Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Play Ball

There's something so exciting about finding something familiar in a foreign country. 

When I hear English speakers, I immediately want to be their best friend. In fact, just the other day, we just happened to overhear this couple ask a couple sitting at the table next to us if they spoke English and the minute they shook their heads no we raised our hands and said we do! 

They just moved here from Michigan and seemed oh-so-totally cool. Unfortunately they live in Karlsbad. And we know absolutely nothing about them other than they are concerned about where they are and are not allowed to park. 

Our conversation went like this:"Can I park there?" And we said "Sure, why not, it's Sunday." And then we did the whole "Where are you from?" thing and the "What the heck are you doing in this beautiful land of beer and rules?" and the "No, we're not with the military" thing. Then we all went on our merry way. And Luis and I secretly began wishing we would meet them again so they could see how oh-so-totally cool we are and be our new "couple".

You know, the kind of couple that she's awesome, and he's awesome, and I get along with her, and he gets along with Luis, and the four of us together is just magical. That kind of couple.

Sorry for the sidetracking. Back to familiarity. When I see a product that gives a shout out to my home state, I want to buy it. The only reason being of course that it says "Arizona".

Nevermind the fact that I don't even know what Grießbrei is. Semolina porridge according to Google Translate. Something sweet, according to the package. And it's ready in 5 minutes. But most importantly it has pecan nuts from Arizona. So cool. 
I practiced self control and ended up not buying it. I'm not that crazy for anything and everything from home. Yet. And I just couldn't rationalize buying something I would most likely never eat just because it said Arizona. But I sure was tempted for about 5.2 seconds. 

You can imagine our excitement when someone Luis met, told us about something very near and dear to our hearts that actually exists here in Karlsruhe. Something from our childhoods. Something that we each spent a lot of time doing, even together a few times in high school, growing up. Something my husband checks the scores of every single day from the months of March to November. 

Have you figured it out yet?
Yep. That's a baseball game. A rare find in Germany. 

And they have softball too. An even rarer find.

We play catch sometimes in the street and get very strange looks. 

Someone once asked us, "What is that for a sport?" Only the greatest game ever played of course. 

And then the German soccer god struck me down with lightening for even thinking such blasphemous things in his country. 

Yeah, they're kind of proud of their soccer around here. But perhaps these Germans might agree with us, that baseball and softball are pretty cool too.

The teams have a decent little set up going for them.

The fields are left over from the old Army base that used to be here back in the day.

They even have a batting cage complete with a pitching machine. 

And the infamous dimple balls that go in the pitching machine and always seem to have a mind of their own.

Luis got to hit a few balls. Only one round though, because on this particular day, the balls were especially difficult due to it being wet and rainy out.

But we still had fun. Luis was one happy, happy boy man in there.

Being out there made me miss playing. I thought to myself, "Gosh it has been awhile since I last played...since high school." And then I realized "since high school" was eight years ago and suddenly "awhile" was actually "a really long time ago".

And what's a game without a little arguing over a bad call? Unfortunately this coach argued a bit too much.

Not sure what he was upset about, but the ump had had enough and sent him off to enjoy the rest of the game from the stands. Bummer.

It probably didn't help that his team was losing.
Just another great day at the ball fields.

Tomorrow, someone very familiar will be here in Germany. Someone who I have not seen in quite a long time. Since her wedding. Which was a over year-and-a-half ago.

Meet Britney. 

My beautiful, awesome roommate from the Focus Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs. 
St. Patty's Day 2008
You've actually seen her before if you've been following this blog for awhile. She's the one who gave me this great recipe

Britney and I had some great times together in those three months of living together.

And, actually, outside of those three months, have only seen each other two other times in our lives: at my wedding in 2009, and at hers a year later. But it's like we've known each other our lives. She and I have one of those "meet for a minute and be friends for life" kind of thing going on. It's pretty spectacular. 

We will be out and about exploring this country (and a few around it) I currently call home so blogging my be sparse the next couple of weeks. But get excited cause that means there will be a whole lot of cool stuff coming your way in the very near future.

Until then, take comfort in the familiar, embrace the unfamiliar, and discover the joy that comes with the balance of them both. Happy Tuesday!


Karlberg Fam said... Best Blogger Tips

I couldn't help but think of my brother and sister-in-law that just moved to Switzerland, not knowing a soul while reading the beginning of your post. It is so hard to pick up and move and find new friends, especially when you don't even speak the language! My brother just finished his doctorate in Chemistry and is now doing a post-doc just outside of Zurich and they were terrified going to a foreign country. But because of the church that we're a part of is all over the world, they had a member pick them up from the airport, lend them some sheets and an air mattress to sleep on, put food in their fridge, etc... and were so kind to them! I was amazed with how nice the people could be to two strangers! I'm not suggesting that you join the Mormon Church. ;) I just thought I'd mention that maybe you could find some English-speaking friends at a church congregation (called wards or branches) by where you live. You don't have to be a member to go once or twice and meet some people and maybe find some good friends there - just a suggestion. You can find the closest one to you here: http://mormon.org/meetinghouse/

I know how hard it has been for me to find new friends after getting married, but having people at Church to always fall back on has been a blessing.

Hope all is well in Germany! Maybe next year we can come visit you when we tour Europe after Pär is done with school!!! Take care Cara!

Cara said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey Jackie! Yes, a church community is so valuable! In Kaiserslautern (where we lived before) we were a part of an American church and we couldn't get enough fellowship with the people there. Here, where we live now, we are a part of a German church and the people there are great. The language is a bit of a barrier at times, but English speaking churches are non-existent here so we are learning to work through that and are so grateful that we can grow in that area. Hope you are doing well! That would be awesome if you guys came out. We'd love to have you!

Karlberg Fam said... Best Blogger Tips

That's so great to hear! I am sure it's difficult in another language - I know how I feel when I'm in Sweden with my husband's family and I don't understand a thing! We are seriously going to come out next year - so count on spending a little time with an old fellow swimmer. :) Take care!

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