Sunday, November 19, 2006

Anke, one of the von Trapps

No. Not really.

But those beautiful young German women all look like a grown-up version of those sound-of-music kids. Sleek and chic, a bit chilly in her demeanor, but not unkind. We'd arrived on her doorstep, thanks to Fritz, and she looked at us with an aloof curiosity, if that makes any sense. Not bothered by our arrival but not exactly delighted. I don't blame her. I expect she was accustomed to her roommates inviting all sorts of strays into their home at a moment's notice. Still, she could have shut the door to her room and said "Gute Nacht" and be done with us. Which is what I probably would have felt like doing.

I'd like to think the flowers and wine helped smooth the transition of our role from strangers-on-the-phone to house guests. And the next morning, Anke made us cups of piping hot herbal tea, and then sliced thick slabs of a delicous, dark, German bread for toast, slathered with butter and jam. She was charming and sweet.

And I adored the luscious silk scarves she and her best friend used to accessorize their thrift-shop outfits each day. One day a cobalt blue, the next a deep chocolate brown, and the next a dreamy emerald green. I took note. To this day, I know my winter ensemble is not complte without the appropriate smashing swath of color draped about my neck.........

Danke, Anke.

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