We Are Still Here

The Fortress
The Fortress
Coburg Market
Coburg Market
The Coburg Market place
The Coburg Market place
A building in the Coburg market place
A building in the Coburg market place
A small castle near Coburg - Rosenau
A small castle near Coburg - Rosenau
The Fortress from the outside
The Fortress from the outside
This is another view of the fortress
This is another view of the fortress
]So glad the blog is back up and running.  We have been very busy.  Today the Mission President asked us if we would like to be transferred to Salzburg when the Reber´s go home.  We would only be there for 3 weeks, so we are not really interested.  Anyway, more of that later.

Wedesday we traveled to Coburg and really enjoyed that beautiful city.
I don’t have a handle on the order of things, but it is a post.

Wow, a new look.

We are at the chapel in Nuremberg waiting for the High Council meeting to start. We are using the computers here. This is the first look I have had at the new page here on the blog. Reallz different. I am having a little trouble with this kezboard the z’s and y’s are in different places. When <i write you it comes out zou unless I paz attention <<(whoops).   Also I keep hitting the wrong kez when I want to capitaliye. Did it again. Better go before <i write something <<<<<<i shouldn’t.

What Grandma and Grandpa do

Tonight Landon was chatting to me as he was cleaning up his room (he never stops talking!).  He told me why he was wearing his bathrobe.  

“Mom, you know how I haven’t worn my bathrobe in a really long time?”

“Mmm-hmmm.”

“You know why I’m wearing it now?”

“No, why?”

“Because when I move in this summer…”

“Move in?”

“Yeah, with Grandma and Grandpa.  I’m going to be there a lot, so it will be like I’m moving in.”

(With a smirk)  “Okay, so when you move in…”

“I have to wear a bathrobe.  Grandma and Grandpa always wear bathrobes.  And eat granola.”

That’s why my bag of granola is disappearing so quickly!  Landon is just warming up so he’ll be ready to move in!

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

I was hoping to celebrate Earth Day by biking to work, but it was raining and I am kind of a wimp.  So I took the bus instead.  I did bike Monday and Tuesday, however, and on Tuesday I even went the entire day without using any vehicle that runs on gas (and I went to institute in addition to work), so at least I can feel self-righteous in that regard.

This Saturday is my favorite event related to Earth Day:  Arts Walk and the Procession of the Species in Olympia.  I’m planning on spending most of the day in Olympia, and hopefully I’ll find some friends who want to come along.

Speaking of biking, I am now a member of a team in the annual Bike-to-Work Month, beginning May 1.  There are three teams in my organization, and I am a member of “The Burke-Gilman Supremacy.”  I will hopefully ride my bike to work every day next month.  Should be fun!

10 Things I Like About Olympia

Having spent the weekend in Olympia, I got to thinking that it is a really great place to live, and how glad I was to be brought up in the area.  I’ve lived in Olympia (well, Lacey) longer than any other place in my life, and I’m glad that as long as I have family there, I’ll always have a reason to visit.  So here’s my list of ten things I like about Olympia:

1.  The local restaurants.  I have yet to have Thai food that is quite as good as Chili Thai, which is in Lacey.  If you want a burger, you can always go to the local burger joint, Egan’s.  And for pizza, there’s nothing better than getting the Plum Street Pizza at Casa Mia (the pizza doesn’t actually have plums on it, the restaurant is located on Plum Street).

2.  Tumwater Falls.  No, they’re not as big or as impressive as Snoqualmie Falls, but Tumwater Falls are quite lovely in their own right.  After parking on the park grounds and taking a short little stroll, the falls are a great way to spend an hour or two in the afternoon.

3.  Wind Up Here.  As a kid, I always wanted to go to Toys R Us, but my experiences there were somewhat lacking when I actually went.  I realized that it was because it was not a very interesting toy store.  Wind Up Here, on the other hand, is a fun toy store with lots of things that kids can play with while they’re there.  Even as an adult I like visiting just to see what they have on stock.

4.  The parks along Budd Inlet.  Priest Point Park and Burfoot Park are two great parks along the southern tip of Puget Sound.  I slightly favor Burfoot Park – it’s smaller, but I always remember going there for church picnics and playing in the big open area.  The short hike down to the water is quite lovely, too.  One time Kurt got squirted by a geoduck on the shore.  It was amusing.

5.  The Procession of the Species.  When April rolls around, it’s time for Olympia’s hippie subculture to get wild and crazy.  The procession is a parade where everybody dresses up as animals (or other things found in nature).  Sounds silly, but it’s actually a lot of fun.  Adults and kids alike have a great time.  Plus, the event corresponds with Arts Walk.  Good times!

6.  The Flat Win Company.  The guy who runs this is a great performance artist – he sets up his booth before the procession and sells things like twigs, crushed cans, and burnt toast.  The way he presents them is oddly hilarious.  I wonder what would happen if a competing company ever came up, however…

7.  The arts scene.  Olympia has a vibrants theater scene, starting with some strong youth theater programs like Capital Playhouse, and the theater companies at Capital and Timberline High Schools (the latter being my school).  Ah, what would my extra-curricular activities had been like without being directed by Jeff Kingsbury, Troy Fisher and of course, Brenda Amburgy (or Kirk, as I continued to call her all throughout high school).  There are always good shows at the Washington Center, of course – I took mom to a ballet once, saw the Olympia Symphony, and saw the performers from Whose Line is it Anyway twice.

8.  The sounds in Glen Terra.  In the warm months, you’ll hear all varieties of birdsong during the day.  At night, the birds go silent and give way to a thundering chorus of croaking frogs, thanks to the nearby swamp.  Listening to these sounds makes me think of growing up and exploring the forest nearby, which unfortunately has been partially leveled.  The swamp, thankfully, remains undisturbed.

