Those of you who know Will and I know that we can be, um, a bit absent-minded. Add two small children and lots of travel to the mix, and you get a long list of lost and found. I promise not to write forevermore about the sabbatical nearly past, but here's the final tally of gains and losses:
Gains and losses:
Lost and regained: Johannes’ beloved blankie, left in
the cab on the way to the airport.
Icelandic sweaters at the second-hand store (what a deal!) in Reykjavik;
Lost: Two Russian novels; You’d think I would have had time to read these on sabbatical. I didn’t.
Lost: One big pretzel, dropped in the Bächle in Freiburg (see below); One plastic boat, washed down the rain in the same.
Broken: Our favorite point-and-shoot digital camera, a model they don’t make anymore, damaged irreparably when Johannes decided to be “helpful” and knocked it off the fridge in Freiburg.
Lost and replaced: Katie’s blue bandana, an indispensably flexible play item used variously as a sling, a baby carrier, a blanket, or a do-rag.
Removed: One tick from Johannes’ side (see below).
Broken: One Alsatian beer glass, purchased in Strasbourg
Gained: Five English children’s paperbacks, given to Katie by
American friends living in Paris
Purchased, Left behind and later replaced: Johann’s Alles Über die Eisenbahn book, the only book he had along on the trip, left on the train to Lubeck.
Left behind: Katie’s pink rain jacket, left on the
train from Myrdal to Flom, Norway.
Lost: Will’s good binoculars, left on the bench
outside the grocery store in Aurland, Norway
Forgotten: One giant bag of organic groceries,
purchased in Munich
Completely worn out: Two sets of children’s shoes
Gained: One German dictionary and one Russian
phrasebook, not ours, mysteriously
appeared in the DHL box we shipped home from Freiburg.
Lost: Two calendars, mysteriously vanished from above DHL box.
Confiscated: One piece of Black Forest ham, two Swiss apples, and two half-eaten sandwiches, tossed in the burn bag by USDA officials upon our return to Minneapolis (fortunately, they did not fine us $1000, as they threatened to do when we forgot about the apples and failed to declare them).
Gained: A sense of distance from the American political fray, a slower pace, a new perspective, a happy acceptance of $4 gas and a determination to allow some of the simplicity of these 12 weeks to remain in our lives at home.