Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A surprise (edited)

EDIT: Due to my terrific skills to post from my phone, the pictures in this post were very weirdly formatted. My apologies for this. I fixed it now (I hope).

Today marks a very special day. It's Mama's birthday. For her last 5 birthdays, I wasn't able to be there to celebrate it with her. This year, however, my dad and I worked out a super secret surprise plan and yesterday, I took the bus to be here and celebrate with her.

Let me just say this before I mention anything else: for the very first time in 5 weeks, I thought my crutches were a beautiful thing. They were the reason, I was asked to get on the bus first! And I was allowed to pick a seat! And I said in the front! And I even had a "desk"! And I had both seats for myself! Oh, the happiness!

This was the view from the bus. Everyone, except me,
was still waiting outside. This is what Princess Kate must feel all the time... so VIP!

I was able to read quite a bit on the way here and I am hoping to do the same on my return trip. 

This is a road.

(Maybe, I should just take the bus all day, every day, until I have to give my talk. Apparently, I am so much more productive on big, long distance vehicles.)

Today, I was reminded of how much Mama is loved by many, many people. Trust me, she has always had more friends than me and that will probably never change. 

The number of cakes, salads, or d'oeuvres, snacks, muffins... that she had already prepared by the time I arrived yesterday, were more food than Nick and I have eaten here in the past three months. I am not even kidding. When I walked in, the long table in the dining room was already set for the first dozen visitors, as well. 

This is just one of two fridges...

... and yes, there are more cakes underneath all of those towels.

Every year, my parents' birthdays are busy, busy days. Every time, their house turned into a beehive for at least one day. For us, it has always been normal, but I am starting to realize that it might not be... at least on my birthday, I don't even remotely get the attention that Mama or Papa get.

It's probably, because they are way cooler than me.

Mama and Papa on the night before the party-storm.
Totally cool. And relaxed...

Papa always has a good bottle of wine. 

Usually, birthdays here begin early with the first congratulatory phone calls in the middle of the night around 8am. By that time, Mama is already working in the kitchen (maybe she has already done laundry, picked apples and berries, made jam, weeded out the vegetable garden, front yard, and side walk, and made a new wreath for the front door... I would not even be surprised).
Cream has to be whipped, the or d'oeuvres need to be finished, coffee needs to be made, cakes have to be decorated and cut... It is one busy place.

I am being super helpful, taking pictures of food.

You see my coffee sitting there? It was the third of about 10 or 47 cups today. Getting up early is not my thing... It truly isn't. Don't wake me before I had 12 hrs of sleep. Just don't. I am serious. 

Salmon baguette, plum cake with streusel, chocolate cherry cake... 
Everything you see, my mom made. She even grew the tomato plants from seeds that she dried last year (from tomatoes, which she grew the same way). 

Papa made this apple cake!

Again, I was a little late with my pictures... People had already eaten some of the things. Oh well.

So the routine is: people come, eat, stay for a couple of hours, and leave. Then their table setting gets replaced with a clean one - repeat. 

Basically, the entire day is a food-filled-event. It's what I picture heaven to be like. Great food around the clock.

Throughout the first half of the day, neighbors, friends, coworkers ... they all came and went. At some point, we cleaned the table and sat down for 30 mins. of down time, before we prepared everything for the people who were invited to come for coffee and cake at 3.30pm.  

Then, my oldest brother with wife, kids, his father in law, my youngest brother, and all of us had cake again. After that, people sat on the terrace and enjoyed this gorgeous day and my parents' beautiful flower-filled backyard. For dinner, there were 4 different salads, bread, and "hot dogs" (actually, here, we just eat really long hot dogs, without the bun, and they are not as soft as US hot dogs, but "crack" when you bite into them).

And you eat them with mustard (Senf).

At that time, my "middle" brother with his sweet girlfriend came. You will remember her, because she brought the wonderful gummy candy for me (and Nick) in June, when Nick and I drove to see my parents for the first time after we moved to Berlin.
Today, she brought me a DVD to watch after the birthday is accomplished. She is so incredibly thoughtful!! 

With me being so tired all day, I spend a lot of time talking. When I am tired, I talk way too much. And too loud. I think otherwise, I would just fall asleep. So I just keep going and talking until someone tells me to shut up, or everyone leaves the room. 
Well, probably only if I get told to shut up.  Maybe. Hopefully. Unlikely.

Now, I am leaving you with a picture of the incredibly awesome birthday Mama.
So happy I could be here for this special day! 

Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch, Muddi! You rock!


  1. Looks Delicious! You must share some of those recipes ;)

  2. Looks Delicious! You must share some of those recipes ;)

  3. I will! I can also make one or two of these cakes when we meet next time! :o) Hope all is well?!