What does one say at the end of a wonderful journey? What does one say when one wakes up and finds that the house is now empty of family?
Thank you God for the ride.
This Christmas season 2006, I enjoyed two of my favorite people. My son's best friend from 4th grade came to visit me. He and his wife of two years climbed on a plane on December 23rd in Dallas FortWorth, Texas and flew here to meet me at 7:50 on December 24th. I arrived at the airport to discover them through the window. (They were the only people dressed in sweats, a tell-tale sign of American traveller :-)
They brought 2 large suitcases and 2 carry on bags. Unbeknownst to me, those bags would be laid out before my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, unpacked, and most of their contents placed under that tree, for my opening the following morning! I have never in my life had such an amazing Christmas.
Sh & St did pretty well, but they were too tired to go over to a friends for coffee. *Max* came over later that day. He is my Israeli friend. We go to Deutsch Schule together. He is a wonderful young man. Never putting up a Christmas tree before, he did a spectacular job helping me the day before Sh & St came. He found the tree himself, pulled it away from its corner and said, "MM don't you think that this one needs a home?" It was a weak little tree with many gaps. I loved it!
As I sat on my living room couch opening presents, I gazed at the little Charlie Brown tree. Remembering the years when no presents were under the tree, and even years no tree graced our living room. How amazing our God is. It is not that I received a great many presents that could not be used. No, those sneaky ones asked me to send a list of things that I need. I told them how much I appreciated their bringing over some needed teaching tools, bibles, and various and assundry other items. I was open about the list, I even asked for more memory for my computer (it was in sad shape and I was afraid it would crash at any moment) all with the belief that it would be paid for by my son. But those sneaky little things - they sent out the list to many people at home and people donated all of these things to me!!!!! I was shocked, overwhelmed with delight and amazed at God's goodness. When I opened the last gift, I lost it. A computer. Instead of bringing more memory, they decided to send a computer. Several people got together and bought it for me. Now, the really fun part is that Sh is a computer whiz kid. He has been my computer consultant for years. So, not only did God give me a computer, but He sent someone I knew and trusted to download all of my documents onto the new computer from my old one.
We traveled many places during the 10 days they were here:
Colmar, France to a Weihnactsmarkt
Schwarz Wald for a Schwarzwald Kirsche Torte
We watched an amazing fireworks show across the valley of Germany and into France on New Year's Eve. We stood on the castle walls and then stepped back and watched as the town set the fireworks off from inside the castle. A friend from Beaumont, Texas that lives here in my little hometown came with his fiancee' and visited until 4:00 am.
Interlaken, Switzerland (Alps)
Dachau, close to Munich (concentration camp)
Four of the ten days were spent at home. All stores close and there wasn't anything to do, but work on the computer and study. :0)
I think it was good for Sh & St - and well, it is Germany!;
Two days they went to the Therma Bads. It was an experience. They went with *Max*; he could speak a bit of German to get them around. Swimming in very cold weather outside was one of those memories I am sure St* will hold on to. That and buying a swimming suit in Germany in December! Who would have 'thunk' that they are selling them here all year round.
So all in all - I am aware of God and His amazing ability to spread Himself over me with His blessings. Even in the midst of missing my family.
I must go to bed now. I have been hitting the books once again all day...
Monday and school starts.
What a wonderful ebb and flow of life.