Thousands of birds are chirping, deer are scurrying across the fields, swans are crossing the quarry pond with their unmistakable flapping of wings. And us? We come to rest. Let our thoughts wander, sort out the impressions of the last two weeks in our hearts and minds.
We are standing by an old gravel pit that has become a lake and nature reserve. Our granddog, who has been accompanying us for a few days, is in paradise. The runs through the woods and meadows get longer and longer, many a hare and deer are spared only because Max has to stay on the leash (and we are so sure that we can bring him back again).
Once again we realise: Our life in the camper van is a dream. We stand in the middle of nature, sleep in absolute silence and are finally woken up by thunderous bio-noise (toads, flying swans and countless bird species!).
Over coffee, Gerd will say: "I don't think I've ever experienced such intense family days that were so fulfilling and happy". This time we took our time, visited my friends back home and celebrated a great round birthday. The nicest thing about our large and now widely scattered family this time was: everyone came. From near and far.
The hall was full of beaming people, three tenors gave a wonderful concert and afterwards the music played for dancing. We ate, laughed, chatted, danced a lot and looked back on 90 eventful years of life in a really moving and also very funny speech. Thank you Mum for creating this big family.
We spent the days before and after the celebration with friends and relatives, were allowed to attend a wedding dress fitting. We checked out future wedding venues (wow, we're in for something big!) and had brunch with the family, barbecued, ate several Swedish sundaes (I love eggnog!) and forgot the world around us. We met and fell in love with new family members and mourned those who left us once again. And - this seems to be our family's core competence - ate far too much. Because: wherever we globetrotters turned up, the tables were set. (Our Greek oranges, fresh feta, olives and Tunisian dates went down very well!)
And now we are sitting by the lake, the birds are chirping loudly, the sun is shining but cannot yet assert itself against the cool wind, and we are about to continue: slowly towards Switzerland.
What do we take with us?
- Wonderful people in our hearts
- The time with our children, which will always be the most precious of all
- Thousands of photos and videos full of beautiful memories
- The reminder that our family celebrations are just great
- Two wedding invitations
- A few jars of homemade jam, plus small and larger gifts of all kinds.
- The confidence that even after years, meetings with girlfriends are still as if we had only been away for a week
- New wool and lots of sewing kit from antediluvian needlework boxes
- The knowledge that - even if everything is not always great - we have a family that is simply there.
- And the promise to ourselves that we will have to go on a fast at some point. Soon. Very soon!
News #1 On 24 June we will give a talk about our trip in the van in Konolfingen, Bern, Switzerland. All info and the possibility to Registration here. We look forward to seeing you!
News #2 I am currently writing a book about the encounters on our journey. If you would like to test-read a chapter or two this summer, please contact me by email.
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It must be nice to have a family.