Summertime and the Living is Oh So Easy

Summer in my Serbian home town is ushered in by linden trees. The dark green, heart-shaped leaves become hidden by a myriad of tiny yellow blossoms which permeate the air with their intoxicating scent. With the first shy hint of their smell that sneaks through an open window at night, you smile in your sleep [...]

Suffering Succotash, I am a Mother

I never thought I would have children. I felt somewhat detached from my siblings in our early days, even though all three of us were born within four years. I learned to read when I was four, and was drawn to books more then to the kids my age. I was shy and awkward around [...]

The Dough Must Go On

My parents loved people, and people loved them. Our house was always the gathering center for visiting relatives, friends from out of town, acquaintances passing by on their way to the market, neighbors coming over for coffee and a piece of pie, etc. They kept very close relationships with the extended family (in Serbia, a [...]

I'd Rather Be... With My Sister

When I was four years old, I got the mumps. Father was a physician, but the remedy did not come from a pharmacy. Instead of reluctantly ingesting grape-flavored syrup or being force-fed pink gel antibiotics, my neck, jaws, and cheeks were enveloped in smoked, thickly sliced ribbons of bacon, and wrapped with a bandana tied [...]

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

When I was growing up in Serbia, nuts were seldom used in savory dishes, but mostly in pastries, cakes, tortes, or crepes. Times have changed and I can see the big-city dwellers using peanuts as a result of the Thai influence, but my town would rebel for sure. Peanut butter is an adventure when you [...]

To Market, to Market, Jiggety-Jig

Cleveland, Ohio, was our home for over a decade. I moved there from Michigan, Husband from Georgia, and we met in the early fall of 1997. The city’s “emerald necklace”, the Metroparks, served as our courting grounds. Surrounded by hues of burnt orange, sienna, ochre, crimson, and sunflower, spectacularly revealed in ancient oaks, elegant maples, [...]

Me Versus the Machine

This blogging business is sometimes an awkward thing. I feel like I am the new kid in school, and I don’t know what would be worse: to be labeled as a weirdo, or not to be noticed at all. Other times, my emotions take me into a different direction. Hi, My name is Lana, and [...]

Homework Finished, Weekend Begins

This is weird: I feel like I am back in elementary school again. I have homework! And a due date. I am not going to be sent to the principal’s office if I fail in my pursuits. My parents are not going to be aware that anything is amiss (well, my Mother reads my blog, [...]

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