Posts with the category “notes-from-the-wayside”

Notes from the Wayside - June 2024
by Tara Ludwig on June 13th, 2024
Wayside shrine in Carinthia, Austria The Ludwig family garden will not be appearing on the cover of Sunset magazine anytime soon.  My husband and I, both natives of asphalt-laden urban areas, did not seem to inherit the gene that enables one to create a neat, polished, and orderly garden.  Instead, our front yard is a mix of sprawling, unpruned rose bushes, random patches of wildflowers such as da...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - May 2024
by Tara Ludwig on May 9th, 2024
My husband, Matt, is a “go-go-go” type of guy. His German heritage has instilled in him a tireless work ethic, and he is eternally a busy bee: always puttering around the house, working on little projects, fixing things, and just generally getting stuff done. It is a Herculean task to get the man to sit down. As a couple we are a true example of the adage that “opposites attract” because my family, (all Italian), are experts in the art of lounging. I am constantly urging Matt to take it easy, rest a little, and leave things till later, but alas, relaxation is not in his repertoire.   Read More
Notes from the Wayside - April 2024
by Tara Ludwig on April 17th, 2024
Wayside shrine in Mertert, Luxembourg I must confess to having, like many folks, a secret favorite “guilty pleasure” TV show. Granted, it is a lowbrow show that contributes nothing whatsoever to my intellectual development, but I enjoy it for its sheer entertainment value, even though I would be mortified to ever publicly admit to being a fan (which, ironically, is exactly what I am about to do).T...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - September 2023
by Tara Ludwig on September 14th, 2023
Our family has just returned from a week-long road trip to California. It was a whirlwind of new sights and experiences spanning hundreds of miles, a true Ludwig-style holiday. Among our many stops were the Mission Solano in Sonoma (my husband’s choice), Glass Beach in Fort Bragg (my choice), and, of course, the Jelly Belly Jellybean Factory in Fairfield (the kids' choice...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - August 2023
by Tara Ludwig on August 23rd, 2023
July 27th, 2023 was an important anniversary for me, but unfortunately, not the fun kind. It marked not a birthday, or a wedding day, but the date of a car accident that exactly ten years before had changed my relationship with my body, forever. I have written elsewhere about the crushing nerve injury I suffer...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - July 2023
by Tara Ludwig on July 19th, 2023
For the last ten years my husband Matty has tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade me into going on a camping trip. Although we are an outdoorsy family with a passionate love for nature and are often out romping around barefoot in the wilderness, camping was just a threshold I would not cross. To my city-bred sensibilities, sleeping in a tent i...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside – June 2023
by Tara Ludwig on June 14th, 2023
Wayside shrine at the hospital church of St. John the Baptist in Iphofen, Germany June 14, 2023My husband Matthew, a hospital nurse within a major health system, will be going on strike next week along with the nurse’s union. A contract was meant to be agreed upon by the nurses and upper management in December of 2022; however, after months and months of negotiations, no agreement could be reached...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside – May 2023
by Tara Ludwig on May 9th, 2023
My youngest daughter, Gesumina, is nearly four years old, and she does not speak. While her receptive communication (meaning, her ability to understand language) is excellent, her expressive communication (what she can say) is limited to a vocabulary of only about a dozen words; a typically developing child her age would be expected to have a vocabulary of over one thousand. Because of her speech delay, Gesumina (or “Jezzo” as we usually call her) utilizes a variety of methods to express herself, such as pictures, sign language (a mixture of “official” signs and ones she has created herself), objects, and babbly sounds. Those of us who are with her every day have become fluent in her “language”, and can usually understand her quite easily: rubbing her thumb and forefinger together means she wants me to sprinkle salt on her broccoli, a “peep peep” sound while she pumps her fist in the air means she wants me to read her “Thomas the Train”, pointing to a picture of the sun and then to her sister means she is commenting that Sabina likes yellow. Gesumina is a sweet, happy, playful little girl, and our interactions feel so organic and fulfilling that I honestly forget sometimes that she “should” be talking.  Read More
Notes from the Wayside – April 2023
by Tara Ludwig on April 27th, 2023
When I logged into Facebook on Easter Sunday, the photos I saw posted by friends revealed the joy of the holiday: smiling little girls in puffy pink Easter dresses, happy families gathered together for Church and feasting, dogs wearing bunny ears, giggling children carrying bright baskets and hunting for Easter eggs. It was a veritable barrage of cuteness and good cheer. This was not how Easter went down at the House of Ludwig.  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - February 2023
by Tara Ludwig on February 8th, 2023
Wayside Shrine in Bohlingen, Germany Ever since a car smashed into me on my way to work on July 27th, 2013, pain has been a daily part of my life. And I do not mean the trivial pain of a stubbed toe or a bonked elbow, but an agonizing, all-consuming pain, as the nerves that travel into my neck, shoulder, arm, and hand were crushed inside of my chest by the impact. In the last decade I have endured...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - January 2023
by Tara Ludwig on January 13th, 2023
Wayside shrine between Krensheim and Poppenhausen, Germany I am not a “dog person”. To be honest, I have spent most of my life as an actively anti-dog person, after a couple of frightening run-ins with big dogs during my childhood left me fearful and wary of any animal larger than a house cat. Our family never owned dogs when I was growing up, and frankly I couldn’t see why anyone would want to; d...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - November 2022
by Tara Ludwig on November 10th, 2022
Wayside Shrine in Hinterglemm, Austria Yesterday my 8-year-old son, Cirocco, celebrated his First Reconciliation, an important step on the way to receiving his First Communion this spring. Our church put together a very nice little ceremony, with candles, and prayers, and kid-friendly songs. All of the children looked adorable, parading into the sanctuary in their Sunday best. I fully hoped that ...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - October 2022
by Tara Ludwig on October 14th, 2022
Wayside Shrine in Heverlee, Belgium My uncle, Andrew Jude Aber, recently died of pancreatic cancer. It was Uncle Andrew who, 45 years ago, sang in a rock band called Knowhere and introduced his bass player (my dad) to his little sister (my mom) who fell immediately in love, thus beginning the story of their long journey together. So without the gift of Andrew's life, my life, and the lives of my c...  Read More
Notes from the Wayside - September 2022
by Tara Ludwig on September 15th, 2022
Wayside Shrine in Strachocina, Poland The Ludwig family closed out our summer this year with a visit from my cousins from New York, along with their children and families. For two weeks our house was filled with raucous, boisterous Italians, laughing and reminiscing and, of course, eating. What a joy it was to see my little ones meet their East Coast kin for the very first time, to watch them play...  Read More