Stories Told Archive May '98 May 1999 May '00 Feb '01 May '01 June '01 Aug '02 Oct '02  
Anika searching for something other than beer to drink May 1st, 1999, Hangenham
Today, the little village we live in held a Village Festival. I don't think they do this very often, and I've a feeling we were fortunate to participate in one. What a marvelous day. Perfect weather. Warm, blue skies, sweet fresh breezes filled with scent of new green growth. There is a small open place below the Hangenham church across from the guest house. It's the closest thing to a village square that Hangenham has to offer. And it was here that long narrow beer garden style tables were arranged for the celebration. The tables were all covered in the skewed checkerboard pattern of bright blue and white which are Bavaria's state colors. We've been told that this pattern represents the blue sky and white clouds of the classic Bavarian skyscape. On days like this one, it is easy to follow the abstraction! The sky today was indeed a remarkable clear blue and the air was so clear and bright. High, puffy white clouds drifted by and the sun was golden in the way that only a spring sun can be. It was impossible to walk without a bit of a skip in your step.
Katie and the barrel races
The international table, Danelle, Johan, Matthias We had arranged to join our new neighbors, a family from South Africa, at the fest. Of course, we had no idea what a Hangenham village festival might entail, but it seemed a delightful bit of incongruity to form an "International Contingent" for the day. They turned out to be wonderful company and we had a relaxing and enjoyable day. The children competed in wheel barrow races and sipped lemonade from long necked soda bottles. The grown-ups drank enormous mugs of beer ( one liter glasses called Maß) and chatted about life as expats. There was plenty of hearty food to sample. The children ate roasted sausages and we shared slices of flavorful roasted pork. Katie not only won her wheel barrel race but finally lost her wiggley front tooth into her lemonade bottle (much to her amazement and ours). Sometime later in the afternoon we all wondered home. A little tipsy from those overly large beers with a bit of sunshine on our cheeks and in our bellies. An appropriate start to the warmer seasons and to Katie's new smile!
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