365 Snap Shots of Life: Day 221

Hello readers! I was away for the past few days and I missed blogging! It occurred to me that the edits I’ve shared so far from my up coming book, SALSA! THE TASTE of LIFE, are mostly poems. I don’t want you to think that this book  is a volume of poems only. It is a volume of mostly short stories and some poetry. I had to edit out more poems and less stories. So I will give you an edited story from my book, to give you a taste of my story telling. This story I wrote based on an experience I had when I was a young teen living with my uncle in Germany.  I look forward to giving you more tastes of SALSA! As you read this keep in mind that I thoroughly look forward to your feedback, so comment away! 🙂

March17, 1981

Dear Diary,

Today, a most peculiar thing happened; we were driving along the road that connects Spangdahlem to Bitburg. Being that it was Sunday, the driver was leisurely meandering to our destination, a heavenly café in Bitburg, for a nice piece of Black Forest cake and refreshments. Spring was fast approaching; the countryside was beginning to be dotted with Holstein sitting on grassy meadows. The snow that had lain stoically for all those winter months was beginning to vanish without a trace.

Suddenly, we came upon a lone traveler; he grew bigger and bigger the closer we drew to him. The driver lowered his window, and the elderly man approached our orange, 1970s Volkswagen station wagon. The man asked the driver in English laced with a strong German accent if we could take him to Bitburg. We were told to make room for our guest, so we all squeezed tightly like Pringles potato chips in a can, and the nomad sat in the middle between my cousin and me.

I was glad he sat next to me so I could study him. The loan wanderer was around seventy; his hair was white, and he had plenty of it. There was a glimmer in his eyes of azure that made him look almost boyish.

“What’s your name?” My curiosity had overcome me, and I had to ask. He perused my face, and then he answered, “Herr (Mr.) Vogt, and what is yours?”

I responded, “I’m Helena. Why are you hitchhiking?”

He looked at me a bit puzzled, and then he said, “Hitch hiking? Not hardly. I was hiking along this road because I am on a mission.”

Suddenly, I felt my arms getting covered with chill bumps. I had to know more about this mysterious stranger, so I continued, “Where are you from, Herr Vogt?”

“Oh, from all over the place, really.”

“But you had to have started somewhere, right?” I prodded him. He didn’t seem to mind my young inquisitiveness; he answered, trying to conceal a mischievous grin, “Well, let’s just say that where I originated is somewhere far, far away from here.” We rode in silence, and then Herr Vogt offered, “You know, little one, the wind blows here, and it blows there, yet nobody knows where it comes from or where it is going.”

I was puzzled at first, and then I knew what he meant. “Are you one of those messengers that God sends to help people out?”

 He answered, “Yes, I am sent to you today.”

Jokingly, I asked him, “What’s in your suitcase?”

He smiled at me and said, “There are many places I have to visit before I report back to my boss, so I need to look like I fit in.” I settled into a satisfied silence. His presence was as a warm, wool coat around me that made me feel protected. We didn’t say much for the rest of the ride, and when we reached Bitburg, the driver asked Herr Vogt where he would like to be dropped off. He told the driver to stop at the light, and we pulled over so Herr Vogt could make his exit. As he was leaving, he shook my hand, and he looked deep into my mesmerized eyes, right down to the core of my soul. Then he departed. I tried to look for him, but I could not find him. He vanished right from my sight.

I’ll never forget Herr Vogt; his presence is still with me as I write this entry in my journal. I entertained a stranger that Sunday afternoon; he kept me company. I know he is one of God’s messengers who came by my side for a little while. He didn’t have to explain his mission because I’ve always known in my heart of hearts that God sent him to let me know that He loves me. I felt it that day.

-Eva Santiago Copyright 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 29

I’m down to the wire here friends! This 30 day blog challenge has taken me through a fun stroll down memory lane. I hope as you’ve read some of my posts, that maybe this could help get your own conversation started about your own unique memories.

Day 29 Question 29: What particular Christmas memory do you remember most fondly?

