Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jörn's and Lukas's week in Germany

Jörn and Lukas had a great time in Germany. They didn't take a whole lot of photos (having too much fun!), and I generally don't post photos of other people without their permission, so most of these photos are of Lukas.

Jörn and Lukas arrived in Düsseldorf Thursday evening and stayed the night with our friends Margaret and Phil. Friday morning our friend Barbara (who also happens to be the mother of Andrea, who stayed with us for five months and only just returned to Germany in March) picked them up in order to collect a suitcase full of things that Andrea had left here, as well as to take them to Mülheim, where Lukas had an appointment with the orthodontist. From there they walked to the home of some other friends, with whom they got a ride to the church retreat of our home church in Düsseldorf. That was from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

Some of my FB friends might have noticed my friend Katrina's comment that I should tell Lukas that the tadpoles are doing fine. This is where he collected them.

 Bonfire the second night of the retreat, complete with s'mores.

 Lukas enjoyed the children's program very much, as well as of course spending time with some old friends. Also meeting a LOT of new people, as the turn-over in the church reaches about 30% a year, being an English-language congregation in Germany. Only two people have been members there longer than I have been. More than once we returned to Germany after a month away and were greeted at the door by someone who had moved to Düsseldorf while we were gone, who welcomed us warmly and asked if it was our first visit. It was great to see people getting involved so quickly, but a bit startling at times!

Sunday afternoon Jörn met with the lady renting our flat in Mülheim, had dinner with our friend Peggy, and then left Lukas with Peggy (and incidentally, her son Florian, who is Lukas's best friend) and returned to Düsseldorf to stay with Margaret and Phil. I didn't ask them if I could post this photo, but it's such a nice one that I couldn't resist!

Monday through Wednesday Jörn had various meetings with people (including his diabetes specialist), and late Wednesday morning picked Lukas up from Peggy's massage practice and shop.

They had lunch with some more friends who have a large garden, where Lukas had a blast helping clear the grass and generally getting dirty. (I spoke with Jörn and Lukas on the phone that evening, while they were in the middle of a "discussion" about whether or not Lukas was going to have a shower. I suggested that Jörn tell Lukas he didn't have to take a shower, but then he was going to have to sleep on the floor, instead of in the nice clean bed, shared, by the way, with Jörn. Lukas had a shower.)

Tuesday Jörn had moved to the home of the C family, where he and Lukas also stayed Wednesday night. Apparently, they were having too much fun to take any photos! Thursday another friend visited them there, then drove them to the home of the T family in Viersen, where they stayed most of the night, leaving at 4:30 a.m. on Friday for the airport in Weeze. (They had flown with Condor to Düsseldorf International Airport, but returned with Ryanair from Niederrhein.)

One of Jörn's visits during the week was to the A family, to visit with them, of course, but also to visit their attic, which still contains far too much of our stuff. Jörn brought back the baby books of the four older children (I had Helen's here, as she was only four months old when we moved to Cyprus, and Elisabeth of course was born here) and our photo albums from 1994 to 2000. (No, I do NOT know what logic was operating when I only brought the albums from 2000 onwards when we moved here, and I've missed Marie's and Jacob's baby photos many times since!) Here are our photo albums from 1994 (the year we were married) through December 2009:

I've technically started the next photo album (which starts on December 31st, the day of my brother's wedding), but all that's in it so far is the invitation to the wedding, as I haven't gotten any more photos printed yet. This is the furthest I've ever been behind in having photos in albums, and is a little frustrating. But I haven't figured out yet just where I'm going to put more albums once they're finished, nor have I found a place yet for the few other miscellaneous albums, such as a collection of my siblings' school photos and a small album from when I was 12...

Oh, and very importantly, Jörn also brought me my new sandals, which Barbara had ordered for me for less than half of what they would have cost in Cyprus:

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