It's fall here in Kandern... the leaves are beginning to yellow and drop off the trees. It's chilly enough that we're seeing chimneys puffing out smoke from the cozy fires burning inside. I love the cozy feeling this season brings. And a nice change from the hot summer days that leave you feeling sticky after any amount of time outside. Sweaters and brisk air always feel good in September. As happy as I am to see the season change outside, I am NOT ready to be seeing Christmas chocolates/goodies in the store and decorations being strung across the street - both of which I saw on September 19th!!
Where we live, the view is amazing. We live near the top of a hill and so we overlook the valley below and see the hills climbing back up across from us. From Nadia's window you can see cows grazing on the opposite hillside. Sometimes you can hear them moo-ing. You could say the hills are alive with the sound of "moo-sic". Haha! Lame jokes aside, it's just really lovely here. :)
A little while ago, I planned a little trip for our family to the top of Hochblauen, which is the highest peak in this area. One day while I was on the bus, I discovered you can take a bus up to the peak on Sundays and public holidays until November 1. From the peak, on a really clear day, you can see the Swiss Alps. Unfortunately, the Sunday we went up was anything but clear. Down here in the valley, we were getting some sunny breaks. But up at Hochblauen's peak, we couldn't see 30 fee in front of us! So it wasn't a great day to enjoy the view, but it was a great day nonetheless. It was very chilly out and the next bus down wasn't coming or going for over three hours. We could either sit around and be cold, or we could try making the 9 km hike back down the mountain to Kandern. We opted to try the hike, and our eyes were treated to a scenic feast. And there wasn't a complaint from anyone! We were so glad we'd decided to try the hike. It was great to spend time together as a family. I was thankful for the fog!
I've had a number of people ask me what I've been up to. I'm not working at the school at this point, but am still filling my days! This past Monday was my first morning baking at the boys dorm (Haus Bad Riedlingen - HBR). After walking with Keegan to his bus stop and making sure he got on the bus, I biked over to the dorm. Almost everyone was gone by the time I got there. The RAs have Mondays off so they're out of sight, and the dorm parents were off to do some shopping. I had a nice quiet morning figuring out where they put what, and getting a couple of batches of muffins baked. After that, I biked back to our little village in order to catch the bus to Kandern to pick up Nadia from Kindergarten. Before I got her, I stopped off at Hieber's, one of the local grocery stores, to buy a couple of things. Grocery shopping here is just about a daily activity. Our fridges are smaller, and the food doesn't stay fresh in the fridge as long as it did back in Canada. (Side note: I recently learned that a local farm sells their milk for .60€ a litre! I can buy it processed at the store for only a penny less! I can't believe that you can get farm fresh milk for that price! And, what I find very interesting is that once a week a milk truck goes to that farm, fills up, then takes the milk to the grocery store in Kandern where they sell it.) After I pick up Nadia we have a 10-15 minute walk back to the bus stop, from where we head home to have some lunch. The rest of the day is pretty regular stuff: laundry, supper prep, cleaning, homework, bedtime.
Keegan just started Awana a couple of weeks ago. It runs right after school and is held at BFA. He gets off the bus at the high school and the club runs until Doug's ready to come home from work, so the two of them ride home together. So ideal! Aside from Awana and school, the kids don't have any other scheduled activities. Doug's helping out with tennis two days a week, we're dorm subs at HBR one evening a week, and we have some German neighbours across the street that asked whether we'd be interested in joining a small group at some point. I think we'll keep busy! This post has gone on long enough. I'll aim to keep the next update a little shorter, and have more pictures. My favourite kind of post. :)