Yesterday we had what we are told was an unseasonably late snowfall that closed the base for half a day. This morning, the snow cover was deep, and I had my first experience driving in such weather. I suspect it may actually be worse tomorrow morning because this afternoon the sun began to peek out and melt the slush on the streets. It is supposed to freeze tonight, and I figure that the water on the streets will harden like glass. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, so the slickness probably won't last long, but I drive Lawna to work in the dark, so it should be interesting.
Our new apartment will be ready to move into on Friday, though we won't receive our furniture and appliances until Monday. We bought some rugs this week and will try those on the floor this weekend, and do some general preparations to get everything ready for the big move. Monday should be lively. The housing office is sending over temporary furniture and appliances until our household goods arrive. Some of our preliminary goods are due to be delivered on that same day, and the cable company will be there to hook us up for high speed Internet. The village residential streets of Spesbach are narrow. I hope that not all of these trucks arrive at the same time.
I'm looking forward to being able to cook again. Eating out is fun for awhile, but taxes the digestion (and the wallet) after a time. We have a microwave oven in our guest room, but that gets old quickly, too. Soon! We will have our own place soon!
Also, I'm looking forward to exploring the community--just to walk around in it and absorb the neighborhood. Spesbach is a small village, but it is near larger villages which are all interconnected by walking and bike trails. Ramstein-Miesenbach has more going on, and it is pretty well adjacent to Spesbach, and Landstuhl is not far away. Landstuhl is a charming, hilly town with quite a few shops and restaurants, not to mention a castle ruin on a hill in the middle of town. These are all towns that ring around the base, and many Americans live in these communities. Landstuhl features an important military hospital that treats wounded American troops, sometimes to stabilize them for transport to the States and at other times to patch them up and send them back into action. Ramstein Air Force Base is a close knit military community, sending a lot of people off on dangerous deployments. I'm about as civilian as one can be, and I've never had much desire to serve in the military, but I do admire the community kinship that exists among the military families here. The people here are friendly and courteous, both on the American and German side, and they have been economically bound for a long time, so the feeling between the two cultures appears to be genuinely warm. Many German nationals work on the base at all levels, even at the security gates. When you see someone in uniform and say hello, you can't necessarily predict what language or accent you will hear in return. I just feel quite safe here, and expect that I will feel the same way in our new apartment. There's just not much crime in these parts. And, of course, unlike in the States, people aren't toting around guns unless it is part of their job. Germany has long had gun laws, and Germans don't experience much gun violence.
Lawna and I bought a dining room set today, and we have some other miscellaneous things to get. We have eating utensils, but not much in the way of cooking utensils. We need some tables or desks for our computers, and, well a short list goes on for awhile. Since we still have a house in San Antonio, we didn't take everything. It's all coming together, a bit more each day.
People in Lawna's office seem to think that this snowfall is the last gasp of winter and that spring should be arriving soon. Spring in this area is supposed to be quite beautiful. Ah, I want our bikes to hurry up and arrive. I may not be able to wait. I may rent one!