Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mass at St. Vincent's

Update on the Burghotel's housekeeping staff employment woes--We've decided that they're on final warning.  Trish went to breakfast and soon I heard a knock on the door.  Some darling maid said something to me very quickly in German, and I simply replied "Ja" as if I had some idea of what she was talking about.  I think she was telling me that the room would be cleaned shortly or that they were planning to clean the room or something.  After acting as if I completely understood, I sat down at the desk to answer e-mails and check FB.

What I didn't know was at the time of the knock on my door, there were 2 other maids in the hallway waiting for me to leave.  I'm guessing that they thought I would depart immediately and were thrown off their game when I didn't.  Then, the housekeeping staff called the breakfast room to find out when "Mrs. Kerkhoff" would be leaving.  Someone came over to Trish to ask her, and she told them I was going to 10:30 am mass, so I would be leaving soon.  Imagine, if you will, 3 maids (the 2 original "lurkers" plus the knocker) waiting out in the hallway counting down the minutes until I get my butt out of the room.  I was completely oblivious to this drama and took my time.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the housekeeping staff was pulled into their supervisor's office because those damn Americans made a stink about not having their room cleaned the day before.  I accept no responsibility in this entire cultural debacle.  It was all Trish.

Mass at St. Vincent's this morning was beautiful.  For whatever reason, once the music started, I started getting emotional.  My great, great grandparents were married there.  My great, great, great grandparents were married there.  And buried from there.  But the image that I kept going back to in my mind's eye was the funeral of my great, great aunt, Bernadina Antonetta Lisette Kerkhoff.  She was the eldest child of Casper and Lisette and was 2 years older than Anthony.  She and her brother shared the same birthdate and were, I imagine, very close.  And all I could see in that church today was my 12 year old great grandfather sitting there in the front pew at his 14 year old sister's funeral.  Was he crying or trying to "be brave?"  I can't imagine the pain Casper and Lisette were in.  Their only daughter, their eldest child was gone.

The priest also mentioned 9-11 and New York City, Washington DC, Ground Zero and World Trade Center in his homily.  Obviously, I understood nothing else he was saying, but as soon as he said these words, I started crying.

I'm taking the day off and hoping that a nap will snap me back into shape.  Then it's the mayor's reelection party at "half past 6 in the evening."  Oh, and I'll try to upload a video I took late last night.  It was well past midnight, and Trish and I thought we heard horses coming down the street.  But horses don't drunkenly sing, do they?  A group of young Haselünne residents came clomping down the street in their wooden shoes and singing at the top of their lungs.  We thought they were finished once, but they just started singing another song.

I can't even walk across a hallway in my wooden shoes, and these people can walk on stones and bricks while drunk in their shoes.  It takes great skill, and my hat is off to them!

1 comment:

  1. As for the shoes -- obviously, practice makes perfect. ;-)

    I imagine you and Trish have earned a space in the housekeeping's staff's history. ;-)

    Sounds like a very moving service.