Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Joy of Traveling as a Non Rev

The day is finally here.  I've been thinking about this trip for 10 months, and I can't believe I'm actually going.  I'm one of those people who thinks of the glass as half empty, so I always assume something will come along to screw up the plans.

One of my best friends, Trish, is making this trip with me.  I flew with her for many years, but we became close friends after I came back from maternity leave with Miss Thing, and she was on my first trip back.  Then she had infamous her OJI incident (LAS, emergency room, middle of the night on a weekend--Picture it), I gave her a "gift," and our friendship was set in stone.  We went to Rome together (when Sean had to dump me because of work), and we found out that we travel very well together.  Except that she tends to snore.  Promise me you won't tell her I said that.

When I first started putting this trip together in my mind, I knew Sean wouldn't be able to go.  He has an insane work ethic (refer to the Rome comment above), and if a client needed him, I knew he'd be compelled to do the job.  And how right was I?  He has a huge job due tomorrow!

So, I asked myself who could go with me?  Any of my brothers or sisters?  For various reasons, I knew none of them were candidates (reasons--work, kids, weddings, family stuff, etc.).  Trish was my obvious choice.  She had no idea what she was getting herself into when she told me "Yes."  She and her darling hubby Mac used to live in Germany when he was in the Army, and they have very good friends who live near Frankfurt.  She travels there 4-5 times a year but has never been to "my" part of Germany.  I think this may be a reasonably new experience for her, too.

I've been forwarding her the e-mails the German has been writing me.  She is my designated lady in waiting.  I will, of course, expect her to carry my purse, hold my umbrella over me, and keep an eye on my Korn consumption.  She is also "fluent" in the language.  After all, she did go to a German immersion course at F U Academy last November (near Heidelberg).  F U Academy!  How fantastic is that name?  She swore that the school did not have a hoodie with "F U Academy" printed on it, but I don't know if I believe her.  She told me that "Germans don't do hoodies!"

I sit here in Chili's at DTW and wait.  And wait.  The Queen (a.k.a. Trish) won't arrive until 4:45 pm.  However, I took the 9:30 am flight because Sean dropped me off at CVG after we dumped the kids at school.  BTW, how odd and unsettling is it that our daughter was beside herself with joy that she was going to get to school 30 minutes early this morning?

I'll try and update this blog daily.  I want to share my journey with my family.  We have every reason to be proud of our Kerkhoffs from Haselünne.  Casper and Lisette (ages 57 and 41) decided to pack up their boys and move to America.  Can you imagine the courage this took?  They couldn't google "Cincinnati" back then.  They left their country, their language (to an extent), their culture behind them.  Because they desired a better life for their children.  And for us.

Let me say that I love our Casper the Casanova very much.  And Lisette (who had to put up with a husband and 4 boys on a ship for about a month.  She deserves a medal!).  And my great grandfather, Anthony.  Anthony, who loved Haselünne so much (he was 14 1/2 when they left) that he named his baby boy (and my grandfather) Joseph after the town.  Joseph Vincent Kerkhoff.  St. Vincent's is the name of the Catholic church in the town.  Is it any wonder why I feel such a connection with this Korn obsessed town?