About

Welcome to Laurie’s Franconia. I am Laurie, an American horticulturist, writer, ice cream connoissuer and mother of two.

My work has been featured in online publications like I AM EXPAT, PUMA Careers, She knows and Public Garden Magazine

For the last 7 years I’ve been building a home and a family in Franconia, Germany.

The characters in this part of the story are my two maniacs ( Big Sister and Little Bean, 6 and 4 respectively), Me (mommy), Thorsten (daddy) and the quintessential Franconian lady, Jola, my mother in law. Whether I like to admit it or not I have learned a lot from her.

In March 2020 we started a 35 day quarantine challenge. A chance to write stories of the everyday of being stuck at home. It turned into 100 days of quarantine stories. (Click 100 days in the categories to read them all.)

The 1st quarantine in Bavaria lasted 65 days. After that the stores re-opened, but Pre-school stayed closed. Some of the other restrictions began to relax and the quarantine feeing began to fade. Summer of 2020 felt semi-normal.

Then, as predicted, in late fall of 2020 most of Europe shut down again. As the weather grew colder, people moved indoors and the numbers went way up, peaking near Christmas 2020. We actually enjoyed our quarantine Christmas season but a few days later we very suddenly lost our Jola– Oma to the girls, mother to Thorsten and Mother-in-law to me. Ours wasn’t always an easy relationship but there was love and admiration. Her death was totally unrelated to the Corona and it was much more devastating than any of the lock-downs. It’s unreal though–the clarity that comes when you lose someone. The pain is so loud, the emotions so deeply hued. In those moments the veil that divides us seems to disappear. The clouds of thought that prevent us from seeing people as they are, dissipate and the depth of human connection is exposed. I cried for Jola from such a deep, sensitive place. We miss her everyday.

This has become a space to share musings and meditations on the mundane and magical in life. Can the frenetic and the funny be shared through words? Can these shared stories connect and heal us? Follow along and see for yourself.

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5 thoughts on “About

  1. Laurie,
    Congrats on you wedding! I don’t know if you remember me. You taught my daughter Emily at TWSB-I’m the quilting mom:) I saw from your blog that you were now married and moved to Germany. I had been following your adventures in grad school periodically. I am so excited and pleased for you. We lived in Germany for 5 years, 1992-97, but in the Rheinland-Pfalz area and one year in Berlin. Emily was born there. We loved Germany so much and traveled as much as we could while there. We particularly loved Bavaria. Emily is now a sophomore in college majoring in dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. She is also taking the pre-reqs for Physical Therapy school and hopes to eventually be a PT for dancers. Have you had a chance to check out any German Quilt shops? I learned hand piecing from a German quilter in Berlin and paper-piecing from another in Rheinland Pfalz:) I belonged to the Rheinland-Pfalz District Quilt Guild. Our family went to Quilt Expo V in Lyon, France. It was fantastic. So I know there are German quilters out there:)

    Well congrats again!!! I wish you a wonderful and blessed life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mary! Thank you so much for writing to me. Yes I remember you. I finally finished two more quilts at the very end of graduate school, one for my parents (that pattern for which I bought from Keepsake quilting and one for my sister called Yellow Brick Road I now want to make us a wedding quilt but I haven’t decided exactly which style. I haven’t had a chance to venture to the quilting shop in our town yet but I did find one. I have heard that fabric is very expensive here, so I might purchase it when I’m back in the states for a visit. Please send Emily my love and congratulations on her great choices and success! Also, please keep in touch.
      lots of love
      Laurie

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  2. Hello Laurie!

    My best friend and I have been planning an adventure in Europe since February. I spent a semester living in rural Gaming, Austria during my university years, five years ago now, and fell in love with the Germanic culture; however, my friend Brian didn’t get a chance to study abroad. This is our chance to break away from our responsible lives to be backpackers, living off of providence for a little over two weeks. Brian stumbled across your blog after becoming interested in the beer kellers of Forcheim and he passed it on to me. First off, very beautiful blog. I loved one of your most recent posts about the coming of autumn. The idea of getting a full taste of one season and being ready for the next is something I have appreciated this year as well. I am from Vermont where the seasons and landscape remind me a lot of Austria and Bavaria.

    To the point though. Brian and I are going to be training into Forcheim from Copenhagen, arriving Saturday the 14th and spending two days there. I was wondering if you would have any recommendations or advice for some fellow Americans looking to get a good taste of this beautiful area? You wrote that there are some beer kellers open through the cold months, do you have a favorite? Are there any hostels or places you would recommend staying? Perhaps you would even like to meet up for a stein to practice your English. We are very excited to explore Forcheim and it is very nice to learn a bit about it from your blog. Thank you!

    Warm regards,
    Evan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Evan! Thank you for your wonderful message. Yes! I highly recommend the Glocken Keller. It is my favorite for lots of reasons: it’s warm and cozy and the Franconian food is really good. It is in the Forchheim Keller Wald and is open all year round. The inside part is small though and so it’s not always easy to get a table. If you want to go in the evening I recommend going earlier around 5 or so. It opens around 11am every day ( except monday or tuesday ( I forget which one) So you could probably go there for lunch too. There are one or two other kellers in the Keller wald that are also open in the winter months, I can’t remember their names but you can explore and find them very easily. I don’t have any good recommendations for hostels, although there is one associated with a church nearby called Don Bosco http://www.donbosco-forchheim.de/ It’s very likely that we could meet up, please email me at lauriesfranconia@gmail.com

    Cheers!!
    Laurie

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