I never really liked Germany being described as the Vaterland, as it sounds rather dictator-like, but well, it’s ultimately the land my father’s ancesters came from, so it is fitting. As some of you already know, I did go ahead and buy tickets to Germany yesterday and I am glad for it. There are some lingering doubts, but those are just my gremlins grumbling that they didn’t have it their way. Why am I going? That is not easy to dissect and I generally like to allow it all to simply unfold into the experience it was meant to be without analyzing it to death. But, if I were to speculate, it would be to return to a place where life is delightful to me. I delight in the fact that I can speak a foreign language and navigate around another country comfortably. I love that I still have friends there who are happy to see me and will open their homes and their lives to me in a heartbeat. The hospitality is unbelievable – homes scrubbed, tables set in a decorous manner, meals delicious. But even more is the lovely conversation to be had – anything from politics to religion, and certainly books! And the intricacies of life in general. And lots and lots of laughs. I love the cafes and bars, cozy and bustling, the endless pedestrian passageways, even the crisp overcast weather this time of year! If I gain nothing else, it will be that wonderful feeling of German gemuetlichkeit, which is not to be missed. That, and certainly some new vocabulary!