Eberhard and I drove to the Hexenplatz, by the windmill, where you can dump yard waste and pick up compost, for free. Not sure why it’s called Hexenplatz, because Hexen means witchcraft, or miracle-making.
The weekly Gemüse delivery came too, an arrangement my mom worked out with the Croatian tailor up the street, who suggested to a group of organic farmers they might rent space from her to store their vegetables, for a co-op of about a dozen locals.
The small root cellar is off the barn, and stays cool despite the intense heat; it feels like someone left the refrigerator door open.
As part of moving to Europe we decided for some reason the kids should have more responsibility now, and be allowed to walk around the village by themselves (with one another), to the bakery, for ice cream, or down to the playground, which we can see from my mom’s house.
They are practicing their Deutsch, and write down the words on a piece of paper for the people at the bakery. Yesterday, I sent them up the road to get me an ice cream, for .90 euros.
Lily (10) wants permission to take walks by herself, which we won’t allow until they can prove they know the area and can be trusted. On the weekends, the Stadt closes off the main part of town as a pedestrian-only zone, and it seems nothing that happens here goes unnoticed, with the people in the village constantly keeping an eye out, and exchanging news with one another. If someone is sick or having a hard time, word gets out and people chip in to support one another.
We’ve gone to the swimming pool most days, a 15 minute walk from my mom’s, with a number of features: a fat slide that goes right into the pool, a mushroom-shaped fountain you can stand under to massage your back and neck, a large, grown-up pool with diving boards, a walk-up bar with wine, beer, sausages…all for 11 euros a day, for a family rate.
Mom and I dissected the lyrics to the Zombies seminal album Odessey and Oracle, noting the Shakespeare reference on the song ‘Brief Candles,’ also quoted in the film Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which they’re showing in an open-air kino here next week.
When Dawn and I saw the movie on a date night we talked about the uncertainty and fear that comes with going out on a limb to do something you really want, that’s risky. We talked about Carver’s story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and a writing course Dawn took where the professor shared the unedited version of the story with the strike-through, a lesson in the power of editing that reveals about half of the story reduced down to one line, with nothing lost. And we were surprised and delighted to walk into the movie and discover the premise is a Broadway adaptation of the same Carver story, just thrust right into the weirdness and mind of the film, its surreal twists and turns on and offstage.
I thought originally it was just going to be me and Eberhard going to the Austrian alps, and liked the idea of bonding with him, but then learned my mom was going also, which seemed to exclude Dawn, so we talked about it again with Eb and he offered to get rooms for all of us and now we’re all going, with him leading the way in his motorbike and us following in the Mazda.
Dawn and I took the long walk this morning through the forest behind the vineyards, discovered a new route on Reuthweg, a Christmas tree farm and a place where kids from local schools plant trees with signs listing the species and dates, some reminding us of trees back home, in Washington. There are knotted blackberry vines and the soft crackle of power lines overhead, an old cabin with a woodpile, a large handmade picnic bench, an empty beer bottle with a faded label.
Europe is hot as hell the next two days and I’ve shut the windows down, gotten tangled in the fly paper, and think we’ll book a room for Weimar for Dawn and myself, for Sunday.