Hey folks, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I thought about this first sentence carefully, by the way. Coulda started with something finely wrought, or deadpan, or boring/reflective. But sometimes a fellow's just got to say the main thing and nothing else. So there.
We are back in the groove in Vienna after a week in the bizarre wilds of Vorarlberg and a nice New Year's Eve dinner party. Anette has been cooking with the giant soup pot that I gave her, the girls have been wearing the matching cowgirl outfits their Mimi sent them from Texas, and I'm rocking the thin silver chain that my wife gave me. We gave Adinah a new scooter and a watch, and V. a set of giant Legos and a Barbapapa plate and cup. I also gave Anette a book of pictures of our family, and my sister in law gave me Tony Judt's gargantuan book Postwar, about Europe after World War Two. We also got a very fancy new aluminum skillet. All in all, a pretty good haul.
For Christmas, we always go to Anette's hometown, Hard. No, really, that's the name of the place where my sweetheart was born. And it's a strange little dorf. It has always been a farm village, but in recent years, Vorarlberg has become one of the richest provinces of this rich country, and lots of the local tycoons apparently want to live in sleek gray minimalist boxes. Plus, both Wolford and Wolff, two different fancy panties companies are based there. So Hard still smells like wet cow shit, and houses just off the Hauptstrasse (Main Street) have chicken coops in the back yard, but there's also all these Architectural Digest showplaces and apartment houses that look like inverted and/or poorly stacked packing crates. In between various festivities, I had a lot of fun wandering around and taking pictures of the barns and lingerie outlets.
As for the festivities themselves, well, Anette's family really likes to sit together, sing Christmas songs and make bread. Anette's dad is about four feet tall and a complete clown, so Adinah and V. had a blast playing with him. It was a pretty cozy time, but the nicest thing is seeing our daughters with their grandparents. Adinah only met my dad once, and V. has yet to meet my ma, but after visits to Hard, I know they're always gonna remember their Oma and Opa.