Of Wine, Shoes, and Mornings

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Mornings start around 7:30am for me. I wake up and get dressed, and then wake the girls, get them dressed and fed, and make lunches. Not necessarily in that order.

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E insists on carrying her own backpack.

Once they’re off, I have about 3-4 hours free. Sometimes I’ll do work around the house, sometimes I’ll hang in town and go shopping, sometimes I’ll just walk around and explore (although less so these days) and sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly sophisticated, I’ll go to a coffee shop and read a book or write letters. The town is full of cute places to visit, and one of my favorites is the top floor bar of the department store: it has glass windows overlooking the city and I love that aspect. I’ve also discovered that while most everything is a bit expensive there, the wine is not. $2.50 for a glass of Austrian Vetliner that costs much more in the states? I think yes. 11:00 is late enough for a glass of wine. These are the days when I am so grateful not to be in school- and when I can really appreciate the time I have right now to do something so precious like read a book. These are the moments where I can’t believe how well my last minute move to Germany worked out and how blessed I am to be sitting in a mountainside village.

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The snow on my walk one day made for a artsy photo moment…

Sometimes I’ll go to mass. One of my saving graces has been the discovery of daily mass within walking distance from my house. It’s at the tail end of my school drop-offs, so it’s often difficult to make it on time because my leaving depends on how cooperative, awake, happy, or distracted the girls are that morning. However I’ve never been more grateful for the Eucharist as when I’m so desperate for the grace to keep going each day. This little Church is in the middle of town and you’d almost miss it because it blends in with the look of everything around. The inside is beautiful, and even though I usually come in sweating from walking so fast, it’s just as cold as every other non-heated Church in Europe so it fixes my body temp too.

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Once the girls are done with school we still have a few hours left in the day before dinner and bed. We typically go for a walk- sometimes for groceries, sometimes just to get outside. When it was warmer we spent a lot of time at the park, but now it’s just walking. As much as it’s more boring for the girls to “just walk,” I rather enjoy not having to be dumping sand out of shoes everyday.

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If you haven’t picked up, I do a lot of walking. Also I brought very few shoes across the ocean. Before you think I’m completely stupid, I did intend to purchase good shoes once I was in Europe – it was about time for me to get some new ones anyway – and I had hoped to get some good input from my host family on shoes that would last the walking lifestyle here. It took me about a 2 months to get that taken care of, but I finally did with some help purchase a pare of leather boots for only 50euro. Win. and some nice kicks for casual use that make me feel pretty in with the European style here. So you know. That’s cool too.

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