Thursday, April 10, 2008

6 December: Movie & Cookies

Speaking of German bureaucracy, something strange happened this week. I went outside one morning and discovered that someone had put up two “no parking” signs on the sidewalk in front of our house. These weren’t any flimsy cardboard signs either; they were the real heavy-duty metal street signs, mounted in heavy plastic blocks. (The symbol for no parking in Europe is a blue circle outlined in red, with a red diagonal line through it.) A piece of paper was attached to each sign indicating that the parking restriction would be in force on the date the movers will be here – Friday, December 7th from 8 am to 1 pm, including the sidewalk. We have no idea when the signs appeared or who put them there, but they looked quite official!

This morning on my way to Evelyne’s I ran into the lady up the street walking Sophie the Newfoundland, who has grown from a fluffy puppy into a dignified adult, but still retains her youthful charisma. Sophie’s owner had obviously noticed the moving signs and asked about our imminent move back to America. We chatted for a few minutes and I couldn’t help marveling at how much my German has improved since that first day when she asked if Cody was a boy or a girl and I accidentally said that Cody was a girl!

Today marked my last morning walk with Evelyne and Marlene. It has been getting harder and harder to drag myself out of bed in the morning (although I should be thankful that the only pregnancy symptom I have suffered from so far is fatigue!) but I didn’t want to disappoint Evelyne by telling her I couldn’t go walking anymore. Nevertheless, I was secretly grateful that this would be my last early morning outing. Marlene was so busy talking that I don’t think she realized it was the last time I would see her. I promised Evelyne that I would come over next week sometime to visit her and Oda one more time.

Today we picked up our interim car, a silver diesel E-class wagon, in preparation for turning in the E-class tomorrow. Then this evening I picked up Beth and we took the E-Class for its final trip out to Emily’s house in Schwieberdingen for movie night and the annual IWC Cookie Exchange. To participate in the exchange, you are supposed to bring three dozen cookies and you get to take home a selection of cookies from each of the other participants. Beth had kindly volunteered to make my cookies for me since I’ve had quite a lot to keep me busy lately, and she seems to be on a baking kick. I was, however, responsible for bringing the movie: The Princess Bride. It seems that several IWC members are long-time Princess Bride fans, and Emily and I have been repeating our favorite line from the movie ever since our last movie night (“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”). I mentioned that I had a copy of the movie that we could watch, so long as Emily scheduled one more move night before I left! The movie was well-received by newbies (including Anne W.) and of course loved by all (me, Emily, Beth, Shannon). Unfortunately we didn’t have time to watch the many fabulous extras on my special “Buttercup Edition,” including interviews with the stars some twenty years later. Finally we had to drag ourselves away. I said a last goodbye to Emily and came away with a huge bag of cookies to get us through our last week in the hotel. I dropped Beth off and returned home for our very last night in the Botnang house.

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