Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Africa-Europe 2015 Day 42. Here and there around Frankfurt

Today Gustav and Phillip have to go to work, so Christine and I will be walking Leo and running errands. Start by letting out the chickens. Yes, Christine decided to try her hand at keeping chickens and rented five for 10 days (actually, it was a birthday present for Oma Inge, Gustav’s mom, but she didn’t feel up to the challenge, so Christine brought them home). I leave you to imagine the groaning that came from Gustav. It is not that he is worried about the chickens, but he is weary that his lovely wife will next time rent a pig or a cow.

Then it was time to walk to the Beckerei to buy Broetchens for breakfast. Very pleasant except that Leo has the runs, and at some point we had to stop to clean a very messy sidewalk. Christine attributes the loose vowels to the fact that Leo has been eating chicken shit.

Then we went to visit Oma Elisabeth, Christine’s mom, who is recovering from chemotherapy at a senior living facility up in the foothills of the Taunus Mountains. Before we got there we made a stop at the small town where Chrissy grew up, and took Leo for a long walk along her old stomping grounds.

Elisabeth was looking good, but is not very happy with the food, which she finds bland and without taste. What she really wanted was pizza. So, while Chrissy visited with mom, I took the car and went to buy a pizza in downtown. I had just gone down the hill and stopped at an intersection when the car suddenly stopped. In panic I looked at the fuel gage and saw that I was operating on fumes. Surprisingly the car started right away as soon as I took my foot off the pedal, but it kept stopping every time I made a full stop (later I was to learn that it is an “eco” feature of her sports Mercedes). I drove to the first gas station that crossed my path, put in some gas, and discovered that right across the street there was a pizza parlor. The nice station attendant said it was OK to park the car there, and a half hour later I was back at the home with a steaming pizza.

We all sat at the little table Elisabeth has in her room, and had a simple but very fun lunch. Clearly she enjoyed the visit, but is ready to go home a week from now. The problem is that she lives alone in this big house, without anyone to clean, cook, and keep an eye on her to make sure she is OK (sounds familiar?). Naturally Christine is there for her in case of an emergency, but she thinks they need to find a daily companion and that may not be easy.

Since we were already on the mountain, lucky Leo got a second walk through the forest. It was a good cardio exercise, and we were looking forward to having a drink on the Kneipe on top, but to our great disappointment found it closed. Of course, it is Monday, and these rural bars close Monday and Tuesday. Schade!

On the way back Phillip called, to invite us all to dinner. That is, he offered to cook us dinner at the house. Nice! As soon as we got back he and I went shopping, and he told me how he had rented an apartment and would be moving there next week. Phillip is a mechanical engineer, is 21 years old, and is currently doing an internship with a company in the nearby town he is moving to. I can’t believe that this tall strapping young man is the sturdy baby I met oh so long ago. (Since he likes cooking I have ordered a crockpot from Amazon, as my house warming gift for his new apartment. All I need to do know is to write down the recipe for ox-tail soup.)

Dinner was a real success, with a main dish of chicken breast stakes baked on a cream sauce with cheese and basil. Clearly this young man shows promise! 

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