Like the Sound of Music. I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.

In the spirit of the American Thanksgiving, Martin and I found ourselves doing a little stuffing as well:

 

If you’ve read about us here, this temporary journey probably doesn’t surprise you.  While our suitcases aren’t nearly this authentic, they’re definitely big and stuffed with Christmas gifts as we prepare to bid Berlin a temporary goodbye until 2009. I’m sad to part with our 36-foot kitchen. It’s grown on me, and I’m embarrassed to say that I actually had a NIGHTMARE where I was lost and overwhelmed in America’s enormous grocery stores – the same stores I grew up shopping in!

I’m sad to be missing the German Christmas festivals that I’ve been watching the city of Berlin set up for several weeks, and I’m also sad that I cannot share them with you beyond the sneak peaks I took while the crew was stringing lights (tip off on future post!)

With every sacrifice comes joy.

For us, that joy is family back in the United States. I tell you all how I miss peanut butter cups and knowing where to find wood putty like I can in the United States. But those are just little things. They aren’t the pieces that fulfill my life. That’s my parents, my siblings, and all the extended family that keeps gathering and celebrating while I translate words in the grocery aisle.
The thing is: I’m really going to miss Germany and Martin’s family here. Sure we’ll only be gone a little while.  I’m talking like it’s the rest of my life not just until next year.  Sheesh.  

I kind of enjoy the challenges of learning how to communicate.

I like that when I want to speak to the baker, I have to formulate the words to describe what I want from her shelves based on my limited vocabulary. And I like how patient people are in Europe when I can’t communicate. You never see Spanish speakers in America treated so well as I am in Europe. I feel like it’s a shame against my home country, and it makes me want to learn Spanish just to help those people the way Europeans help me.

I thought and thought about how to tell all of you that I am coming back to the United States for a little while. If you’re concerned that I’ll be talking a little less about life abroad, rest assured that I have known this holiday time would come and have written from right here at our kitchen table with all sorts of experiences I have yet to share with you (such as a peeks into our 480 square-foot apartment and remodel and Europe). Plus I did marry a German, so it’s not like European life can ever leave (ever!).

We’re still having a European Christmas… 

My mother-in-law is from Prague. She will be whipping up a traditional Czech Christmas dinner that I will be sharing with you along with all the German and Czech treats and traditions.  

Just to give you something to gnaw on: the main course for Christmas dinner is a product my dad absolutely, positively would never EVER let us bring home from our camping trips.

…in America.

The way I see it, I have a little time to load up on all the cheap American stuff we can’t find in Germany like craft supplies and spatulas. (Did you know a KitchenAid costs 550 euros… which is $700!) I’ll attack a sewing machine and bring you some beautiful holiday projects while eating good ol’ American pumpkin pie with family – the way holidays should be.

So how does the old saying go? You can take the girl out of Berlin, but you can’t take Berlin out of the girl. After all, John F. Kennedy did pronounce, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” (I am a Berliner)

(Image from GroupTravelD)