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Mamo Visit

July 10 , 2005


Dear Families and Friends,


This month we had our first summer visitor, Marianne's mom. She flew over by herself, not letting let her 85 years keep her back in California. This is a remarkable reminder to the rest of us to keep active, even if it's difficult.

Most of the stay was spend going here and going there, with much of the "there" being Pommersfelden, our soon-to-be home town. We took a zillion pictures and here we'll share some with you.

Regards and keep moving,


John and Marianne

We let mom rest for no more than one day before we headed off on the road trip down to Pommersfelden. Here she is stretching after the two-hour ride (MUCH better than her 12-hour trip over from Fresno!)
Our first order of business was house inspection. The fence sported an ad for a rock show, a problem with these abandoned buildings. But, it won't be abandoned long.
Upstairs and downstairs, Marianne explained our dream house. Mamo seemed genuinely excited about how things WILL be. Her eyes may be limited, but her vision of what will come was perfectly clear.
On our way to a Sunday barbeque, we ran across the Levi Straus museum in his hometown of Buttenheim. He was another Bavarian who ran off to California and succeeded beyond the imagination of his small village.
We also managed to stop and eat a bit on our way to dinner. We just couldn't pass up a fruit stand with strawberries fresh from the neighboring field.
Then it was barbeque at Herr Werner's house. He had sold us our new house and we thoroughly enjoyed this welcoming party with him and his family. If many of our new neighbors are this welcoming, it will be an easy transition.
The next day we passed by the local stone dealer and Mamo inspected here too. Everything got solid grades.
We managed one short weekend excursion down the Mosel Valley. It's a scenic, couple-hour trip from Frankfurt and there were plenty of vistas to get out and look at. We managed one winery stop where the vintner served us wine and local stories. His English had just the slightest accent - a Down East accent from Maine that is. He'd been a soldier in Germany 35 years ago when he fell in love with local wine and the vintner's daughter.
We stopped about mid-way along the Mosel, in the village of Ernest. Marianne selected one charming little gasthaus from the many the town offered. This was still a bit early in the tourist season, so we had the haus to ourselves.

On the way back, we stopped for obligatory post cards.

Mamo also tried out a new ride.


Our final weekend was at the house again. This time we met with the Axel and the Einbecker brothers, our "contractors" who will do the serious below-ground work over the next weeks. The Frankish-flavored German being spoken tested Mamo's language skills, be she swore she'd understood it all. We need her around more!
We also managed a stay at the neighborhood castle, this time showing off to Gloria, a work colleague from back in the States. I think we convinced her that EVERYONE needs to spend a few days in a castle.

ps: I almost forgot! I had a chance to visit my family just before I flew back home, arriving within minutes of Mamo. I had a chance to see Bim, Ron, Mike, Geoff and Suzanne, and it was a great visit. Bim's doing well and was up and about more than I'd seen in over six months. Mike was visiting from his job maintaining helicopters for "the flunkeys" (his crew's term for anyone other than those who fly on Marine One.).

Geoff and Suzanne put on a Father's Day breakfast at her mom's house and there was enough good food for the whole neighborhood.

So, that's the family update. Stay in touch with yours.



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