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January In The New Year

January, 2007

Written February 24

Dear Friends and Families,


It's a new year and I had hoped to be inspired and create a new format for these Diaries. After eight years of doing this, I have to admit technology has marched on, but without me. Somewhere along the way, I should have introduced fancy graphics and animation. By now, this should be a BLOG or podcast, with daily postings of wit and clarity or, better yet, a videologue wit beauty, wit, and clarity.

I'm sure the audience would be huge, with thousands of hits a day and advertising revenue enough to fund world travel forever. Actually, I'm not sure there is any audience left and we are left with the realization that we really do make these records for ourselves, for when we are old and gray. Like now, for instance.

A New Year should inspire new ideas, but it's 5 am and I'm having a hard time with any ideas, new or old. I'll fall back on a simple record of some of the things we've done in this first month. I'll leave out working, cooking, cleaning, bill paying, language studying, and all the chores, so at least our story about life in a foreign village will not put us to sleep when we next read it.


This month, our only hobby was photography, normally within walking distance of the kitchen coffee machine. First, there was a Saturday when we discovered mushrooms and lichen. Who says village life is dull?


In Winter, we take color where we find it and we found these small bits in the fields behind the house.


The next weekend was equally exciting. Same fields, but a dusk walk gave better color.
I don't know which village residents were more quiet, the birds in trees or the folks in their old houses.
We do get nice sunsets here. I suppose it has to do with global warming or something. At least WE won't get flooded when the oceans rise.


On other days. it's off to The Kellerhaus Cafe, our local culture magnet. This month, they have concrete people in the patio. It's cold, after all.


Speaking of Winter, we did get a short spell of cold and snow. Not too bad really, just enough to justify the purchase of our four-wheel-drive station wagon. We did enjoy walking in the snow - and stopping at the bakery to warm up.
Back home, the first of the Spring birds were showing up. Fortunately, our neighbor had hung suet balls for the little guys.

So, that was January. In case you wonder, February was not too different. The good times just keep on rollin'. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........


John and Marianne.


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