Sunday, January 18, 2015

Farewell holidays, welcome 2015

Three, almost four weeks have gone by since my last blog entry. I am currently in Lubbock; actually, I have been here for about 10 days. My three weeks in Germany over Christmas and New Year's seem to lie far in the past. Yesterday was my 59th birthday, and in three days I am going to fly off to Switzerland for a seminar. It's nuts.
Riding with Sabine on one of the rare dry days in Freising
Christmas in Dortmund with Sabine's family was quiet and peaceful. We slept late, ate well, went for walks when the weather allowed, and did what one does during the holidays: have a few good toddies. I got to spend 24 hours with my cousin Patrick in Cologne, and it sure was good to see him and his family. Those kids grow up quickly. I managed to catch a nasty cold from the rug-rats, and that somewhat damped the New Year's celebrations.
New Year's Day 2015
These two guys dumped it royally!
Our drive back from Dortmund to Freising was quite interesting as the snow was falling hard and we worried about getting stuck on the autobahn. But somehow we managed to make it, and for New Year's Eve we had probably 20 inches of snow. We celebrated together with two befriended couples as well as several adolescents. A bit before midnight we walked up to the Schafshof from where we watched fireworks go off in the area between Munich and Freising as well as all around us. What fun!
The end of the first day of 2015
The next day was one of the most beautiful of the entire trip. We went for a nice walk and watched the children (and adults) toboggan down a fabulous hill. The afternoon light became amazingly soft and bathed the whole area in a mystic mood. And from then on, it was once again snow, then rain, lots of wind, and generally nasty conditions.
The view from Sabine's living room window
British Airways allowed me once again to sit in First Class on the way back to the US. The weather here wasn't much different, with grey skies and low temperatures for the first few days, which only slowly improved over time. I've managed to get a few things accomplished around the house, but of course it's never as much as I would like to.
Back in Lubbock, thousands of Canada geese in the pond just around the corner from my house
Last night, 13 friends came over to help me celebrate my birthday, and the party was a big success. I had prepared some nice food, and everybody brought some other treats. We had a six-liter Feuerzangenbowle, and everybody had a grand ol' time. Wonderful!
Quite a spread ...
Six liters of hot mulled wine and a bottle of 54% rumlife is good!
And now the holidays are over for good and normalcy (OK, "normalcy" at least for me) sets in. We'll have the seminar from Friday through Sunday in Aigle, and on Monday of next week I'll fly from Geneva to Munich to spend a few more days with Sabine. Upon my return I'll have a day at home before I launch out again for the first high school mountain bike race of the season. You see, it's "normal."


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