9.  Lattin’s Cider Mill.  Dad used to take me here when I was a boy, and I always liked going there.  Not just for the quaint mill, farm animals and delicious cider (the best I’ve ever tasted), but also for the pleasant drive through the country to get there.  I still make the trek down there every now and then when I’m visiting, and I almost never leave Lacey without going to a supermarket to pick up a gallon of their cider.  Yum.

10.  The view from Lakeridge Drive.  When I returned from my mission in Argentina, I was so glad to see green country again.  I got a job driving a mail truck, which took me to the state offices on the east side of Capitol Lake.  When driving down Lakeridge Drive to finish my route, I saw a spectacular view of the Capitol Building and surrounding area.  Now, whenever I take people to Olympia for the first time, I always make sure to take them on this drive.  It is, in my opinion, the best view in the city.

11.  Nisqually Road.  When coming to (or leaving from) Olympia during the daytime, it’s worth it to approach my parents house by taking Nisqually Road rather than going through town.  It’s a fun drive, passing by farmland and the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.  For some reason, it’s always more gratifying for me to approach this way rather than by going through town.

So there you have it.  Ten things I like about Olympia, except this list goes to eleven.

In just-spring…

Let’s start off with quotations!

Spring is here, spring is here.
Life is skittles and life is beer.
I think the loveliest time of the year
is the spring,
I do.
Don’t you?
Course you do!

–Tom Lehrer, “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”

Okay, maybe something a little more profound and serious than that. How about:

The moving waters renew the earth.
It is spring.
– Michael Tippett, “A Child of Our Time”

Yes, for the first time this year, it feels like spring has finally arrived, thank goodness.

It was warm and sunny enough that I dared biking home without my jacket on. And the cherry trees are near full-bloom. I need to dig up my camera in order to take my annual pictures of one of the world’s most beautiful sights.

It’s been a cold, bleak, wet, miserable, depressing, and seemingly endless winter, and never in my life has warmer weather felt more welcome. I can finally turn all of my thermostats down to zero. I can get ready to pull the box fans out of the garage in preparation for days when it actually gets hot. I can get ready to mock the horrible Seattle Mariners (but not today, as they actually won their first game of the season), and I can cheer the spectacular Seattle Sounders (three wins in three games, and no goals allowed).

It is spring.

Nördlingen aka, Geekville

Last week we felt that Spring was really here.  At least on Tuesday and Thursday.  Unfortunately, we decided to take our P-Day on Wednesday and travel to Nördlingen.  I say unfortunately, because it was overcast and much cooler, but it didn’t rain.  We took the senior Durtschi’s with us as they are here visiting their Son and family.  They were missionaries in Switzerland, so we have had a lot to chat about. 

We left fairly early and picked the Durtschi’s up and started our drive to the destination town.  Dale, Mark visited this town with us at Christmas time, but it was about dark when we arrived, so we didn’t see much.  It took a bit over two hours to drive there, but we had no traffic problems.  When we got there, I was getting hungry.  There was a large church tower to climb, so we stopped at the bakery for some energy pills. 

We loved the design of the timber effect in many of the buildings.

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This is a view of the city from the church tower.  You can see the wall around the city.  We walked about 2/3 of the way around it, and would have walked the whole way, except that they are doing a renovation on part of it.  Also, the city was built in a crater left by a meteor that happend a few million years ago.  The crater is about 30 miles across. 

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This is our travel group, except me of course.  I wasn’t there.

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It was a fun trip.  Today we are going to a fairly local place taking the Yelders.  The Mission President is planning another senior conference and it looks like it may happen on Janet’s birthday.  Oh, by the way, I got a parking ticket while there.  I’m a lawbreaking fool!

Familial Relations

A scene that occurred shortly before I left Olympia today:

<Jackie>  Are you going to say goodbye to your brother?  He’s in the shower, so you’ll have to wait until he’s out.

<Mark>  Nah, I’m all ready to go.  I’m not going to wait ten minutes for an awkward man-hug.  I’ll be back in three weeks anyway.  I guess I’ll just shout goodbye.

(I open the door to his bedroom)

<Mark>  Kurt, I’m leaving!  I’ll see you in three weeks!

<Kurt>  Oh, you’re leaving?  Hold on a sec!

(At this point, Kurt runs out, wet, and covered only by a towel.  An awkward man-hug ensues.)

Schedule

I am incredibly particular about my schedule.  I like everything to be nice and orderly, with certain things happening on certain days, and at certain times.  I do not like it when my schedule is disrupted, even if the outcome is inconsequential.

That said, I am going to start biking to work again, probably on Monday, and will also be going back to the gym three times a week (I haven’t been since December).  This is going to necessitate some schedule adjustment.  Factor in mid-week activities and time to cook myself meals (I cook 2-3 meals per week, with enough leftovers to cover my lunches and dinners the other days), and you’ve got yourself a busy Abersold.

So, here’s what I have worked out:

Sunday:  Church (regular services and leadership meetings), Cooking
Monday:  Gym, FHE
Tuesday:  Institute
Wednesday:  Cooking
Thursday:  Gym
Friday:  Deliberately left open for social activities
Saturday:  Gym, Cooking

This will most likely be my schedule for the next six months.

I’m taking the 5:30 Institute class this time around because it will be easier for me to get there directly from work.  I hope the rest of the people in the class don’t mind the fact that I may be wearing my tight-fitting biking shorts.  I’ll try not to be too much of an exhibitionist.