Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Monday, July 11, 2005

There's Something in the Water

When Sharon, my friend from New Zealand, lived in London, I made a promise to her. She wasn’t going to live permanently in London, and knew that one day she would move back to her home in NZ. I promised her that before she moved back, I would come to visit her in London. A few years ago, we made plans for a “girly weekend” in New York City. It was halfway for both of us. In October of 2000, we met at the airport and spent the weekend shopping and talking. Time melted away as it always does when we get together, and people looked at us often, some even had the courage to ask, “Do you two know each other? Your accents are so different.” Each time someone asked us this, we would be reduced to teenage fits of giggles. We must have looked odd. Sharon with her flaming red hair, skinny stature and Kiwi accent, and me with my Midwestern twang, large frame, and teacher voice. Both of us obviously tourists, but from opposite ends of the Earth. We answered, “Isn’t it obvious? We’ve been friends for almost 20 years!”

Sharon was my closest friend the year that I lived in New Zealand. Our friendship has lasted throughout the years, and it means the world to me. That year I was in New Zealand, I was able to meet people from all around the world. Some of my closest friends in the exchange program were from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. I worry about them, and wonder how they are, especially those Sri Lankan “boys” who are now men, who have had to suffer so much.

When I married my husband, we honeymooned in Germany. His parents moved here from Germany after WWII, and the rest of the family still lives there. We stayed with them for some of the time, and became close to two cousins who were the only relatives our age. Andreas and Christian are brothers, and we talk to them over the Internet often. Since our honeymoon, Andreas and Christian have come to the US twice to visit us, and during those visits we promised them that we would make the trip back to Germany for each of their weddings.

Two years ago, in November, I got an e-mail from Andreas. He was engaged, and hoped that we would keep our promise and come to the wedding. His fiancé was from Indonesia. I immediately told him that we would. A few days later, as I was looking up the different airfares available, Sharon e-mailed and said that she had decided to move back to NZ the next summer. It looked like we would visit both, and that is exactly what we did. We stayed in Germany for two weeks, and my daughters were flower girls in Andreas’ wedding. They understood only two words in German (good-bye and thank you) but followed what the other two girls did and stood quietly throughout the German ceremony. It was beautiful.

After our two-week stay in Germany, we flew to London and spent two weeks with Sharon and her boyfriend Peter, who is South African. Despite the heat wave that was going through Europe and England that year, we had a great time. Nothing was air conditioned, not like buildings in this country, but we sweat happily and had a blast.

Something seems to connect these two groups of people who had never met. They both e-mailed me about my promises within days of each other, and we visited both during our trip. I shouldn’t have been surprised when the phone rang on Saturday evening and Andreas asked me to guess his happy news. Sharon e-mailed me three days before to tell me that she, now married and back home in NZ, was pregnant. So are Andreas and his wife Lilis. My knitting needles will be cranking out baby gear big time, and I couldn’t be happier!

Oh, by the way, I did guess Andreas’ surprise correctly, although I wondered if his brother Christian, who is now engaged also, had set his date. He hasn’t, but we have again promised to attend, it seems like the wedding will be in 2007 – plenty of time for us to save. Andreas and I have already made plans! I LOVE having such an international family! We have "family" from five of the seven continents. We only need to have a family member from South America and we will have a truly world-wide family because no one can come from Antartica, can they?

Anyway... let the baby countdowns begin!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home