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June and July Miscellaneous


Written August 13

Dear Friends and Families,


This is a lazy, catch-up diary. "Lazy" because one diary will cover a bunch of separate "events", none of which probably warrant the term. "Catch-up" because the primary purpose is to get us somewhere near current. It is mid-August, and we've just recently done diaries for May. June and July were not at all remarkable, but we do need to fill in each month's diary pages so that when we are old and gray (older and grayer), we'll remember what did or didn't happen. So, here goes.


So, stay in touch and don't let a month or two go by without noticing.


John and Marianne

June 2nd: Giessen Elementary School End-of-School Celebration. This was a fun Friday fest at the principal's home, a traditional American pot luck and barbeque. There was plenty of good conversation and Marianne was one of the honored teachers who were moving on from Giessen.

At the end of June, I had a business trip to the States and Marianne had a trip to California to visit family. I dragged my camera for a week and managed just a single picture session, with Geoff and Suzanne at her folks' house. As usual, it was a fun bunch and the food was American again: pizza.


Meanwhile, Marianne was out in California, enjoying family and Fresno weather. There was an American breakfast at Denny's with her mom and Elemer and a quick dip in the family pool. Only people under 30 are shown in the pool. It was a nice opportunity for Marianne to see that nephew Henry is growing up and, of course, to talk again with Gabby, our favorite daughter.

While Marianne was still hanging around the pool in California, I was back in Germany, hosting a business visit - on the Fourth of July no less. It turned out to be a pleasant week. The hotel was nice and we managed to spare time for a long outdoor lunch across the Main River in Selingenstadt. The approach from the tiny ferry is very dramatic, with the 9th Century church looming over town. One of the local engineers pointed out the level the Main River has hit in the past, so it isn't always so quiet and tranquil.

By mid-July, we were both back home and trying to establish some sort of routine in our new house. First, on Saturday, we took an early morning walk, via the castle, to the bakery. We had developed a routine recently, and the quiet walk was really a wonderful way to start the day. Unfortunately, we had to stop this practice because it's also a wonderful way to put on weight. Friends Barbara and Mike came down in the afternoon and toured Bamberg. After that hard work, Marianne put on a fancy patio meal and we sat around the table late into the warm night.

On Sunday, after Barbara and Mike headed back to Wiesbaden (near Frankfurt), Marianne and I walked around our neighborhood. After a glance out the back door, we headed up the "berg" by the castle. (The Graf was at home, as indicated by the flag flying from the center tower.) Mostly, it was farm harvest season, but we managed to snoop at the new "Cultural Cafe" . It's quite a well-done place for light meals, coffee, and desserts. Later in the month we would go to the grand opening but on this day, it looked hardly possible that opening day was less than two weeks away.


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