Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

ms. potter and peter rabbit move in


It’s 5:30 am and I awake to the familiar tune of my alarm clock.  What the?  Oh ja, right.  I get up quickly and quietly, throw on my yoga pants and a sweater over my nightie.  I slip on my shoes, run upstairs, grab the goodies and gently open the door.  It’s so quiet.  And so cold.

The air is fresh and beautiful.  It’s dark, with just the warm glow of the cathedral and castle lights; two giants looming large and comforting on the other side of the river, keeping watch over the creeping.

That’s what it feels like.  I’m creeping.  It’s so much fun.  I creep…well, more like scamper across the soft, frosty ground to the big haus.  There’s the first door.  I gently place the goody bag full of chocolate, nuts and oranges; propping it against the door.  I don’t really want it to get trampled when ms. potter or peter rabbit leave in the morning; but I don’t want it to be ignored either.

Then, off around the side of the haus I scamper.  Over the uneven stones of the walkway…man, it’s so quiet.  All of a sudden a train zooms right past me…okay, so not everyone is sleeping.  I wonder what the train dude must be thinking as he sees me creeping about.

I come to the big door, and try unsuccessfully to open it without making any noise.  This house, we just learned, was built in 1859…it’s like an old, creaking grandfather who is still very fit in the mind; but with a few operations (a new hip, a couple of new knees, maybe a new organ or two; but with the original heart) is functional and steady…and beautiful.

If you think the door is creaky, try walking up the ancient, wooden stairs without making any noise.  Impossible.  But, everyone is sleeping and so up I creep…as softly as I can.   The staircase is steep and it winds around, as I make it to the second door.  These inside doors are complete glass and I’m expecting just darkness inside the flat.  All of a sudden a light goes on.  I freeze, as julchen walks right past me.  She’s seriously two feet away from me, and I think if I make a movement I will scare the daylights out of her.  So, I just stand there, motionless and wait.  It’s not as if she’s expecting nikolaus to appear on her doorstep.

Then, I place the goody bag in front of her’s and rock ‘n roller’s door and continue on my creeping way.  Up the stairs again, this time trying to be even quieter since I know not all are sleeping, and deliver the last treats.  And then back down again and out the door, scampering and happy beside the river; home I go.  The only movement is a swan, gliding right along the shore.  He/she turns to look at me.  Pure white in the darkness.  So pretty.  I say hi.

My creeping nikolaus duty is over.  So much fun.  I decided that all in the haus had been good so far this year.   And on Christmas Eve the Christ child will come.  I guess nikolaus and the kid tag-team the gift-giving here in Germany.  Cool.

Ms. potter and peter rabbit moved into the ground-floor flat a month ago.  Great guy finished it on their moving-in day and, to say the least, we are so happy that the project is finished and that the new tenants have made it a home.  After receiving the customary loaf of bread and a pinch of salt to welcome them into their new home (a blessing for fertility which in actual fact they don’t need) they set about hanging curtains, putting up giant photographs of peter’s, and setting up funky, white furniture to compliment the dark, eucalyptus floor.  On the first morning ms. potter texted me saying that they’re lying in bed, taking in the view of the castle across the river, through their bedroom window…. loving it.

Great guy is also loving the view at night of windows on each floor of his haus lit up.  For years and years he came home to a dark, empty haus and now there is life and family on each floor.

And, I’m loving the traditions of Germany.  I grew up with some of them from my parents; such as celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve or opening up a chocolate calendar door each morning during the days of advent.   But, discovering other traditions and learning about them and then enacting them; making them our own is so much fun.  Great guy just looks at me like I’m crazy most of the time, but that’s okay.  He got a nikolaus treat too (a flying santa sleigh which zooms around our kitchen) making him as happy as a little boy.  Too cute.

The snow is now falling here, and it has inspired me.  Finally snow.  Finally inspiration.

“I wish you starlight on fields of snow,
The winter’s morning light and evening’s glow;
I wish you candles that shine from ev’ry tree
So all the world can see
The light that there could be.
I wish you music, I wish you song,
With voices echoing, joyous and strong;
I wish you church bells, ringing true and clear;
I wish you Christmas.” -John Rutter
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