Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cultural Lesson on the German "RUND GEBURTSTAG" Part Four- the day after

We stayed overnight with Gabi and Erhard.  I have always loved the view from their livingroom.  It's very misty today but you are looking out on a fruit orchard and the mountains.  I do wish the weather had cooperated. It is stunning in sunlight.
Erhard, Jackson and me relaxing after breakfast in front of the fire.
This is Erhard's and Gabi's brand spanking new fireplace.

Now the fun begins. Erhard was given his basket of presents and cards to open.
Here is your other cultural tip.
If you are invited to a German Rund Geburtstag, buy a very nice card and place 50 Euros in it. If you are very rich you can place 60 Euros for the 60th Birthday and so on, but generally 50 is the norm.
It is also normal to buy a token gift to go along with your 50 Euro card.  Erhard received a new hat to wear while biking in the forest, a few bottles of wine, flowers, an encyclopedia etc.
Now a word here about your creative Germans.  These are always the people who leave less creative people in the dust with their inventive way to give money.
Here Daniella his oldest daughter had made a box featuring a bicyclist in the forest. We know how much Erhart loves to chop wood so he is bicycling toward a rolled up pile of wood which is actually the Euros!
Clever huh?
Here is another inspiring offering.  Erhart was hoping to receive enough money for his birthday to get a new mountain bike.  Can you see what this person has done with the money? The bills are rolled into shapes to make a bicycle.  Again the theme of a tree because he loves to bike in the forest and chop wood.  Most clever.
Perhaps when I am invited to the next party I will put on my thinking cap and see what I can come up with.

Now it was time to have lunch. Gabi invited her girls and partners and her brother (Deitmar) and his wife(Anita) to lunch. We had the leftovers from the party. I must say they were just as good second time around.
Erhard decided that after lunch it was going to be his job to finish the dessert he especially liked from the night before. He throughly enjoyed it as he did. He isn't worried about packing on the extra winter pounds, he starts to lose them as soon as he is able to be out biking and wood cutting again.

Getting out of Clausen....see that's tricky. When you are loved by many people they all want you to stop by and see them.  They say 5 minutes, but you well know that means an hour or two.
Rita and Gerd asked us to stop by their house before we left Clausen.
First Rita buttered Mac up and here Gerd was telling me he'd stay in his room all day and not come out if we didn't come visit.
So we did. What was meant to be a 5 minute visit lasted 2 and a half hours. They were lovely hours catching up with good friends.  Rita is an amazing seamstress and has made me lovely things through the years. When I left today she said, "MOMENT" and went upstairs.

Rita had made this tote bag.  She said the cheeriness of it reminded her of me so she wanted me to have it.
I suppose you all are getting the idea of why we loved Clausen so much. It's easy to love a place where the people love you.....just because you are you!

So it's with two thumbs up we leave Clausen. We can't wait because we get to go back again next Saturday for a play done by the
 brand new younger choir! Yes, you heard it YOUNGER choir. In an effort to keep the club going something had to be done. Most people don't join the choir until they turn 50. So the idea was born to have a younger choir and it's taken off like wildfire.  This is a blessing as it insures that this wonderful Clausen choir will go on....we pray for the next 120 or so years.

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