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Adventures in Germany

I was going to wax poetic about Ireland today, and it’s still coming, you can’t stop me!  But, gosh there’s always a “but” isn’t there?  I was at the emergency room again last night.

I know, I know, I barely skimmed over Lindsay’s break in my Week I Review of Sorens visit home (Whirlwind).  But she did break her wrist (the scaphoid bone) snowboarding in Garmisch, beautiful, sunny, perfect Garmisch, while she was here.

Lindsay (Sorens girlfriend) was a Trooper!  I had no idea she’d hurt herself halfway down the mountain. And we snowboarded allllll the way down the mountain (Garmisch Hausberg, 1.3 km long).  Not only did we snowboard allllll the way down, but Lindsay wound up carrying Tess’ poles most of the way down.  Tess gave up. She hates skiing. She hates snowboarding (I think I’m disowning her).  Soren carried his sister down, while herding rocket-boy Dane.  Lindsay carried her poles, with her broken wrist, while I carried her skiis.

To top it off, Lindsay & I got lost.  Somehow we wound up off the run, on the other side of the mountain, on the other side of the small but raging brook.  Thankfully there was a fabulous, wobbly, rickety wooden plank we could use to cross the raging brook.  An elderly German man watched us cross it with great trepidation (carrying boards & skiis).  I asked him;

“Is it safe?” In my best German, of course.
“Yes.  Try it.” Says he.  “Then I can cross too.” Though I imagine he would not have crossed had the board snapped under my weight, and the raging brook carried me away.

The next day we took Lindsay to the ER, because she was stoic & fine that first day.  However. I caught on very quickly when she couldn’t brush her hair, teeth, or feed herself properly.

Last night Cole came home, with Dave, and I took one look at his hand & knew we were going right back to the same ER. He had a broken bone too.  Cole was stoic too, not a a tear was shed, but, LOL, he broke it horsing around with a buddy.  Really just talking with his hands, with his whole body, the way we all do, and his hand connected with his buddies moving knee.  The buddy is fine, not even a bruise.  Cole… well… he & Lindsay are now twinsies & I think they’ve put up a “Westberry’s Only” sign at our ER.

cole and lindsay

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I am bursting with happiness. I’ve got words spilling out of  my fingers faster than they can type.  My oldest, my golden child, my beautiful first born, Soren is here!  He arrived safe & sound & full of energy to explore the world early Sunday morning.  It has been a whirlwind ever since.

We’ve been to 1 1/2 Faschings Umzugs (Carnival parades), we’ve shopped in countless stores (that boy is a shop-a-holic just like his Oma). We’ve gotten lost in the most beautiful, treacherous part of Austria (lesson learned: read a map.  Don’t just trust your GPS).  We’ve been skiing and snowboarding (I can still do both!).  We learned that Dane has the “Rocketride” technique of skiing down pat, and it gives us all heart attacks, he points straight down & GOES until someone yells stop.  Then he crashes.  Dane would like to ski every single day please. We had dinner at our favorite Gasthaus in Garmisch (Gasthaus Fraundorfer) and completely enjoyed the warm bier, topped with whipped cream, liquors.  Dinner and dessert were equally fabulous and oh so very German.  If you are ever in the area… I highly recommend a visit.

We had two hospital visits, one in downtown Stuttgart for Dane’s yearly check-up with his “Giant” doctor (Dane’s Giant Doctor).  While Dane is still in the high normal, his “S” curve is back in his right carotid and we are still on yearly checks.  His blood flow is good, and that’s what is really important.  Our second visit was late last night, turns out Lindsay (Soren’s girlfriend) broke something in her wrist. But not her bone.  My German isn’t good enough to know what she broke, but she is in a beautiful blue cast.  What a trooper! Barely a peep out of her (though now she has been sleeping 14+ hours).

On our last day we journeyed up to the top of the Mount Osterfeldkopf to brave the views from the Alpspix.  Despite being made of strong metal beams, imbedded in hard rock, venturing out on the platform 1,000 meters above the valley is an adrenaline rush I’d rather skip.  But I did it. For the view.  For the photo’s. For my kids, so they learn not to fear.

Still, Dane did fear it very much.  Getting him to the very end took lots of coaxing and gummy bears.  And a big promise to stay crouched down, so there was zero chance of falling overboard.  I love my kids.

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I have taken no new pictures since my peek into the mysterious world of the Narrenzunft (Narrenzunft) on Tuesday.  My world has been filled with little tasks that take ages to complete.

Most critically, our home phone doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked since the “big” upgrade on December 22.  I am most unhappy and my cable company is most unhelpful.  Today I received an email that they were “unable to reach me by phone to fix this problem”.  Um.  Really?

All three of our big boys have big going-ons in their lives right now, thank God for Skype & messenger so I can still talk to them and hold their hands and walk them through these changes.  Not that Christian will let me.  All I get is “No info” every single time I try to figure out where the Marines are sending him.  And when.  And for how long.  I even tried bribing him with boxes of German candy.  No info.  I hate deployments.

Nicholas, on the other hand, is finally making big strides to become a grown-up.  He’s a little late to blossom, but the realization has hit that he is an adult.  And it’s scary.  Luckily he’s got his brothers, his grandparents, and us to be there every step of the way.  I have fingers & toes crossed that he stays on this grown-up path (and half a Cathedral full of candles lit, it can’t hurt).

But the biggest news, my favoritest news, Soren is coming to Germany!  I get him for two whole weeks in February.  Him, and the new girlfriend Lindsay, and MY BABY SISTER!  Soren bought my beautiful baby sister a ticket to come to Germany to see me.  I’m not sure who cried more, me or Manon.  This is the best gift he could’ve given me. It’s been three years since Soren’s college graduation. Three years since I’ve seen her.  I am SO EXCITED!


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