Hug for David, once our German exchange student
WORDPRESS DAILY PROMPT 8/24/2013:
THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING…WHERE?
The wordpress daily prompt for August 24, 2013, was These boots were made for walking…
Looking up at the elderly couple I smiled and said “Americana.”
It was the second week of November, 2000. My husband Monte and I were in Germany. On Wahlberg Mountain, to be specific. And I was belly down on the stoned path attempting to photograph the scene far below us—Tegernsee Lake—through the tall grasses at the edge of the path.
After I snapped a couple of shots I looked up and saw the couple, amusement dancing in their eyes. I had to say something, and my German is pretty well non-existent. So “Americana” was all I could think of saying.
We were in Munich for a two-week visit with my son Nolan, who was studying on a post-doctorate program at Ludwig Maximilians University.
Before we left the states I’d made a list of the things I thought would be interesting to do. Of course, my list is always longer than our time, so we couldn’t do everything.
My list included two items I hated to sacrifice to time:
- going to the top of one Alp mountain
- spending the night at a farm.
I chose the farm.
With our son along as a guide, we traveled to the village of Rottach-Egern, which is approximately 35 miles (in a straight line) from Munich. By the time we arrived it was pitch dark, which created much interest as we attempted to find the farm. Finally, success.
The “room” we rented was a mini-apartment on the second floor of the farmhouse. Of course, the couple didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak German, but Nolan managed to get us settled quickly so he could return to Munich.
As we approached the farm I noticed something—a string of lights rising high into the air. What luck. We were about a two-block walk from an Alp—Mt. Wahlberg.
We rose early in the morning and took a cable car almost to the top of the Alp—which rises 1722 meters or 1.07 miles. There was still more mountain when we exited the cable car, and a path that led to different levels.
We explored the area where the cable car stopped. We stopped at the chapel, and walked the path. And I snapped pictures of Tegernsee Lake. I hope that the couple I greeted didn’t end up thinking badly of Americans.
Monte decided he would attempt to climb further up the mountain, but I didn’t feel quite capable of doing so. I watched him and walked about, studying other mountain climbers and snapping pictures.
I still own the black boots I wore that day. They are much more scruffy looking now. In fact, they are so scruffy that I only wear them around our home when there is several inches of snow. I felt sad last winter when I purchased a new pair of boots to wear to church, meetings, and shopping.
These boots took me to Germany and back. They are very comfortable, and I will never replace them until they become so worn that the snow caresses my feet inside them.
My black boots were made for walking—and walk they did. And they hold the memory of my making my footprint in the snow atop Wahlberg Mountain.
If only I could find another pair like them.