Thursday, August 21, 2008

Öhe 26.12.93: Cold Sea Winds and Goose with Red Cabbage

Just awakened. Looking out the window at W. and K.’s cottage dining room, where one can see in the distance the little copse giving way to gray, mist-shrouded sea. One can’t see the sea from here, but one feels its presence in the air that’s half breeze, half salt water, in the lushness of grass that’s nonetheless stunted by salt and cold wind, in that vastly alluring presence that any sea is.

And this sea, for me, is more. This area of Germany is called Angleland. It’s where the Angles lived before they invaded England. Somehow, I feel as I’ve felt approaching other places my ancestors lived: that I’ve been here; that my blood belongs here. I want to walk by the sea this morning after we breakfast.

Last night, a Christmas celebration in our honor. We roasted a goose with rosemary, an apple and raising stuffing. With it, knödels and red cabbage.

After we ate—and ate—we had aquavit and more red wine, my fruit cake (which is not a success—too moist), Zimtsterne and other cookies W.’s mother had baked.

Then at around 11, the people who live in the other half of this cottage (constructed, as the whole row was, for farm laborers) came over for more Rotwein. A very nice couple, U. and G. He had lived for two years in Dallas in the early 1960s, and came back to Germany when the Vietnam War broke out. He was attractive, with a boyish bristle of black and gray hair and a rounder, less sculpted face than many Germans have. She had frosted hair pulled back into a mane with hairclips, and was little and vivacious. Steve said later they looked and acted like people who aren’t really German, but who came here from elsewhere. An apt observation.

7 P.M. Drove today into the nearest little village, Maasholm Bad. It’s not much to see, really—or could be seeing it on a Sunday afternoon two days after Christmas is not seeing it at its best.

Walked twice today, too. First time to the Baltic Sea, from which a very fierce, cold wind was blowing. Then after dark—at 4:30 P.M.—into Maasholm to use the telephone.

W. now gone to take K. to Flensburg. She has to go back to work tomorrow, and since it has snowed south of here and the roads are icy, she doesn’t want to drive.

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