The truth about Germany's long dark winter is setting in. It is not the kind of thing where there are days without sunlight because of the latitude, just weather. The days are short and it is never sunny for an hour together, especially in winter. The opposite of summer in Texas, jumping from heater to heated car rather than AC to AC.
Anyway, I thought is wasn't as bad as they say, but now I understand. I am tired and listless, unmotivated to go outside or do anything inside. The kids are different too. The have not even built a snow man because there have just been too many cold days strung together and it isn't worth going out: the hats and gloves and boots and snow pants and zipping and then putting everything away later...
"Outside, outside. Shuh, shuh." Nadja poited at the door, then the windows. She brought me her tiny pink Timberlands; she brought her jacket. Finally I got her and myself bundled up and we went outside to play.
Here are some pictures of the front of our house. The window with the three curtains up there is the kitchen. If you look closely, near the flowers are rotting gourds left over from December.
There is a bridge in Cologne covered with locks of love. If I understand correctly, the tradition is: inscribe it, lock it on, throw the key in the river. Romantic, considering the number of locks along the bridge.
We were really there to see the Cathedral and the zoo. I did not know about the bridge until we had to cross it from where we parked and had lunch. The Hilton served currywurst with pommes outside.
Moday is mostly driving and waiting, waiting and driving. I take Tommy to kindergarten by 9:00 then Theresa to gymnastics at 10:30. This sounds easy, except gymnastics is a 45 minute drive from our village.
Half way between the village and gymnastics is the base, so we go there next to return videos, vacuum the car and eat lunch before picking up Mikey at 2:00 and rushing back to our village to get Tommy from kindergarten at 3:00.
Then, we make the 45 minute drive all over again to ballet at 4:00. If you were counting you would notice that we still have to go back to the base and pick up Rosie at the teen center. By then, it is 5:30 and dark outside. So we eat on base and drive home. This takes a lot of gas, and Monday is over.
Tuesday, the Airman's Attic is open, and the new year brings many donations. I enjoy this trip and so does Nadja because there is a room full of free toys. Really. Take some and leave some. Today she got a pink poodle back pack baby leash. Probably I will not be to ashamed to use this in the international airport soon.
Here is what I am really happy about. I got a new years Moleskine soft cover set of two 13x21cm unlined journals. Look:
I got a new pocketbook which zips at the top and has a loop handle. Now my ID will now fall out at the jewelry counter in the BX, nor will Nadja be able to take my credit card (until she learns to work zippers, I guess).
I got Chanel Mdse. perfume, and a new pair of jeans.
I got the tee down with a lot of help from Rosie, or perhaps I should say Rosie got the tree down with no help from me. Mikey Elf with life size photo of his face is still taped to the window, and the garland is still on the front railing, and there are several overly ripe gourds still propped up next the the small evergreen trees on the outside window sill. Those are next as I imagined I smelled them when I walked by below, although the have not yet begun to implode or leak.