Lederhosen & Bread

(not posted in real-time, we are actually 20 days into our 6 week vaca now!)

Almost 10 days in, we are fully entrenched in our Germany family adventure now. I was looking forward to and have been enjoying our German breakfasts, full of bountiful German breads, one of my favorite things here.

Our first week was spent staying near Mark’s cousin and his family. It was lovely – we stayed on a farm that has several apartments for rent for short term use. Think Bed and Breakfast without the Breakfast because you have your own kitchen for that. OK, kind of like thinking ‘hotel with kitchenette’, but it’s not a hotel, it’s a farm. It is a small farm and I was wholly impressed by the cleanliness and organization of it. I am not sure I have the authority to say that this is a result of it being a German farm (I’ve made my stance clear that this ‘neat and clean’ German stereotype has certainly come about for good reason), as I have not seen any other German farms, but somehow they even contained the smell of the cow barn – a smell I am acutely familiar with, having grown up in Wisconsin – to smell only in the immediate vicinity of the cow barn. Unfortunately, even the Germans can not rid the actual barn of the odor of cow and it’s bi-products – a hideous odor, indeed.

There seemed to be several businesses going on at this bustling locale. It is a small farm…with very happy cows that graze in pastures of green grass. I do not typically eat beef, but if and when I do, I try to find and buy from places where I can think of it coming from places like these. There are the apartments (all new) and many projects going on around that – holes being dug, things being fixed or built…not always clear what was being done, but judging from the 3+ men deliberating their next moves, there was clearly an abundance of something’s-going-on. In the short time we were there, the driveway bricks were perfectly laid, finishing what had clearly been a very large project.

They have beautiful vegetable and flower gardens smattered around the grounds, one of which was just outside of our apartment, and which were often being tended to. And then there were other barns, several tractors going in and out during all times of the day and what appeared to be some logging going on as well. The children absolutely loved it – in addition to the cows, there were 2 dogs and a few cats running around. Even Max, who is usually afraid of dogs, fell in love with Lota (small border collie) and cried on our last day there because we were leaving the cows and her. Both kids love cats and Eliana was in heaven with almost constant cat sitings outside our door.

The best part of all, however, in this farm setting, was that Max had taken to wearing his Lederhosen every single day. There were two pairs of these leather trousers – one knickers – one shorts – that Oma had been given by an old friend back when Max was born. At 4 ½ he is finally the perfect size to wear them, and for whatever reason, from the moment he was shown these garments, he refused to wear anything else. They are beautiful – with suspenders that display beautiful embroidered flowers. And what made them even more perfect is that they were eloquently paired, each day, with the Paul Frank t-shirts that Oma had also brought for him. The universe aligned and the colors in each of the shirts paired perfectly with brown leather laden hosen and the colors on the suspenders. His perfectly shaped, slightly lanky legs brought the whole look together in the most endearing way. And the piece de la resistance, really, were his Huck Finn feet. He spent much of his time running around the farm checking in on the cows, looking for cats, playing with Lota, etc. He didn’t always wear his shoes, so he would come back looking like a lederhosened Huck Finn. The first time I saw him like this, I knew, for certain, our German adventures had begun.

um, sorry?

It is with trepidation and reserve that I approached my blog today. In a strange on-line world, I don’t know who I am approaching – my blog, or the handful of readers that return to the site. Really, who – or what – it is that I am approaching, is my own voice – the voice that has ‘eh-hemm’ed’ me to death over the last few months. The voice that tells me stories while I am in the shower, itching to get them on paper, but which is quickly forgotten with the flick of my towel as I run off to the next ‘thing’. The voice that urged me to start a blog so that I would have a space for her – her own grounds…like a big yard in a new country home – her place to roam and ramble. And the roaming and rambling was good, but I just have not made time for the country-side as of late.

