Farewell but not goodbye

Lucie Sarsa, from Bordeaux, France, had a tremendous year at Menomonie High School. She was always on the honor roll, she played basket ball in the winter, and she ran track in the spring. She had never participated in track before, and she found out that she was really fast! She really liked her theater class, and she made many good friends among the international students. We had a great time throughout the year hanging out with the exchange students. Some of our favorite activities were the international potluck dinners in the homes of the host families. Nilufar Umarova from Tajikistan also became a close friend of our family. Nilu's culture is so drastically different from our own. She teaches us to be frugal and humble and appreciate the things that we have.  Lucie teaches to navigate the complexities of life with grace and to live in the moment. 

Lucie didn't want us to show any emotion in our goodbye at the Chippewa Valley Airport. She is excited to get on with her life…

The Big Easy

UW-Eau Claire hosted a fabulous pow wow. Lucie loved it, and I won $10 in one of the open-to-everyone dances. It wasn't my skill that got me the money, it just so happened that the music stopped and I froze in the right place at the right time.  The post holiday blues hit us all hard. Living in the deep freeze was more than challenging for Lucie, and all of us, really. No matter what I do to prepare for February and March, I just fall into a funk. I had started looking for new homes, got a preapproval, and started moving some of the stuff we don't use to storage. When I could not secure a loan without first selling my house, I lost my earnest money and funds spent on inspections and appraisals. This was a hard pill to swallow, but my friend Ellen suggested that I think of it like I spent money on a vacation (that I did not take.) We still tried to get out of the house as much as possible, though I think there were about six cancelled or delayed school days for Lucie and Mason…