Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Roaming the land of my kin - the birthplace of my dear mother and the issuer of half of my passports - has proven to be a delight. With nothing substantially pressing to do, other than take in the beauty of Germany in the throws of a white Christmas, I have been occupying myself with reading by the wood stove, exploring the ancient family barn, and wandering through pretty little snow-capped villages.

More importantly however, I have been spending time with my family. It’s been a year since the whole troop has been together and it’s been an absolute joy exploring old haunts, doing regular sibling things like movies and walks and flinging snowmen off of bridges, and taking part in breakfasts that in their proportions would ideally feed one or many small nations. Typically dear old dad is sent out at the crack of dawn and comes back with freshly baked bread from the village baker (right after he puts on the coffee, that is) – just in time for the rest of us to unfurl ourselves from our dreams and featherbeds. Bless the man, he is a champion.

We got to visit the famous Nunberger Weihnachts Markt – a Christmas market that far exceeded any expectation that my tropical born mind could fathom. It was a glorious maze of stalls filled to the brim with fruit and grilling bratwursts and straw stars and candles and chocolate hearts. People thronged, the choir sang and candied nuts in paper cones were tucked into. My favorite German cousin joined us in our ventures and it was a pleasant little catch-up over hot chocolate and cream.

Magnificent cathedrals have been visited, long ambles through the valley have been taken, much snow and ice has been shoveled (I am anticipating coming home with the ability to lift a truck) as well as singing around the traditional advents cranz or wreath in respectable harmony...and there’s a degree of deliciousness in knowing there is more to come. Just like the snow. It can't seem to get enough.

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