Americana Category

“My Brain Becomes a Pop-up Store of John Muir Quotes”

“…I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I had never before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, ‘A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake!‘ feeling sure I was going to learn something. ” ―John […]

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My Kind of Patriot

Today’s post is a follow-up on a post I wrote in 2012, 11 years after the terrorist attacks in America. You’re welcome to read the original here, but it is mostly captured again in the words below, leading up to the 2015 extension at the end. This post is not about conspiracy theories, or blame, […]

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When a Tree is Not a Tree

travel America national parks

Today I’ve been writing a little about the names we give to things, and to places, and was reminded of a trip we took to this American national park. This photo is of a type of yucca plant, but is best known as a “tree.” Can you name the park (and the “tree?”) Love, MarLa

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My America

It’s Election Day in America, and I’m on the other side of the world. It doesn’t stop me from thinking about the states today, though, and I thought I’d share some photos of some of the places I love and have lived there. However you vote, remember there are more things that unite us than […]

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My Uncle Bob’s Bear

travel Pennsylvania black bear

I know. I know. It’s misleading. My Uncle Bob does not have a bear…at least, not a bear he owns. But a bear does visit my Uncle Bob’s back yard, and therefore, he “has” a bear. Uncle Bob’s back yard is a clearing in the woods. Most of my family are rural Pennsylvanians, and black […]

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What’s Your Ride?

travel Africa

Baz has Landys, Ingrid has her RV, Doggy has his running shoes. And Traveling Marla has her Jeeps. Yup. You might have guessed it wouldn’t be long before I needed to add a 4wd to our South African adventures. Thanks to my friend, SA Claire (and her SA connections) we are buying a nice used […]

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Eating Lasagne for the First Time

best lasagne recipe sandwich

Recently we had a few friends to dinner. They were from another African country, and at least one of them had never heard of lasagne. Since lasagne happens to be one of my favorite dishes to make (and eat!) I knew that’s what we would have for dinner. For me, lasagne is always served with […]

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On Memorial Day weekend, old poem beautifully captures horrors of war

I was going to share this poem with you for Memorial Day. I hadn’t remembered the name correctly and kept Googling On Flanders Field. Thankfully I found this article with the poem (In Flanders Fields is the correct title) and this writer shares it better than I would have: On Memorial Day weekend, old poem beautifully […]

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The First Time You Drive Through a Tree…

travel America redwood forest drive through trees

If you’re anything like me, the first time you encounter a giant redwood tree, you’ll realize just how small you are, how young you are, and how your idea of “majestic” has suddenly changed. Because that tree, which is thousands of years old, is really something special. Our first drive-through tree was the Chandelier Tree, […]

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White Eggs and Ham, American I Am

travel Africa

The title of this month’s Expat Focus column was based on an entertaining chase to track down as close to American-style Easter fare as I could find. As this is our first Easter in South Africa, I picked several people to invite who have never heard of some of our American traditions. Please follow this […]

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