Sunday, January 4, 2009

This past week we had our second New Years in Germany. Things are a bit different on New Years Eve here. In the United States we go big with fireworks on the 4th of July but here New Years is when everyone buys fireworks and sets them off. As soon as Christmas is over the sale of fireworks goes into high gear. Near us there is a little place that turns into a Christmas market about Thanksgiving time and then as soon as Christmas Day comes it turns into the local big fireworks place. I guess they sell about anything and everything in the fireworks department.

Then a couple of days before New Years the tests start. Everyone who bought fireworks starts setting a few off so my guess is that they are testing to see how well each thing works. When the New Year happens then it really turns into a constant display of fireworks in every neighborhood. People pour out into the streets and the show begins. Some of the things they set off are pretty good size and reach a pretty good altitude. There were a few set off in pretty close proximity to our car but there doesn't seem to be any damage. We did see one fellow who was slapping his pants and he acted like he might have been set on fire for a few moments. I just have to believe there are a lot of visits to the emergency rooms after that many amateurs playing with explosives.

In the morning light of New Years Day the streets are a mess. Every where you go there is the trash left from the fireworks from the night before. It was the same way up in Baumholder last year. Fireworks have pretty much ended now but there were a few late ones that went off a day or two after the first.

We were at the Institute Center for New Years Eve with a few Young Single Adults. Some of our YSAs were in Sweden for a conference so we didn't have as many as we might have. For the most part we had the quiet portion with us. Like most groups there are some that really like to be active and some that are just interested in sitting and watching a movie or doing something quiet. We watched two movies and then watched the people in the street setting off fireworks. (Most of the folks we could see were from the bar next door and they had a bunch of big stuff.) It was about 1:30 AM when we left the center.

Your weather report - most of the time the weather here is pretty constant. We hold most days to a high of 28-35F and lows at 18-28F at night. And we might see the sun for a few minutes a day or go a few days without any sun and then have a couple of days where we see the sun. We do have a forecast that calls for the low to be 0 (goose egg)F tomorrow night and we are supposed to see a little snow over the next three days. A little snow being trace to three inches. So far this year we have had an inch or two on a couple of occasions but that is about it. So we shall see what really happens.

Yesterday we did have a sunny day and so we went for a walk in the country. The temperature was about 28F so we bundled up and went to gather some rays through the slightly exposed skin of the face. When we were walking with the wind it wasn't bad but most of the walk back to the car was into the wind and that was hard on the face. The sun was worth getting cold for!

So the New Year has found us well and working hard. We wish the same to you! May the rain fall, the clouds part, the sun shine , the wind be to your back, and your walk in 2009 be a pleasant one.

God bless and our love to you!

Elder and Sister Karn