Friday, December 20, 2013

31 Days in December #20: Rehearsals and fondue chinoise

Can it be 5 days before Christmas? What are you doing today? In this final week before December 25? All organized? Doing a mad dash? Ignoring the season or just hoping you get through it?

W got a scare last night. His stomach seized up after supper. L took him to Emergency at the nearby Swiss hospital - where his systems (other than his stomach and high BP from pain) checked out fine. The nurse remarked that raclette disagrees with her (she never eats it after noon!) Too much cheese, maybe? (My cast-iron stomach didn't quiver.) Anyhow, after a very uncomfortable evening and night - with extreme pain at times - W relaxed this morning and began to recover.

D worked her final shift before New Years so we dropped her off at the bakery at 8:15am. From there, L and I spent most of the morning rehearsing in Wichtrach. By the time we were done, Leanne the opera singer had warmed up and was hitting a high C in her music programme. Cool. No one in our family gets stressed by a lack of perfection: we do our best, expect the same from others, and pray that all goes well at the performance. We improvise if plans change. Leanne is similarly relaxed, which makes rehearsals a pleasure.

L drove around the lake to the high school; his students performed their vocal solos at the final assembly of the year. He got back by mid-afternoon, in plenty of time to pick D up from work.

The Park Hotel in summer (too dark for pics today)
In the evening L and D treated us to their special Christmas gift, a fondue chinoise. Good thing we live on the slope of a Seattle hill; it was no problem to walk up the hill to the Park Hotel with Doris, while the guys drove. W's stomach finally settled down after a long morning nap and restful day but he was not pushing it. Plus it rained and parts of the road were slippery.

The owners of the Park Hotel
The hotel is a classic European wonder: clean, beautifully maintained, and restful in the way every detail is considered. The meal starts with a fresh salad with balsamic dressing. The bread? oh how I'll miss the softness of its dense texture and crispness of the crust. The server brought fries or rice to accompany the buffet of meats, fruits, and vegetables. Our broth deepened to a rich soup as we cook beef, pork, and chicken slices in it. We sipped the broth after eating.

We gals took the shortcut down the hill: several long flights of steps and a steep narrow road led through the neighborhood from the hotel to the street by their house. The cold air, fresh and clean, cleared our heads after the big meal.

These memories will be tucked away to enjoy in winters to come, when the warm winds blow across Indonesia and we miss our family.

Read more:
*You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 4:2

*Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16

Moravian Prayer: God of the ages, you see us as we walk the fine line between fearing you and calling to you for our own purposes. Give us understanding of how fragile our human thoughts can be. Bless us with strength of spirit. Amen.