Guten Abend meine Fruenden,
(Good Evening my friends)
We are doing well here in the Walker household. Tonight is Halloween and we are back from Trick or Treating with Jael. She dressed as Tinkerbell but unfortunately she wanted an authentic , which meant a very tiny dress. I took a turtle neck and cut the sleeves off. I sewed the arm holes shut and cut the hem into a zig-zag. Jael wore it like a tube top with the turtle neck being the bodice of the dress. I made a pair of wings out of two coat hangers shaped into wings, covered them with a pair of white pantyhose and then sewed a couple of pieces of elastic to them and Viola! Tinkerbell. Of course, being that it looked an awful lot like Tinkerbell’s actual clothes, Jael was freezing and so wore her winter coat over the costume. I told her that next year she needed to dress up as something warmer, like a dog sled musher.
We went to Trier last weekend. We’d planned on taking the train but I must admit, the score is “Train system: 2; Walker’s: 0.” We’ve not figured it out yet. I think we are going to ask our landlords for advice. So we ended up driving. Which would have been fine except that we didn’t have a good map of Trier and the route I’d planned had been based off us starting at the train station. The first hour of our time in the city was a little frustrating but once we were parked and had figured out where we were, we were good to go.
The first placed we stopped was the Imperial Baths (Kaiserthermen).
The first cool thing about the baths was that I had to speak German in order to get our tickets. I said, “Zwei Erwachsene, ein Kinder,” and the man behind the counter told me the total and I almost understood him. Small victories.
We were able to go into the service tunnels underground and walk through the cave like labyrinths. As we walked along the outer wall, I noticed the holes in the walls for archers to defend the city from invaders. It was strange to walk along a wall, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and know that men had died on the ground we walked on, defending the city we were enjoying. It was strange to walk through a building that was so big. Not just physically but in importance. The Imperial Baths were a big deal. Trier was a big deal. The same people who built the “” built the building we were walking through. The same society that gave us the constitutional republic, built this building. We were, literally, walking through history and it made me feel small.
We walked to the Porta Nigra, and I, again, got to practice my German. Again, success! The two things I remember the most were a loud and enthusiastic tour guide in and Jael’s hunger. Sie hast hunger (She is hungry, or literally, she has hunger). I’ve not learned past tenses.
We went through town to find something to eat and I think we may have walked through the biggest crowd we’d ever seen! It was a little nerve wracking. I worried about losing Jael but luckily, she was perfectly happy to hold tight to a hand. There were street musicians playing with their cases open at their feet, playing for the few odd coins passerbyers might throw in.
We stopped at a park on the way back to the car and Jael played for a couple of minutes. She attempted to play with two sisters but they just looked at her like she was insane and continued to play amongst themselves. They even got a little mean, going out of their way to exclude her but she just kept playing. She’s a resilient kid.
Then we headed home. A successful trip. We were very tired by the time we got home. I think the crowds tired us out as much as the walking; at least for Israel and I.
Oh, and I passed my driver’s license test last week. It’s a hundred question test and you can miss up to 15 and still pass. I missed 7. I missed two sign questions and they were stupid mistakes. I don’t know what the other five were so WATCH OUT!! ha ha. Anyway, it’s been very good to have wheels again.
Our furniture should be here somewhere around the 17th of November. We are very ready to have some furniture. You might think it is hard to keep your house clean…try it with no furniture. No bookcases for books. No desk for paper, pens and tape. No file cabinets for paperwork. No dresser for clothes. No toy box for toys. Our house constantly looks like a tornado tore through here or a “miscellaneous stuff” bomb went off.
Jael went totoday. I left at 8:30 to clean a house and at 8:45, Maria, our landlady who works at the kindergarten, stopped by to ask if she could take Jael with her to work. I had called last week about enrolling Jael and was told that they didn’t have any openings and that they had to offer any openings to German students first. Anyway, Israel said that was fine so when I got home, Jael was gone. Israel told me the deal and to my surprise, tears began to fill my eyes. Israel’s eyes welled up and we spent a couple of minutes holding each other as we realized how grown up Jael is getting. Israel asked what I wanted to do and all I could think was, “I want my baby back!” But we waited until 2 and picked her up. She was not happy to see us (very typical. She’d always rather stay and play than go home…makes me feel great!). She’d had a great time and brought home a little ghost she’d made.
We came home and carved our Jack-O-Lanterns. Jael drew the face for one and Israel did the other. They both came out great. We set them out and lit the candles. I was really pleased. I wish I had a camera and I would send pictures, but alas, we don’t so I can’t.
I can’t think of anything else. I have got to write more often so I don’t end up with such long letters. But I probably won’t. Anyway, that’s what’s going on here.