Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010: Germany, part seven: the last weekend

Maybe I'll be able to keep at least one entry short? I REALLY don't have time to be at the computer right now, but if I wait until we're home, I know I'll never go back and write this, and as I said a few days ago, at this point, this is more for myself than anyone else. Nobody else HAS to read this. :-)

Saturday morning (February 6th) two (of the three) elders and the pastor of our church came for a couple of hours, just to make sure we're all on the same page. It was very reassuring to know that the eldership is behind us, and that they will continue to represent us that way to the church.

Once they had left, we headed for Krefeld to have lunch with the H family. Again, too brief, but nice. Although their youngest son is 15, and the other two that were home are 17 and 18, they all spent good time with our children. At 3:00 I left, as we were expecting guests at 4:00 and I had to get gas first, as well, but Jörn didn't want to interrupt the good conversation at that point so I encouraged him to stay for a little while longer. Helen and I got back to Hamminkeln only a few minutes before Roddy and Erika and their son Alexander arrived. They moved to Switzerland about a year and a half ago, and then to Belgium just a few weeks ago, so came over this weekend just to see us. :-) It was great being able to chat with them with only Alexander (two years old) and Helen running around, before the rest of the loudness arrived with Jörn. They stayed for dinner and until Roddy was falling asleep and we wanted our children to be doing the same, and then we all went to bed early. We haven't been able to get rid of the colds we've had ever since we arrived (Jörn, Katie, Helen, and I), and none of us were feeling great.

Sunday, February 7th, Helen and I went in the C family's car and Jörn and the rest left a bit later in the B family's car to get to church for the end of the first service, to be able to say hi and bye to people. Very much enjoyed and appreciated William's sermon in the second service (he's so REAL--he doesn't sound like he's "preaching" at all, and his Irish accent doesn't hurt the delivery any, either--I certainly understand it better than some U.S. accents, to be honest!), they called us up and prayed for us to send us back to Cyprus, and then it was lots and lots of goodbyes and hugs and then a few more. I didn't cry too much...

After church we went out to a favorite Chinese restaurant that we used to go to with Jörn's father, and our friends from Belgium (well, now living there...she's from the U.S., he's from Scotland) joined us. More goodbyes, then both cars to Angermund, where we returned the C family's car to them and I put Helen in the sling and joined the rest of the family in the B family's car, which has 6 seats. And then we drove to Mülheim to have coffee and cake in our very own flat, as guests of our renter. It was admittedly bit of a strange feeling, and she is VERY different than we are, so that we hardly recognized it with all the fancy lighting and other elegance. However, she is very nice and obviously taking care of the place better than we did, so there's no cause for concern, rather, for reassurance. She intends to stay there at the very least until her daughter graduates from high school, which isn't for more than three more years, which was also reassuring, as we do NOT want to be trying to find renters from Cyprus.

After Lukas and Jacob had finished their cake, we all had a tour of the house to see the changes, and then the boys walked down the street to Peggy's house, and a little while later, Marie joined them. Without Marie to chase Helen around, it was a little less relaxing for us, but we stayed until nearly 6:00, and then went to Peggy's ourselves, where we stayed until a little past 8:00. It was great having one more evening with Peggy and Florian, only planned the day before, so reminding ourselves of the fact that that had been an unexpected treat was helpful in staying more-or-less cheerful as we said goodbye. This time, we put Helen in Katie's carseat and Katie and Lukas shared a seatbelt, and we were glad it was only a 35-minute drive, because Lukas, Katie, and Jacob squabbled the entire drive back. (We'd left Helen's carseat with the C family when we returned the car, as although it's our own carseat, we have more-or-less permanently loaned it to Margaret and Phil for their grandchildren, and had only "borrowed" it ourselves while we were here, so the Cs will return it to Margaret and Phil.)

And now it's Monday and I can't get away with any more time at the computer. We have a visitor at the moment (G from my August posts, for those interested) who will be here for lunch, then we're heading (via three trains and a bus) to spend the evening with the R family in Ratingen. That's our very last appointment while up in this part of Germany, as at 11:45 tomorrow we'll be getting on the train and heading for Frankfurt. On Thursday evening we fly back HOME, to Cyprus. :-)

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