Wings At Dawn

Now available at a bookstore near you in the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Germany from Dorrance Publshing Company Inc. : The first novel of Marie Balustrade dealing with controversial social issues that span the globe. The stories are not meant for the reader to swoon over and fall in love momentarily for a shallow romance. Marie Balustrade intends for the audience to cry with her, to be enraged, be disgusted, and after turning the last page, to be more vigilant.  All Balustrade´s books are supported by extensive travel and research, in addition to having been a development worker in Asia for over 15 years…

Is it ever really Good-bye?

It is almost inconceivable to me that today marks Daddy’s third death anniversary. Three years. Time has flown bye and I feel as though he is still very much around. Perhaps I can no longer pick up the phone and call home to find out what he is up to today, or listen to his stories of the people he visited as a lay minister. Sometimes it was hilarious just to let him ramble on about Mommy’s latest goof-ups. The more I think of death, the more I like the idea of not having a grave anywhere. Now that I…

Going Old-School Again

The cost of living keeps increasing and I find myself looking at the budget and groceries, wondering where I can cut even more corners. The first thing that had to go were the luxury beauty items and routines I had gotten used to over the past 30 years. Clinique, Estee Lauder, Lancome, and a few others are beyond my reach now, and I keep hearing my mothers voice inside my head when I have one of those items in my hands: imagine how many chickens you could buy with that money! Indeed! Due to all the operations in my life…

Meet Johnny Skel E. Ton

If I am going to be stuck going to physiotherapy for the next few weeks (the second round) I might as well have a little fun. Yesterday, while in the middle of a very painful session, my eyes fell upon the skeleton in the corner, and I asked my physiotherapist whether he had a name (the skeleton, not the therapist). He grinned and said that in all these years I was very first patient to ever ask the skeleton’s name, and hence I was formally introduced to Johnny. Unlike most medical skeletons in other clinics I have encountered, including my…

Area 53

Today is my parents´53rd wedding anniversary, and I write this in the present tense because I believe wedding anniversaries are timeless, regardless of where the couple is now. I have mixed memories of Mommy and Daddy celebrating their anniversary, and for as long as I lived at home, it always included me. They were definitely not the type of couple that had date night, and to be honest, I don’t thing they even knew the concept of date night for married couples. Nevertheless, anniversaries were something to celebrate, and because this is my parents we are talking about, it was…

Meeting Molecule Man At Last

After having lived 2.5 years in Berlin, this is the first time I managed to visit Molecule Man with almost perfect weather. The first few visits were always with cloudy skies, rain or fog. Yesterday, finally, the constellation was absolutely perfect with the gorgeous autumn light. The permanent art installation in the middle of the Spree River in East Berlin marks the convergence of the three city zones of Treptow, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Designed by the American sculptor and artist Johnathan Borofsky, the piece is also a symbol of the unification of East and West Berlin. In addition, the location…

Dirt to Ponder Upon

No, I don’t mean political or entertainment dirt on celebrities. The sermon during mass the other day gave me something to think about, and that is what I have indeed been doing for a few days. Take a 50 EUR/ Pound/ Dollar/ Rupees / Bhat / Peso bill, in your hand, what do see? Exactly that, 50 of whatever currency you trade in. If it falls on the floor, does the value change? It may have just acquired more bacteria and some dirt, but no change in the basic vale. Someone comes along before you can pick it up and…