Happy May Day!

Spring has finally arrived here in Germany! Not only has the bitter cold given way to warm(ish) hazy days but there is also a day to welcome the delightful time of year when bright tulips bloom…May Day!

So I don’t know about you but the extent of my knowledge of this day basically boils down to glittery flowery crafts done in wee elementary school years and it involved fake paper baskets of fake paper flowers to bring home to our parents.

The whole maypole thing also puzzles me. And to be honest the only reason I knew you dance around it is from an episode of Mad Men. You know…where Don falls for Susie’s teacher? I wish I looked so graceful, a halo around my hair as small children and I danced around the pole…. I digress.

Maypole dance a la Mad Men

Anyways, May Day and may baskets and maypoles are all legit here in Germany. Each village usually has its own pole in the village square. The colorful streamers blow gently in the breeze. As to an actual maypole dance I hear it is true but I can’t confirm nor deny this as I was blissfully snoozing that particular sunny morning. Not really. I have two small children, which seems to be a better excuse as to why I can’t get anywhere on time.

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Now I also learned that there is a sinister side to May Day. On the night of April 30th, or Hexennacht, it is quite common for children (or drunk teenagers might be more appropriate) to pull pranks. Usually they are harmless and usually involve stringing colorful crepe paper into a tree. Oh so you have no tree so you must be off the hook? Think again. I hear that some poor saps have found a tree strung up to their house just for the occasion. This may be an extreme case though. Word on the street is that some pranksters don’t even bother with supplies and hop on to a tractor and blast techno (complete with light display) and slowly cruise the streets at 3am. GUTEN TAG! Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss.

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NOTE that this tree is not growing in the sidewalk. It is strung up to the side of the house. Ha!

What’s the point of these shenanigans you may ask? Well I asked and apparently it is to chase away the winter demons. So thank you to all that got punked, your sacrifices have allowed me to basque in the warm sunlight and gaze upon fields of gold.

Springtime in Germany is certainly a special time of year.

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T-0

They came, they packed, we were on the floor. It’s always strange to see your belongings boxed up and hauled away by total strangers. Crated up and knowing your possessions will merely be riding the waves of a ship across the Atlantic….very strange. Nonetheless that’s exactly what happened.

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And after a night or two on the floor, despite generous friends offering up their blankets and air mattress, we all voted to check-in to temporary lodging on base. Good grief. I had such fond memories of it and I can’t think of why for the life of me now. The “cozy” living space seems merely cramped when you add 2 small children and their toys to the mix. And naturally it has been cold outside which rendered the park across the street useless for much of the time.

But we made use of what we did still have and wore the kids out by having a blast with friends and family before the big farewell. Denny’s dad made the trip down and we had a blast feasting on our local favorites and shopping. We finished the weekend with a delicious family meal down at the ranch with the whole family. It was bittersweet watching as the boys played with their cousins, having the time of their life and knowing we would be taking them so far away from a family that loved their every move. It seems so strange to think that upon our return from Germany Dawson will be 9 and Grayson 5.

We also had a bon voyage dinner with our close friends. Again, it was hard to watch as Dawson played with two friends he has had literally almost his whole life. The ultimate trio was breaking up, all thanks to my itch to travel.

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Too late to take it all back now. Bags are packed. We are ready to go, or at least as ready as we are going to get.

But I bid you farewell…. Tomorrow we have a plane to catch.

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Willkommen!

Well, here is my third stab at blogging. It seems that I fancy the idea of being a blogess but my ambitions soon fall by the wayside. Why on Earth would people want to read about ME? Surely they must have better things to do. And I’m not going to kid myself…I’m sure you all DO have better things to do. But this time, I’d like to do more than just a weekly ramble. Instead, I want to share a journey with my friends and family.

You see, one year ago in the beginnings of 2012 I was daydreaming about the end of deployment #2, dealing with a very rambunctious 2-year-old, and was very VERY pregnant. Well homecoming came and went, the 2-year-old turned into an even more rambunctious 3-year-old, and the pregnancy resolved itself…err, that is to say that we have a now 9-month-old who looks to be just as rambunctious as the first. We certainly have our work cut out for us! But I wanted more out of 2013.

No no. Not kids. I’ve had my fill thank you. Perhaps it isn’t wanting more, but rather something different. A change of pace, a change of scenery. I want to do things. See things. Taste things. So what does a girl do? Well if you’re a military spouse you can start bugging your one and only to update their dream sheet. For those of you outside the military world a dream sheet is a list of where you’d like to go for the next assignment. Oh the places you’ll see! Or that’s what they tell you. But I have yet to see this make much of a difference.

Until one day it did.

And there I was….”We are going WHERE?”….”And WHEN!?”

Germany. Our #1 slot on our dream sheet. Surely they will give us the standard 6-7 month notice. No? March it is then.

And that’s how we ended 2012, in a flurry of activity of important documents, medical clearances, passports, and hocking things on Craigslist as if auctioning my entire house had to be done by the next day.

So the Rindals are off to Germany. Excited to see new places, meet new people, enjoying a cozy German house, tasting the goodies from the bakeries, and experiencing a chilly Christmas market. But as my head fills with the possibilities, I also slowly realize just how good we have had it here in OKC. A nice home, wonderful friends who have been there for us through thick and thin, family who adores us, fabulous teachers, and the comfort of just knowing our way. Sigh. Why didn’t New Years 2012 Shannon think of all these lovely perks before getting hung up on moving? So classic me.

Regardless, 2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year. Besides trying to sell a house, sell a car, pack our stuff, ship a car, travel around the globe with 2 small children PLUS find a German house to rent, set up German utilities, get an international drivers license, and live day-to-day German life all the while NOT knowing how to actually speak German? (for now…I have every intention of learning more than the slew of Eddie Izzard phrases I’ve picked up along the way.) I’m sure we will have a reality show in no time.

So this blog…I don’t promise you fabulous writing or award-winning pictures or anything. But I can promise you the world, or my little European portion of it. I’m almost positive this will boil down into photobombs, tasty treats I encounter, frustrations of impossibly small appliances, and the learning experience of a lifetime that will no doubt have me crying and wanting Taco Bell to soak up my tears at some point.

And with that disclaimer… A little “Cabaret” should do it.

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremde, etranger, stranger.
Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay.