K, so we made it to England fine, very tired, but fine. After a sort of day to catch up on some sleep it was off to face paint for 2 days. A whole new experience for me, but we’ll get to that later. First, I’ll bore you with my impressions of England and our trip here. If you don’t like long posts, this is the time to stop reading…ha…
The trip was interesting in many ways. I was dreading the long drive and the fact that we were on the road for 28 hrs wasn’t the fun part. However, it was great seeing the landscape and since I wasn’t driving, I could just sit back and enjoy it all. From the little ‘challet’ style houses in Slovenia to the majestic Alps in Austria to the green forests and windmills in Germany to the sea town in France to the lush green fields and hills of England, it really was diverse. I haven’t been up this part of Germany for many years since we usually go up through the east (which, incidentally was 3 yrs ago!).
Slovenia: We just lived there, but seeing all the neat little rows of houses with each one competing for a lovelier garden was nice again. Our whole trip was mainly on highways, but it’s still an OK way to see the landscape. Slovenia doesn’t have a direct highway to Croatia (don’t get me started on the politics of this, heh) so we did go through our share of small towns and villages. Soon we did get on a highway and before we knew it we were heading towards the mountains.
Austria: The Alps have always taken my breath away. Even when I lived in Switzerland and Austria shortly, I never did get used to the majesty and diversity of that mountain range. It was hot as we drove but I love seeing the Alps in the summer. White fleecy clouds against the clear blue sky made the peaks all that much more appealing. We went through our share of tunnels, but all in all, I did get to see Austria’s better side.
Germany: Green, wow, it’s green. Loads of trees all along the highway which was kind of refreshing seeing as we were now in the hottest part of the day. Thankfully our path was way out of most of the huge cities, though we did see the smog of the ‘Ruhr’ area from a distance. One thing about Germany, though, they drive crazy. I had seen news reports about ‘highway rowdies’ and pushy drivers that nearly cause accidents. Needless to say, I didn’t snooze much as cars zipped around us like crazy. As we got further north, the windmills really started. It’s breathtaking to see especially in one area where there are about 12 of them in a field and pretty close to the highway. They’re huge (don’t think Don Quixote, think huge airplane propeller) and seeing them turn against the sunset…awesome!
Belgium: It was night. It was dark. The highway was bumpy, I blinked too long, missed a sign, got lost (hey, at least we found a ‘golden arches’ that was still open for us to have dinner at 11), had to retrace our steps, and then we were in…
France: Odd place this is. We stopped for 4 hrs of sleep somewhere on the French/Belgium border and of course were looking for breakfast (coffee!!!!) when we got to the port town. Supposedly one of the biggest ports (according to signs there) but no where to get food before 10. Sure, we didn’t go into the center or even around all that much, but this time the ‘golden arches’ disappointed us as they open at 10 there and the shopping center across the street was also still closed. I was a bit concerned about going on the ferry without eating, and when we did get on the boat I decided I just had to have something to eat, which was my first exposure to English food, namely a sandwich, of which I’ve had a few more since coming here. Let’s just say, I’m glad I didn’t get sick because my stomach was full, but I was ever so glad when we got to the home here and had some ‘real food’ ha!
England: I’m still getting impressions from this place every day. It’s been raining (they said it would be torrential, and it sure was!) and even for the UK it’s too much. There’s still areas that are flooded and more rain is predicted the next couple of days though it was sunny today, thank the Lord. The coast line when coming off the ferry is amazing. Cliffs dropping off to the sea, and all the stuff you hear about it being green, well, it is. I saw houses with moss growing on the roofs and all the hills are covered in green. It’s so cute to be driving on the highway and see pastures of sheep and cows (don’t see that all too often where I live, heh) and a lot of the houses are done in an older stone brick style. The people are generally friendly and surprisingly upbeat considering the constant rain. I miss the sun and heat, and I’ve only been here a few days, ha! Face painting was fun–different, tiring–but really fun.
I miss my kids so much and hope they’re ok. I got to talk to them yesterday but it looks as if I’ve missed them online today. Sniff! The hardest part about being around kids all day face painting is that everything reminds me of them. Before I left, Cherise gave me a bracelet she had made with pink, blue and yellow beads to remind me to pray for them. I thought that was especially cute. Best part of my day was when she asked me to pray for the night with her. It’s usually our cuddle time together and I miss it so much. Also, with it being so cold, I miss having them in my bed to keep me warm, ha!
Anyway, that’s my rundown. I’ll end with a poem I found today:
Not until each loom is silent
And the shuttle cease to fly,
Will God unroll the pattern
And explain the reason why
The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern that He planned.