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Long Easter Weekend

*** Under Construction ***

April 8 and 9

Written April 9 and ?

Dear Friends and Family,

Good Friday and the Monday after Easter are both German holidays, so this was my last four-day holiday weekend.  I seem to measure things in terms of my pending retirement, less than three months away, and I suppose all weekends will soon be long.  I still wonder what it will be like, but having a few days in a row was kind of a taste.

Good Friday was quiet, as is required here in Germany.  Even the normally-busy street out front was quiet, except for the  young kids walking around town with their ancient clackers, sounding like Lenten penitants of the Middle Ages.  I wonder if they even recognize how different this tradition is from so much of the rest of the modern world.  As for us, Marianne painted upstairs while I read by our tile fireplace.  If this is a taste of retirement, I like it already.

Saturday was more of a working day, the first yard day of the season.  In fact, it was still too cold to spend more than a couple of hours outside, but I did manage to construct a replacement for our raspberry frame and clean a bit down by the compost bins.  It was a reminder that from April or May through September or October, our yard and garden will always provide retirement chores.  Not my favorite, but an OK chance to get out among the flowers and trees.  The flowering cherry trees were particularly good this year.
Sunday, Easter, was another quiet morning.  We would have guests for dinner, but I'm not the cook so I wasn't hard pressed, other than a couple of honey-do's.  Maybe this is retirement too, Marianne cooking and me goofing off.  Maybe.

In the afternoon, our friends Dale and Peter brought their granddaughter Freya and her young parents, Jessica and Alex.  It was wonderful to have a full house for Easter dinner.  Marianne did her normal, wonderful cooking and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Little Freya was a gem, despite strangers,  missing nap time and not being able to join us for the pear dessert. I think, in retirement, we may need to find some little kids to rent to fill the house when it gets too quiet.


Early Sunday morning, I forced myself out of bed and into the cold to take sunrise pictures.  This was truly just to practice what I might do later, when I have the retirement time to try more picture-taking.  Like usual, I learned a bit more, this time about the interaction between automatic cameras and long-time exposures.  Secret: put everything in manual, because the camera can have a mind of its own and ruin everything.

Keeping with the retirement-practice theme, I recovered from the getting up so early by taking a nap.  What a luxury!  THIS part of retirement I could get used to.  Meanwhile, our household Cinderella was busy making cookies and potato salad for a bar-be-que we were going to later today.

So, overall, I like retirement practice and I hope I will like the real deal in a few months.

John and Cinderella



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