I was afraid that when I when I went to log-in today that I would be rejected. I half expected a pop up message from my blog saying, “so you think you can just log back in like nothing has happened? Push ‘Yes’ if you are really that kind of person” and my only other option would be to cancel. So, any clean slate, any new beginning needs a good apology, and I am sorry – here is my apology to the universe – for not holding to my own intentions, and perhaps inconveniencing a few good friends who have been checking the site, always empty. I’ve had a few eh-hems from them too.

My children have a book called “Leonardo, The Terrible Monster” by Mo Willems, you may know it…and one of the pages is filled with text, being wailed by a little boy in answer to the question of, ‘why he was crying’. As a tribute to this fabulous idea of getting it all out, and to my inner screaming child who doesn’t really want to apologize because not writing ‘is not her fault’, here’s my wailing tale of why I have not written in the last 3+ months and really, not much since the beginning of the year:

FIRST MY SON HAD HIS FOUR YEAR OLD BIRTHDAY PARTY AND HIS BIRTHDAY IS JANUARY 3rd SO IT’S RIGHT AFTER THE HOLIDAYS AND I CAN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT UNTIL, LIKE, THE DAY BEFORE BECAUSE THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND PLAN SO I GOT MYSELF THROUGH THAT BY THE SKIN ON MY TEETH (THANK YOU PUMP IT UP) AND THEN MY DAUGHTER STARTED AT HER MONTESSORI PROGRAM AND WHILE I LOVE HER SCHOOL, SHE WAS 20 MONTHS AND OF COURSE I WONDERED IF I WAS STARTING HER TOO YOUNG AND THAT TOOK A COUPLE WEEKS OF MENTAL PREP AND SEVERAL WEEKS OF TRANSITION FOR US ALL TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH THAT AND THEN I OFFICIALLY STARTED LOOKING FOR A JOB BECAUSE THAT WAS MY INTENTION FOR THIS YEAR BUT I ONLY WANTED TO WORK PART TIME  – SO I STARTED NETWORKING AND SEARCHING BUT NOTHING WAS REALLY SHOWING UP AND THEN MY HUSBAND GOT SICK (THOUGHT IT WAS THE FLU) AND HE ENDED UP IN THE HOSPITAL FOR 4 DAYS WITH SOME RARE FORM OF TOXIC SHOCK (YES, RELATED TO THE ONE MENTIONED ON THE TAMPON BOX, BUT NOT THAT EXACTLY) AND SO HE AND I RECOVERED FROM THAT AND ALL THE WHILE LIFE KEPT HAPPENING AND I HAD THE WORST ALLERGY SEASON OF MY LIFE ALL SPRING AND THEN HE WAS GONE FOR MUCH OF MARCH AND THEN WE GOT TO GO ON A FABULOUS SPRING BREAK TRIP TO UTAH AND ON THE TRIP HOME I LOST MY SON FOR ~3 – 5 MINUTES IN THE AIRPORT AND IT WAS THE SCARIEST 3-5 MINUTES OF MY LIFE  AND IT WAS ABOUT THIS TIME THAT MY FRIENDS AND I DECIDED TO START A COMPANY TOGETHER SO WE SPENT WEEKS TRYING TO NAME OURSELVES AND OUR HUSBANDS STARTED TO BE REALLY ANNOYED THAT IT WENT ON FOR AS LONG AS IT DID AND NORMAL KID LIFE- WE HAD ILLNESSES AND URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS AND STUFF LIKE THAT  AND THEN JUST AS I GOT MY FIRST WORK PROJECT SUMMER STARTED AND WE’VE BEEN MANAGING KID SCHEDULES THAT CHANGE WEEKLY AND WORKING AND TRIPS TO VISIT FAMILY AND ALL THE STUFF THAT MAKES LIFE CRAZY AND EVEN THOUGH NONE OF THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM ANYONE’S TALE, REALLY, IT ALL HAS CONTRIBUTED TO ME NOT TAKING ANY TIME TO POST TO MY BLOG!!!!

That’s why.

Aaahhhhh. Much better.

Coming Soon: Bumpkin to Buddhist hits Germany! My family is heading to Germany for 6 weeks starting this Sunday, so my plan is to do some blogging on the road! Until next time…