Monday, March 18, 2013

Transient Music

Just when something starts to click, to feel comfortable, to feel right then it is gone.  A fact of living in such an international community.  Just like living in a seasonal community whether along the pristine shores of Lake Michigan, at the base of snowy mountain in Colorado or in a city like Frankfurt - people are always coming and going.

I'm not trying to be a downer.  However, last week we found out that the children's music class that we've been attending and Hannah absolutely loves will be cut short after the next session because the teacher is moving again.  Just as I was raving about this class to all my mom friends and getting them to sign up.  I am so glad that we found this class with Me Happy Child  and a great teacher, Giovanna.  The program is based on Music Together with classes all over the world.  Giovanna said one of us could take over, but I think it is unlikely.

The program or curriculum is really great and I highly recommend it anyone with small children.  I think Hannah would too if she could talk (she is getting there!).  Both the websites for Me Happy Child and Music Together are full of information on the benefits of music for children.  There are classes all over the world.  The idea of starting a class is tempting, but time consuming.

So, now maybe we will search for a new music class or just continuing jamming out at home like we normally do.  The transience can be frustrating, not just missing this class, but the people.  We've been here for about 18 months and have already said hello and good-bye to so many people.  I know it is most difficult for those living here long term and I have some friends that are permanent Frankfurters and find this very frustrating.  I can only imagine.  We will make the most of our time here and embrace all those that we have the privilege of getting to know.  Some amazing people and experiences have come into our life living here.

Any music class recommendations???


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Maiden Ride

She is her father's daughter - she loves to go fast!!!    

Living in a "big" city has many perks like public transportation, which I use regularly, but Frankfurt is a great city for a bike, plus it is free. In the past I've bought monthly transportation passes from RMV for a little more than 60 euros per month at any of the main stations.  The 9-Uhr-Pass is good after 9am and after 7pm and on weekends significant others can ride with your for free, plus it is transferable to another person.  There is also a really handy app for smartphones that allows you to buy one way, round trip or day passes.

Thanks to Santa, Hannah and I have our very own bike that my husband refers to as our mini van.  The WorkCycles FR8 bike arrived the end of January and so far I love it.  Travis picked out all the pieces and the Netherlands based company assembled and shipped our unique ride - including a brain bucket small enough for Hannah's head.  At first, I was concerned by the immense weight (50lbs.) which is not something I am use too, but Frankfurt is pretty flat so this is really not a problem.

Yesterday we took our maiden voyage together.  Hannah loved it - I'm assuming the view, speed and openness far surpass riding around in the Kinderwagon.  We have plenty of room for groceries, bags, picnics and whatever we may need to haul around.

There will be less waiting around for buses, trams and subways, which is beneficial to my chronic lateness.  More sun shinning on our faces and of course more exercise for me are always welcome.  So many experiences and adventures lie ahead of us.  In and around Frankfurt there are so many bike trails for us to explore.  I think that Hannah will enjoy our journeys much more now.

Until next time.....

Be Well!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tearful Must Experience

"Work Makes You Free" Gate to Dachau Concentration Camp

When you are in Germany there are tons of things to see and do - none more sobering than the obligatory Nazi concentration camp tour.  Dachau concentration camp, also a city outside of Munich (I didn't know) is an expansive, eerie, and emotional landscape.

The day we visited was appropriately grey and gloomy with misty rain cutting through the cold to make the atmosphere nearly tangible.  Dachau is a place that you visit because it is important to remember history the atrocities and the survivors as well as the dead.  I found myself watery eyed and taking the lightest steps with the heaviest heart.  To walk where so many struggled for their lives under horrific conditions is surreal.  To know the story and think that it only happened 70 years ago.  Growing up and learning about WWII and the Nazis in school as a child this seemed foreign  impossible, and centuries before my time.  Seeing with my own eyes a place of such immense terror like the Dachau concentration camp made the stories seem palpable and the reality hard to swallow.

Foundations of the living quarters 

I knew as soon as I walked through the gate into the absurdly quiet memorial that I would much prefer to see a castle, but knowing full well this is something that one must see.  Needless to say the ride home was a quiet and somber drive as we chewed through our emotional experiences.  It is important that these horrific places are preserved and remembered so that humanity can not repeat these tragic times.