We received a phone call yesterday afternoon from friends about meeting them at the Bierstube for supper. It was Trudie's birthday so of course we had to go. Right away my anxiety started - the Bierstube is 50 minutes away, on dark, icy, back country roads. Not my idea of fun and the stress was mounting. Carm promised he'd take it easy so I climbed into the car.
When we left there was still some light so we could see where we were going and the condition of both lanes of the road. There was ice, lots of it, in the lane coming home... oh boy...
After 50 long minutes we turned into the restaurant parking lot. Big sigh – we are here. And to Carm's credit, I wasn't totally stressed out from the drive.
We had a lovely time with Trudie, Leo, Vashav and Marie that stretched from 6pm all the way to 9:30 when we took our leave - they were still sitting around the table with the owner of the restaurant and staff when we left. The food was great as always - everyone had schnitzel which was as light and crisp as you could want it – perfection. The warm German potato salad was delicious, and there were also bowls of sweet and sour red cabbage. A true German feast.
Now for the drive home... 50 more minutes of icy roads and pitch dark (no moon but oh my the stars were bright). I don't see very well in the dark (who does!) and my eyes get confused as to where the road is - I avoid being the driver but even in the co-pilot seat I feel the stress. I try my hardest not to let my nervousness affect the driver (Carm) and I think I did okay last night. Sometimes the road was so dark the only way we could see where to drive were the ghostly snow banks at the side of the road. Thank goodness for the snow, otherwise it would have been like being in a black velvet cave.
Finally, as we crested over a little hill, in the distance we could see the street light to our little road and near it the light from the front of our house. We were almost home! As we drew nearer the Christmas lights became visible. Oh how lovely they looked - it was our first time coming home in the dark from that direction. And home, we were almost there. As we turned into the laneway we looked at each other and said "We made it".
There is nothing quite like the feeling of getting home after an "arduous" journey (okay, it wasn't that bad, but you know what I mean). The release of tension you get stepping into your own home. The warmth of being in your own space. Not just emotional warmth – physical warmth too – it was cold last night – I was frozen from sitting in the car! The dogs went crazy, leaping and crying, Kabira was almost howling - they missed us. I got into my jammies and brewed a mug of camomile tea for a few minutes of unwinding before heading off to bed.