The German and I are getting visitors - important ones. After much begging and then a little taunting, my mother and step-father bought plane tickets and are coming for a visit in August. I am very excited and a little nervous. I have already put the German and I on a cleaning and repair schedule so that the apartment is spotless when they arrive.
As a side note, I have decided to "re-name" my step-father. My parents (mom and dad) got divorced when I was two years old. When I was four, my mother remarried. They will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this year. When I talk about my mom and my step-father, I hate using the word "step-parent." It has such a negative conation. I also don't like to say "dad number two," because that seems to indicate that he is some how second in my affections, which also not true. I love my dads equally. I have known my "step-father" since I was three. He taught me to ride a bike and tie my shoe laces. Therefore, I have decided to call him "dad-squared," which is a dad to the second power.
I know that there are some who decry the end of the "family," but my parent's divorce left no permanent scars and I am happy to say that I have a healthy relationship and fondness for all those involved (mom, dad-squared, dad, and mom-squared). My dad and mom-squared celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary yesterday, May 5. Happy Anniversary, you two!!
Where was I . . . Oh yes, visitors. I am very happy that mom and dad-squared are coming to visit but was shocked when I saw the price of the tickets. I know that it is expensive because the will travel in August, and Charleston to Bremen is not exactly direct . . . but still! Those fuel charges will bite you in the butt!
Gas is not cheap. It is about $6 a gallon here. I usually fill up Smarty once a week for about 22 Euro. This week I had to travel to Oldenburg twice. Oldenburg is about 30 minutes from here. I did not really want to buy an extra tank of gas, so I decided to take the commuter train from Cloppenburg to Oldenburg. The train costs about 15 Euro, round-trip. Hmm . . . maybe I should have driven.
On the other hand . . . the train is so comfortable! It also takes about 30 minutes. Now that spring has finally arrived here in northwest Germany, it is also a very scenic trip. There is something serene about watching the trees and fields go by. I can take a cat nap or read the paper. It is really nice to have this "time out" during the day.
Because I did not have my car, I had to take the bus in town. I love public transportation. Seriously, you do not have to worry about a parking space and it makes life a little easier. On Thursday I was walking through Oldenburg. I had just had my hair done and was wearing my new high-heeled sandals. I felt great! The bus was coming up to the stop and I ran to catch it. As I stepped onto the bus, the back of my heel caught on the step. WHAM! I tipped forward and fell flat on my face. In less time than it takes to say "Claire is an idiot," I leaped backed up and shook myself off. "One ticket please!" Yup. I luv public transportation.