Vince is headed off on a ski trip this weekend and I am staying home. This is not a complaint. I do not like to ski. There are few things I can imagine that would be less pleasant than skiing: root canal (know this for a fact), scrubbing the toilet (see previous remark) and colonic irrigation (I’ve heard stories), but I digress, Vince is going skiing, I am happy for him, and even more happy that I didn’t have to go along.
Instead I planned a cosy weekend alone involving Downton Abbey DvDs, making lots of new playlists for my I-pod, long walks with the dogs and a good 3 hour yak on the phone with the World Traveler. Unfortunately I’d forgotten that it is my turn to drive to basketball games tonight as well as tomorrow night. Tonight’s game is in East Jabib, tomorrow will see us in Timbuktu.
Normally driving for the team isn’t a problem, but it gets dark early this time of year, I don’t see terribly well in the dark and even with GPS, driving to unfamiliar regions of the boondocks makes me nervous. Promise me that one of you will call Interpol and report me missing if my avatar doesn’t pop up between 14:00 EST Friday and 10:00 EST Sunday.
This morning Vince and I went to Münster because he needed a new ski jacket at the last minute. Hirmer Big and Tall men’s shop is right across the street from our favorite konditorei, Kleimann, which is why I went along. I figured I’d give the dogs an extra long walk to make up for the calories.
On the way to Münster, we discussed Joe College. Our eldest imp is struggling with his course work. He’s brilliant so has relied on his usual method of study; crack open the books the night before the exam and cram, cram cram! This system worked fine in highschool, but doesn’t apply to the university paradigm. He is ready to chuck in the towel and study something useful, like the liberal arts. You can imagine Vince and I are more than a little worried. Yesterday, Joe College went to see his aunt and uncle with the excuse that his internet connection had fallen out and he needed to study some notes online. I think he really just went to see them to air his concerns and doubts there before raising them with us. They listened, bless them, and handed him the hard line (Get your act together, pal), so Vince and I can just relax and be supportive for a change. I must call to thank them.
In the local news, some half-wit abandoned a gorgeous Bordeaux dog at the local animal shelter. They just drove up under cover of darkness, tied the dog to a tree in front of the shelter and left him there in the cold all night. It has been way below freezing at night all week. The Bordeaux is a relative of the mastiff, a cousin to our Mack, if you will. Vince has left it up to me to decide whether I ought to pick him up from the shelter or not. I think I’ll call him “Virgil” or maybe “Boots”…
After a late lunch, I pulled on my hiking boots and took the big dawg out for a walk in the snow. Almost home, I rummaged around in the pocket of my hunting jacket for my keys. Dog cookies, poop sacks, 1 euro 50 cents, a tissue, my I-pod, no keys. No problem, I thought, Vince hides a spare house key in the big freezer in the garage. I turned the freezer inside out, no key. I brought Mack to the back yard and set out to retrace our steps to look for my keys. The yellow BOB thingamabob would be easy to see on the snow. I couldn’t see them anywhere. I walked around and around the house, hoping one of the guys was careless enough to leave a window unlocked. Yes! I found one. I went to the garage, got a step ladder, wedged my little self into the window and got stuck halfway. My skirt got hooked on the pin at the bottom of the window. Vince was way into Germany by this time, Joe College was in the train somewhere between here and Leiden and Charlie Brown wouldn’t be home for hours…Luckily I saw Elisabeth and her new beau, Fred across the street. To their credit, they didn’t laugh but helped free me from the evil window pin. I’m sure they busted a gut or two once they were behind closed doors though. I found a spare house key in the key box and took my bike key as well for another scout around. No luck. I figured the keys were lost but good. The whole thing still irked me though. 10 minutes ago, I pulled down the hunting jacket and did the TSA thing. I found the keys. In one of those secret “ammo” pockets. I haven’t decided whether I’m relieved or incredibly mad at myself.
*All images, except for the keys are from Google