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Archive for March, 2013

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(Woke up to snow.)

I woke up this morning and there was a dusting of snow in the backyard. It has continued to snow off and on. We should have several inches by tomorrow. Coming over from Texas, where things are blooming and sunshine is plentiful, the snow is actually lovely. For our dear friends who have been here all winter…not so happy.

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(Wall decor at one of our favorite restaurants.)

We had lunch with our Young Life staff friend, Erin, at Mellows in Starnberg. It’s a Cuban/American restaurant. There are pictures of Che and Fidel hanging on the walls and lots of memorabilia. It’s quite fascinating, and the food is good. I had pizza, the quintessential cuban cuisine.

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(Look what time it is!!!!)

We were driving to Berg to pick up our former neighbor, Barbara, to take her for kaffee und kuchen and look what we found! It’s time for the toad crossings. You see they know it’s March, and romance is in the air…as is snow. This is my favorite road sign of all time. Just so you know.

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(The little toad fences!)

Just past the sign, they put up the little green fences to catch the toads before they cross the highway. Then there is someone called a liebekröte, toad lover, who takes a cup and picks up the toads at the little green fence and takes them safely across the road to the other side and releases them. Is this not the cutest ecological event on the planet! My spring is complete. I arrived in time for the Toad Crossings.

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(Easter candy by Lindt.)

Our sweet neighbor, Barbara, gave Jim and me this delightful and delicious Easter Candy when we picked her up this afternoon, after our toad crossing extravaganza. The three of us, drove down the hill to the Starnberger See to the Hotel Schloss Berg for afternoon coffee and cake. We sat in the warm restaurant next to the large windows overlooking the beautiful Alpine lake, snow gently falling, ducks swimming, and enjoyed life, friendships, and chocolate.

As darkness falls, I am content. It’s been a good day, and I’m grateful.

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Almost finished! Packing is a process for me. Especially when I’m packing for three months, three seasons. We’ll leave Dallas where it will be in the 70s and sunny and land in Munich where it has been snowing and raining. It will be in the 30s when we land. Hmm. Even dressing for the flight over is a challenge. Winter dies hard in Germany.

A week after we arrive in Munich, we’ll leave for Macedonia for the Service Project with International School students from all over Europe. The weather will be unpredictable, warmer during the day unless it’s raining, cool at night. Maybe. Then, we’ll return to Munich and drive to our apartment in the Black Forest. Hopefully, the sun will begin to shine and Spring will arrive. By June, we’ll be in northeastern Spain for training. Summer begins, It will be quite sunny and warm.

So you see my problem. I know. I know. You’re saying, Poor you, traveling to all those places. It’s true. I have a great job. But seriously, packing takes thoughtful planning. (Was that redundant.) I first lay out EVERYTHING I think I might wear in piles on the bed. Then, I leave and do something else for awhile. Later, I come back to my piles and rummage through them, pulling things I really don’t need. Again, I wander to the kitchen for chocolate and a coke. Finally, I return to the bedroom and make a final run through, holding up each piece of clothing and asking myself, is this really necessary, or can I pack an extra package of flour tortillas in its place? At this point, I put everything in the suitcase and weigh it. Now I can decide what shoes/boots will fit. I, of course, will be wearing the heaviest pair on the plane!

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Now to pack my carry on. What books will I need? I’ll be working on my new novel. (I MUST BUY A KINDLE.) Then, the DVDs, chocolate, more books, laptop, more chocolate, pictures of the family, additional chocolate, passport, deck of cards… Done.

I know what you’re wondering. Isn’t there chocolate in Germany? YES. Amazing chocolate, but hey, it’s a long flight.

I’ll try to take pictures and do a better job of documenting our journey while we’re at home on the other side of the pond. Auf wiedersehen!

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