Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wolves and other such things

We don't have any wolves on the Mönchsberg.  Cattle yes, and slugs galore, to the kids' glee and Kim's dismay.  But no wolves.  That said, we've been hearing a lot about them this week.  
Kim and the kids went to the Salzburg public library this week with our new friend Kirstin and her kids Lena and Florian.  Kirstin has been wonderful in introducing us to the town from a local's perpsective, and also has helped us settle into the community of the kids' new school, Das Kreativ Kind (where Kim did some service work yesterday and met some other parents).  Teo, Mara and Kim came home from the library with viele viele books, a couple of videos, and, very exciting, library cards for everyone!  White Fang was among them - the kids' version, but the establishment of the pecking order of the wolf pack is, well, not terribly sanitized.  It also came with an audio version, which Teo is listening to now as I write.  Just a precursor to video games where he shoots to kill.
Other wolves: Mara is having nightmares.  Last week, several times, she awoke in the night scared of the wolf that was in their bedroom.  As you know, you can't just tell a kid it's not there.  So we did our best to figure out how to help her.  Solution: Mara is now a big bear, a good big bear.  Apparently bear trumps wolf.  Good to know.
We're involved in a wolfpack of our own here, but are managing to learn our new job responsibilities and get along with our staff, meet new friends and colleagues, and speak some Deutsch too.  German class ended yesterday – a great month, and we’re both happy with our progress.  We’re also happy that Anieska, our Slovak university-student classmate, was planning to be in Salzburg in August working, but has time to babysit for us every morning in August! 
At long last, we are moving into our apartment!  It’s not quite photo-ready yet – you’ve all seen apartments with boxes everywhere, piles of luggage, and the like.  Despite all that, we’re thrilled to have our own kitchen, our own refrigerator, and, mostly, to be sleeping and living on a single, lower floor of the Marketenderschossl.  We’ll have to find a way to fit exercise into our schedule now that we’re not trekking up 56 steps every time we need something.
Bikes will help that.  Today we bought new-used bikes for the kids.  A red one for Teo and a little tiger cruiser for Mara.  Photos of bloodied knees also forthcoming…! 
UPDATE: It’s been a day because I didn’t want to post without photos (which Kim has on her computer).  Struggling for a wolf-thing for continuity’s sake….
Today was a long but good day – off to southern Germany to reconnect with Steve’s friend Gretchen Vogel, from Ames, who now lives in Berlin.  A great but quick visit – cold lake, ice cream, park, and buttered pretzels.  Problem was it’s August 1: everyone in Europe is going to Italy and Croatia on holiday, and our road is the road that will take them there.  Traffic was killer.  Made LA look nice.  I’m sure there’s a wolf allusion in there somewhere. 

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