• Uncategorized

    SCHOOL DAYS

    Deutschland represents a number of firsts for our family.  Among them is the first time Hunter, Eva, and Acadia have attended a Department of Defense school.  Like all schools there is both good and bad.   Hohenfels Elementary School is reminiscent of a small Vermont town elementary school.  Nestled among the changing autumn leaves where most people know each other because your child is in either their child’s class or they do gymnastics together or they did a library even together.  How do the kids get to school?  Why in a luxury bus of course.  No yellow school buses here.  There is a fleet of luxury buses that span out across…

  • Uncategorized

    BAYERN 2019 PHOTO SHOOT

    27 OCTOBER 2019 So the children came back from school with their school photograph proofs earlier this year.  Julia loved them.  What we didn’t like was the price.  Crazy isn’t it?  I believe in compensating professional photographers for their work but $40 for a few wallet size hardly seems fair.  Especially when you have three children.  $120 for a few photos of the children in front of a green screen background?  Why?  Not when you live in one of the prettiest places in Europe. So I made Julia a promise. I promised to get the children dressed up in their traditional Bayern lederhosen and drindls. I promised to take them…

  • Uncategorized

    AS IF PENNIES WEREN’T ENOUGH

    28 OCTOBER 2019 In many ways moving to Europe is like moving back in time. As in, ‘what are credit cards’?  As in, always hearing a jingling in your pocket as you walk down the street.  As in, always having to check your seat as you get up to pick up any and all coins you deposited due to shallow pockets. These European Unionists LOVE their coins.  Like the greenback?  Forget it.  There is no Euro bill, just a Euro coin.  And a two Euro coin.  And think having pennies is good enough?  Not for Europeans.  They have a 2 cent coin.  I’m surprised they don’t have a 1/2 cent…

  • Uncategorized

    WHERE GOOD BAKING STARTS

    28 OCTOBER 2019 Okay.  A lot going on in this photograph. The original purpose was to capture my method for softening butter for baking.  I place it in a bowl and then lay the bowl on the one floor in our home with radiant heat.  Actually works pretty well. But the photograph also does a good job of capturing our inner courtyard.  The courtyard is great when it’s warm because it’s one of the few outdoor places in Deutschland where the bees don’t bother you. Finally, you’ll notice the flags hanging from the rafters.  Hunter’s disappointed that we do not have the Vermont, North Carolina, and Bayern flags but that’s…

  • Uncategorized

    AMERICA IN DEUTSCHLAND

    30 OCTOBER 2019 I chuckle when I see the examples throughout Deutsche society. The American influence. Can’t call it white bread.  Can’t call it plain bread.  So why not call it American bread.  I suppose the origin comes from the fact that backereis (bakeries) are as ubiquitous to Bayern towns as church steeples are to Vermont villages.  Every small town has at least one and usually more than one.  And nearly all grocery stores have an in-store bakery and a bakery at the front of the store run under a different name.  With such great crusty bread baked daily, I guess our preservative based store shelf bread is unique to…

  • Uncategorized

    CHILDREN’S TOYS

    Until the end of my days our Pinehurst home will haunt me.  It was everything.  It was new, it had custom detail like crown molding, it had space for everyone, it had luxury well beyond what one needs or expects from a home. And one of those things was the new LG front loading washer and dryer I purchased when we moved into the home as the first owners.  When compiling my due diligence on washers and dryers, size was a factor.  As a family of five I do not enjoy doing 28 loads of laundry a week.  The chances of giving one of our children up for adoption remains…

  • Uncategorized

    U.S.A.! U.S.A! U.S.A!

    Americans stationed in Deutschland for decades or the ones who were posted here previously tell stories of how until recently you weren’t expected to hide your ‘Americanism’. For our own protection we are expected to keep a low profile and not draw attention to ourselves.  Understandable in today’s geo-political environment. So within this context I find it funny that our temporary license plate had ‘USA’ written in the corner.  Don’t let anyone know your American!  Now drive down the street with a license plate that says USA on it.  I’m still chuckling thinking about that temporary tag, even as I type this. Of course we don’t need a USA tag…

  • Uncategorized

    TRASH-LESS SOCIETY….

    Prior to arriving in DE I had a system for rubbish in my car.  Upon arrival at my destination, I would remove any garbage that had accumulated during the errand and deposit at a receptacle where I exited my vehicle (I eschew trash bags in vehicles unless the road trip is longer than three hours in which case the offspring can generate enough rubbish to make the Indian from the 70s commercial cry again). The system does not work in Germany.  Running into the Netto or Rewe grocery store and want to throw some trash away?  Good  luck, no trash cans. On a military installation?  Sure, there’s a dumpster right…

  • Uncategorized

    DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

    2 NOVEMBER 2019 What a great house to celebrate the day of the dead.  Part of the charm of our 450 year old house is the traditional Bayern ceramic wood stove that usually straddles two rooms.  It’s angled, multi-layered, and perfect for hosting candles. I’m sure Luis, Kathy, Aboi, Muggs, Dad, Boone, Nanny, Grandpa Herb and Grandma enjoyed their trip across the bridge to our new home in Deutschland.