Taking a Break

This week, I took some time off of work, and my youngest sister, Ashleigh, came to visit me for three days. She brought along the toddler that she is fostering (let’s call her “Munchkin” for this post), and the three of us spent our time exploring Taichung and finding some new places that Charles and I can return to. It’s easy to feel out of touch with nature while living in the big city, so we looked particularly for some natural spots. We had a wonderful visit, and I’m so glad Ashleigh and Munchkin came. Continue reading “Taking a Break”

{Segue} My Mess

I’ve read a lot of commentary online about how we manufacture perfection in our Instagram photos and portray only the best in our status updates on Facebook. There’s a lot of talk about how it’s easy to be fake online, how it’s natural to be unnatural when there’s a computer staring you in the face instead of another human being. And, of course, I agree with these sentiments because I know it’s all too easy to be Online Me instead of the real Christel.

But sometimes I wonder just how much of the mess I should expose. Continue reading “{Segue} My Mess”

A Chinese New Year to Remember

[To read the beginning of this story, see my post entitled “A Surprising Friendship.”]

Though I live in Taiwan, I’ve never done much of anything to celebrate Chinese New Year. Our school gives us a week off for the special holiday, and it’s traditionally been a week that I spend holed up in my apartment, enjoying the quiet, perhaps doing a bit of “Spring” cleaning, maybe cooking or baking things that I wouldn’t otherwise have time for, and usually reading the hours away. But for my Taiwanese friends and students, Chinese New Year is like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all rolled into one. In other words, it is a very important family and national holiday. For me, it’s usually just a nice week off from school. Continue reading “A Chinese New Year to Remember”