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About heidiho



I'd like to dedicate this blog to my incredibly kind, remarkably strong and always adventurous mother, Chris.

Welcome to the Adventures of the Roaming Oma! 

What is a roaming Oma, you ask? Perhaps you recall the ever popular Roaming Gnome, made famous in the heartwarming film Amelie? Much to his dismay, Amelie's father discovered his garden gnome had gone missing, only to receive countless photos of him in front of international landmarks as proof of his galavants around the globe.

For those of you who don't know my mother, she came to the U.S. by ship from Germany on her 20th birthday to visit a friend...and never went home. After some 50+ years in the states and 3 daughters later, she has 4 grandchildren who lovingly call her "Oma", German for grandmother. Not unlike my mother, the first garden gnomes were made in Germany and symbolize honesty, integrity and hard work, and are regarded as good luck charms in one’s house and garden. She has definitely been a good luck charm in both our house and our garden!

Luck, unfortunately, would not be on her side when my father fell ill and she selflessly devoted the next 10 years of her life as his caregiver. Upon his passing, 3 years ago, I couldn't help but hope to inherit even a fraction of the strength, courage, dignity, and compassion with which she lives her life. My dad was a lucky man to have her.

For so many years, my mother lovingly encouraged me to follow my passion for travel while she sat home collecting stories and postcards of my round-the-world anecdotes. With a spring still in her step and an undeniable sense of adventure, I knew traveling together would be the best way to make up for lost time!

So...off to St. Lucia we flew! Arriving on the small island in the West Indies, mom was in awe of the giant, green Pitons jutting from the crystal blue sea which serves as the backdrop of my childhood friend's tropical  oasis where we stayed. Settling into our little guest house downstairs, we acquainted ourselves with the the steamy jungle air, the hypnotic symphony of secadas, and the crashing waves against the pebbled shore below.  Karyn and Michael, always the gracious hosts, welcomed us by proposing a toast to my dad and to our trip but had no idea what a special gift they were about to make possible for a widow and her daughter. And so began the adventures of the Roaming Oma.

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