Maria Schnabel

Recent Posts

  • “My” Catalan Conflict

     

    Many years ago my father, then a young idealist, fought to defend Catalonia against Franco’s forces in the last battles of the Spanish Civil War. He ended up exiled in a concentration camp in France where he endured inhuman, unspeakable living conditions.

    When eventually he was allowed to return to Spain, he managed to lock away […]

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  • If it’s Now or Never, I’m Choosing Now

    Versió en català aquí
    I’m pretty sure that when I’m on my deathbed looking back at my life, one of the things I’ll be most glad I did not miss is Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
    And I don’t mean watching the parade.

    I mean being in the parade, feathers and all!

    You want to measure what?

    At the time, […]

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  • És Ara o Mai

    English version here
    Cada any, quan arriben els dies de Carnaval dono gràcies de no haver-me perdut el més fantàstic de tots, el Rio de Janeiro.

    I no em refereixo a mirar-lo des de les grades, no, sinó a desfilar, plomes i tot!

    Prenent mides

    Parlo dels anys 1997 i ’98, quan vaig estar molt de temps treballant a São […]

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  • Sleeping Beauty Misses Out in Life

    She was too pretty to play with, said my mother.

    So, she wrapped Mariola in blue tissue paper, lest light yellow her porcelain-like skin and crisp-white ballerina outfit; tied soft bows around her wrists and ankles to preserve her ladylike stance; and then stored her in a closet where she remained, in the dark, for the […]

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  • Spreading our Wings

    Some see retirement a glass-half-full, half-empty proposition.

    I see mine overflowing with possibilities.

    Having just ended a long career in corporate communications, I am now looking forward to spreading my wings and exploring new horizons.

    Speaking of spreading my wings, let’s start with my new-found interest in the outdoors.

    This former “if-it’s outdoors-I-haven’t-been-there” bookworm is venturing outside, nature journal […]

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  • I Brake for Boiled Peanuts

    One of my favorite things about car trips around the South is spotting a boiled-peanuts stand on the side of the road. Must stop for the salty treat and a taste of country culture. The stand below can be found before entering the bridge to St. George Island in the Florida Panhandle.

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  • Pooping figurine a must in Catalan Nativities

    Barcelona, Spain — File this in your collection of unusual Christmas traditions: the figurine of a pooping peasant appearing in Catalonia’s crèches.

    Catalonia, in Spain’s northeastern corner, is a region with a strong cultural pride and ancient traditions. The Caganer (the pooper), which has been appearing in manger scenes since the 18th century, is one of them.

    The […]

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