I just turned 50 this year (2014) and it’s going to be a year of big changes! I moved to Finland in September 2014, and this blog is about preparing for that move, and about being an American living in Finland.
I have three daughters and one dog, Shiva. Shiva arrived on our return trip from the US in December, the daughters are having to visit at some undeterimed time, unfortunately. The youngest is starting her freshman year at Louisiana State University. The middle one is a wonderful photographer. Here is her website: http://natashakraus.wix.com/krausphotography. The eldest is married to a great guy, and is an accomplished artist and avid roleplayer (and she works at a bank to fund her hobbies).
I was born in Fort Worth, Texas in June of 1964. I’m a fifth generation Texan, on my mom’s side. My dad, who was from Mississippi, was in the Army, and my mother worked as a computer programmer with IBM. Yup, they even had computers back then! Until I turned five, my mom and I lived in Texas, Virginia, Maryland and a few other places, as my dad was posted in Korea. When I was about five, we moved to Panama, where my dad was stationed. My mother began working for Gorgas Hospital there, and I started school at Balboa Elementary. We lived in Panama for about five years, riding horses, exploring the jungle and doing some deep sea fishing. My youngest sister was born during this time, and she and I would spend summers at my grandparents’ home in Texas. Those were great times!
After that, we moved to back to Arlington, Texas for a couple of years, then to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, where my dad was originally from. While in Mississippi, my parents got a wild hair, and decided to buy a sailboat. We moved on to the sailboat, and in 1977, we took off on what was supposed to be a round-the-world cruise. We visited all through the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico and a bit more south, I think to the Netherland Antilles. Due to our parents’ job requirements, we didn’t make it much further, and in 1980, we moved back to the South (Louisiana), where I graduated from Slidell High School in 1982.
From there, I went to the University of Texas in Arlington, got a job, got married, moved to Georgia and had my first daughter, Anastasia, in 1987. After a few years in Georgia, we moved back to Texas briefly, then on to California, where we lived for seven years. The next two girls were born in Southern California (Natasha and Victoria), and when Victoria was about three, we moved to Louisiana, in 1999. I lived there for 15 years, during which time I ran a game shop, sold it, worked, got a divorce, met a Finn, got remarried and now I’ve moved to Finland. Life never sits still, and we can just hang on for the ride!
My girls are grown and entering the next phases of their lives, and so I enter mine. I hope you enjoy the stories.
I welcome the feedback on my site, and especially any questions you might have about this process!