Answer: I’m posting another excerpt from my book AS CLEAR AS CLAIRE GETS as my answer for today:

That Christmas Eve something amazing happened; we were watching TV while Tio worked a double shift in the ER. The whole night was dragging on because this was very different from the festive holidays we were all used to. In past years, the house was always filled with guests, now it was just the four of us. I was not interested in the TV at all, I would glance up at the cuckoo clock hanging by the banister, and it stood still it seemed. Suddenly at midnight when the cuckoo came out to announce the hour, the doorbell rang. I sprang up from the couch and I ran as fast as I could to see who might be at the door at this late hour. Once I opened the door, Tio was standing there smiling with a box of Dunkin’ Donuts  in his hands. I threw my arms around him because I was so glad to see him and he hugged me back tenderly. Suddenly he realized what he was doing as he stiffened up quickly and the moment vanished but not from my heart.

As he settled in, he explained to all of us that he had managed to get another doctor to cover his shift so he could come be with us. This was an isolated incident where he had been affectionate with me and it still makes me smile today. It told me back then and even now that somewhere in that stony heart of his, there is a place for me. Tiny though it may seem, that place is there because he let me see it for a second.

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 15

Please refer back to my earlier posts and read what this challenge is about so that the later posts make sense. :)

Day 15 Question # 15:  What would you list as the three most memorable TV moments you’ve ever seen?

Answer: I grew up not watching a whole lot of TV. So I had to really think hard about this one. These are the 3 I came up with. I was in the 8th grade and living in Germany when I watched the royal wedding of Princess Diana to Prince Charles. I was so amazed by how magical the whole event seemed to be. What I couldn’t get out of my mind was that she looked so young and pretty and he looked so old and boring. They seemed so mismatched for each other.

The second most memorable TV moment was 9-11. I had just woken up by a phone call from my friend back east telling me to turn on my TV. As I watched, still half asleep I had to ask her what was going on; when she told me I was in disbelief for a few seconds. Then I kept watching, mesmerized by it all.

The 3rd most memorable TV moment was this past summer. My kids and I watched the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I loved the part where the newly weds drove off in their own private car just so that their adoring fans could catch a glimpse of them. That was a very nice, personal touch I thought.

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 10

Please refer back to my earlier posts and read what this challenge is about so that the later posts make sense. :)

Day 10 Question 10: What was the most mischievous thing you can recall doing as a child?

Answer: This memory always makes me chuckle because I really didn’t like my cousin I had to grow up with. He was always mean to me, so it felt good when this happened. We were vacationing in the south of Spain. My uncle was in the Air Force so while we were stationed in Germany, every summer we traveled around in Spain.

We had stayed the night in Rosas


a tiny, picturesque beach town. Tio (Uncle) had us get up around 5 am so we could get an early start. I was ready to go and when I knocked on my uncle’s hostel room door he told me to get the others up. My cousin was with me so we went to knock on the door of the friends we were traveling with. I  knocked on the door several times and nothing happened. So I walked away leaving my cousin there, who was still half asleep.

I went back into my room to get my belongings and then I heard a huge commotion. I poked my head out and there was an elderly man standing outside the door I had just knocked on. He was blasting my cousin out in French. I froze for a minute not getting the full picture. Then suddenly I understood what I’d done. I let my cousin take the fall and I was giggling like crazy. The upset French man slammed the door in my cousin’s face right when I walked up. My cousin looked at me in total bewilderment and I never explained to him what had just happened. Payback is hell baby!


Pictures on my wall

make this house my home.

Pictures on the wall

tell visitors who I am,

where I’ve been,

what I have done.

Pictures on the wall-

 keepsakes of loved ones close by

and others long gone.

Pictures on the wall

bring back  who I used to be

and who I have become.

Pictures on the wall

whispering to me:

My kids are always growing tall,

they are growing up,

they WILL answer the call.

Pictures on the wall

take me far away places;

a snow covered mountain top,

a mystical cascading water fall.

Pictures on the wall

recollections of what we had

when it was just you and I;

when you held me tight

and made me yours.

Even after a fight,

and through many shed tears,

pictures on the wall

show I’ve faced many fears.

Pictures on the wall

after all these years,

quiet reminders

of all I hold dear.


Eva Santiago copyright 2011