March Madness

March 11, 2013

Gracious Living Day by DayThe weather outside is very different from the last time I wrote. This is what it looks like this morning:

Rainy spring day

The snow is mostly gone. The weather is balmy, close to 60 degrees. Soft, spring rain is caressing everything in its path. The chatter of Michigan birds is stretching to a fever pitch.


I know, I know. It will get cold again, it might even snow again. But it won’t last. So I will enjoy this dreary, overcast, rainy spring day in all its beauty and promise.

Yesterday, when Jeff, Joe, Branka and I took a walk around our neighborhood, we had to take our winter jackets off. And when I accidentally glanced into a pile of dried leaves, this is what I saw:


Snowdrops! These delicate harbingers of spring made me realize that there is no turning back. Even if we wanted to. Which we don’t.

So much is happening in our lives. And as always, everything is happening at the same time.

We are starting work on our new house this week. Painting the entire house. Designing and installing a whole new kitchen. Refinishing all the floors. And a whole lot of other stuff.

I am very excited and Jeff is trying to keep me calm and rational. Slow down, he says. Slow down, Nena tells me from Alabama when we Skype. Everything will get done, it always does. And I know it will. But there is so much to do and I want everything to be perfect, I am buzzing around like a busy bee wondering where to land first. So, Jeff is making a spread sheet with a detailed plan. Thank goodness that we are not all the same.

One of the reasons that I am feeling especially driven is that I want our house to be ready for comfortable habitation by the end of May. Why? Because on top of buying and renovating a house this year, I am also traveling to Europe this summer.

My niece Nicole is spending this winter semester in Ireland and will be going to Serbia in the summer. My youngest son, Sam, is joining her there. Nicole will be working on a project documenting the history of our family and how lives of Serbian women have changed in the last century. She and Sam asked me to come with them and be their guide and interpreter.  And so I am going.

My dear readers, I hope you understand that it would be very  hard for anyone to keep calm in these circumstances, but for a person of my temperament, it is nearly impossible.

What fun we’ll have!

First, all spring long, I will keep you updated on how the house is progressing, and all the inevitable mishaps of home renovation. Then, all summer long I will write stories of adventures with my family and friends in Serbia.

I hope you’ll join me and keep me company.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosanna March 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm

So, on your walk yesterday around your neighborhood, you all had to take your winter jackets off………… AND………… when you accidentally glanced into a pile of dried leaves, you saw some *s.n.o.w.d.r.o.p.s.*, TOO??!! Hurrah, (haha)!!

Harbingers of Spring snowdrops certainly are, and (hopefully!) maybe even a little Divine sign, Liliana, that………… “All Will Be Well” for you and your family………… i.e., in the very busy months ahead!! I also look forward to reading about all of the upcoming *changes/excitement* in your life, too!!


Liliana March 12, 2013 at 6:43 am

Sweet Rosanna,
I hope it’s sunny and springlike in your part of the country, too. Stay warm and cheerful.
Sending you best wishes and lots of hugs.


Sue March 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I can feel your excitement!
There is nothing like the promise of great travels to motivate one. Good luck with your renovations & I hope that you accomplish your goals.


Liliana March 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Thank you, Sue.
I love to travel in general, but going back to my home country makes this trip all the more special. I have a lot of family there whom I can’t wait to see and who are very excited that I am coming. There will be lots of tears, and lots of laughter.
Best to you,


Loi - Tone on Tone March 11, 2013 at 10:21 am

Hi, Liliana ~
We just got home last night from our trip to Europe. Delighted to see the crocuses in full bloom. And enjoying very mild temps here in the DC area. I’m looking forward to following the progress of your new home. And your upcoming trip!


Liliana March 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

You, Loi, seem to me like a frequent traveler. I love reading your posts and looking at pictures about the places you visit.
Enjoy the cherry blossoms in DC.


John March 11, 2013 at 10:03 am


Thanks for a spring update from the Midwest. Those snowdrops made me smile. And your house! I am working hard not to stress out on our move. It is a trying process. However, our new/old home is intact. We have no immediate plans for renovating. Eventually, the back deck needs to be replaced, but the inside is ready to be lived in.

If you do complete the work by May, your new home will have a “Holtzman” personality. Fortunately, your family knows what they are doing when it comes to renovating. I hope you share photos of the changes.

The trip to Europe sounds wonderful. I look forward to traveling with your children and other relatives vicariously. 🙂



Liliana March 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Thank you, John, for your sweet words. I wish you the very best in your move and hope that you and your wife will be very happy in your beautiful new house.
I’ll let you know how the renovation and the trip go.


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