I know I sound like an old fart saying this, but I can't believe it'll be December in a couple of days. December, as in the last month of the year. Just a few more weeks and we close the book on 2010. I'm not quite sure how that's happened.
While November was rather quiet, I did take a trip to Germany to see my friend, AM, in October. We hadn't seen each other in about 7 years. Her oldest daughter, who was a baby when I last saw them, is now in school and taking ice skating lessons and learning to speak German. AM was the same as ever and it was great to hang out and catch up. We went one day to Trier which was quite pretty with a quaint German center and Roman ruins. Her oldest was excited to show me around the cathedral, which they'd visited before, so she led me around while AM and her younger daughter took a rest in the pews. The next day, after their ice skating practice, we hit a nearby outlet mall. Her daughter was now excited to help me shop, so she looked at clothes with me at Desigual, then came with me as I tried them on and offered her opinion. It was really sweet.
I had time to kill before I headed back on the train that Monday, so I went to work with AM, which meant I went to school. She teaches middle school home ec at one of the Air Force schools. So after going through security to get onto base, which included having us get out of the car while they checked through it a bit, we headed over to the school building. Parents walked by in uniform. We entered the school lobby right as the pledge of allegiance was being said over the loudspeaker, so we stopped and faced the flag in the lobby. That was so weird for me, I felt like a fake, so while I put my hand over my heart, I didn't recite the pledge. We got to AM's classroom which felt like we could have been in a school in the US. There was an American flag on the wall and American textbooks. I watched her teach two classes while sneaking handfuls of Golden Grahams from the box in her desk. It was strange being in a school setting again and I wondered how she handles dealing with pre-teens everyday. The whole experience was so warped: sitting in this piece of America dropped into Germany, remembering what it's like being in school, the military angle on everything.
Now, as we get our first wintery weather of the season, the holidays are picking up and December will likely be busy. I'm not sure what I'll be doing for Christmas yet, but only a few days after that B will be arriving in time for New Year's Eve. I plan to take him up to Amsterdam to experience the madness there. He'll then settle into Dutch life for a few months, yes, dealing with the winter, but also getting to see the colors of spring, as well as some concerts (The Decemberists!) and Queen's Day. It should be an interesting time.