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The Perfect Sledding Hill

by Toiny Westberry on 19 January 2013
in Adventures in Germany,Personal Notes,Tessa Pin this scrappy stuff!

It’s been snowing in the Schwarzwald (black forest)!  I absolutely love the fluffy, white, cold.  My kids too can spend all day outside, only coming in to change mittens or boots and grab a drink of hot cocoa.  Driving is a little slippery, a little scary, and I’m not super inclined to come down off my tiny mountain. BUT we live on top off a tiny mountain. That means…. sledding!

On Friday, instead of calling a snow day, the school called a sledding day.  Parents, siblings, the whole town was invited.  I raced through my work chores to be able to join in, but once I got to the school it was deserted.  There was no one in sight.  Luckily, right then, the town maintenance man, the school janitor, drove up.  I asked for help.  He quickly realized I wasn’t from around here, that I’d have trouble following his directions, and told me to follow him. Thank God I’d brought my car!  I usually walk.

I followed him right past my house, around a corner, and then another and we were in a field.  I really need new snow tires.  He got out, listened, took a couple steps & took a look… no kids, no village people.  They must be at the other hill, at the other end of town, follow him some more.  Again we drove right past my house (me totally thrilled I didn’t walk today), around a corner, then another and we were at a different field.  He got out, listened, took a couple steps & gave a pleased nod.  We’d found them.  He directed me to drive to the old cemetery and park there, then walk to the field.  I thanked him, and he went on his way while I parked.

Within five minutes I was in the field, at the edge of a dark stand of trees (soooo black forest-y), at the top of the perfect sledding hill.  The rest of Tess’ school quickly introduced themselves and with a shock I realized it was her whole school.  The 50 people standing at the top of the hill made up Tess’ whole school. 50.  My daughter now goes to a tiny village school with 50 other people.  This is a far cry from the 600+ kids at my suburban elementary school when I first moved to the states.

I was proud as a peacock when her music teacher asked if Tessa also spoke english. Yes! Fist pump.  My daughter speaks german like a native. Her accent is no longer distinguishable.  This was our goal when we enrolled our kids in german schools, to raise truly bilingual, hopefully trilingual, kids.  There is still so much to learn, so many customs that still make no sense to me, but we are blessed with more time in Germany to learn this.

In the meantime, yesterday was a fantastic morning sledding down our little mountain, in the middle of the Schwarzwald, laughing with the 50 other kids & teachers in Tess’ new school.

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