After six years away, our friend Sandra returned to the DC area for a one-week visit, and we were honored to be granted the anchor leg of her trip: the final afternoon and airport drop-off. With a perfect spring day cued up, we chose a picnic at Great Falls to spend the day, and had a great time.
I always relish the opportunity to hear the perspective of someone from a different culture (she’s German), and especially one who’s lived in cross-cultural situations. It’s kind of like someone telling the fish what he is swimming in, and it’s always insightful for this particular fish. So it was great to see the sun, go for a hike, and to talk of parenting, grief, family relationships, cold fusion (her husband is a world-class theoretical physicist), spiritual formation of children, global warming (it didn’t snow much in the Alps this year), real estate, and church. And it’s always wonderful to pick up new colloquialisms– her impromptu translation from German was referring to some information she’d gotten through intermediaries: “I heard that around two or three corners”. Much more vivid than our American expression ‘second- or third-hand information’, and more descriptive of the way in which we all tend to bend the truth. I think I’ll try to bring it into common usage, along with the British expression ‘cheeky‘.
Oh, and the gift of what was easily the most delicious chocolate I’ve ever eaten, delivered straight from Germany, didn’t hurt either.