For context, read part 1 and part 2 before reading this.
Saturday morning, we awoke to a white world. The green hills of yesterday were white today. We had a few minutes of fretting about being stuck in our hairpin curve neighborhood until spring, but we soon settled in for the joy of a wet snow day. We did laundry, put puzzles together (although the puzzles were decidedly not for adults), and made spaghetti and garlic bread.
It was this day that we hunted high and low for trash bags, and, after perusing the Airbnb folder, discovered that we would have to pay for a second trash bag and corresponding disposal! Nonsense! I stood on the trash. I think my brother-in-law did too. And later, Dad pressed it down even more. Hopefully, the bag of now-bricks did not put out our hostess’ back when she stooped to pick it up.
Now that I’m done discussing trash and our remarkably uneventful Saturday, I might as well mention that one fantastic thing that we did: a yodeler concert!
My former roommate had found a concert about 15 minutes from our place. And by the time evening rolled around, the roads were clear. We wandered into the concert hall, feeling very much like we were wandering into a Central Illinois gathering. Again, it was both delightful and disconcerting how much we physically fit in. We relied on Mom’s high school German and my German pronunciation of my own name to claim our reserved tickets (which, as it turns out, I still mispronounced my name so I might as well have just used the English version). Several people wanted to talk to us, but our blank smiles deterred them.
We sipped Rivella and ate the little chocolates at our places. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed. People chatted until the lights suddenly dimmed. I checked my phone. It was 8:00 p.m. on the dot.
By the first song, we had already settled back to enjoy the evening. The music was exactly what Dad had spent years of hours watching on YouTube. His dreamy expression made the rest of us warm and happy too. The mixture of traditional music groups was delightful. My nephew was the only baby present (this might tell you the age bracket of the audience), and he did pretty good, considering the concert started at his bedtime.
During intermission, a man came around and tried to talk to us. When we apologized, he backed away and said something about “American!” Word had got around.
On Sunday, we went out for one last scenic drive. The snow was mostly gone, and the landscape was green again. We wound through the countryside and eventually found our way to Trachselwald Castle, where Anabaptists were once held as prisoners. We didn’t think we could get into the exhibit, but decided to enjoy the outside anyway. Then, my nervy brother-in-law pushed open the unlocked door and we wandered inside the damp, cold tower. It was an unexpected peek into our history, and the unexpected part made it that much more meaningful.
That evening, my former roommate brought over her fiancé to get my vote of approval (that was my idea). We had a delightful evening of talking and praying together. And in the end, he got my approval. 🙂
After they left, we realized we were pretty low on food. In our effort to “work it out just right,” we had underestimated our appetites. My brother-in-law and nephew polished off the tube of mayonnaise… plain. With a side of butter… plain.
The next morning, after a few hiccups–such as not filling up the rental van with fuel and my nephew promptly wetting through all of his layers just after Mommy checked in the carry-on–we were on our way to Spain!
Not having been able to reserve an exit row, Dad passive-aggressively manipulated circumstances by stretching his legs into the aisle until the stewardess took note and moved all 6’6″ of him to a roomier seat. It was a rough flight. My nephew cried for a good part of it while my sister and brother-in-law felt like “those” parents. There was enough turbulence that my sister and I wore matching pale green faces.
At our layover in Madrid, we had the perfect amount of time, which we squandered by making various and sundry trips to the food bar only to end up with stuffy sandwiches and a tasteless salad… and an almost missed flight. We made a wild dash when my brother-in-law saw on the screen that our flight was boarding.
“We are about to close the gate,” the attendant told us. And we frantically collected our people and things. But after that trauma, our flight was uneventful. And then we were home–at least I was home.
But I will have to write about that another day.