Hannah’s confirmation

December 2014

Only now that we look back at 2014 do we realize that this has been a year of new beginnings. We have dared, experimented and savored every one of them.

In March Hannah celebrated her first – and only – confirmation. To bring the event to a perfect closure, we were all able to attend the spring concert of the Youth orchestra of Muri, in which Hannah has been playing the flute for a year, and that happened to take place that afternoon.


Frozen but happy young squaw at WWF tepee camp

While Hannah attended her usual Adonia musical camp during spring break, Marie spent an adventurous week in a Tepee-camp from WWF. It included Native American songs at the campfire, cooking without electricity and an ice-cold stream instead of a bathtub. It was freezing day and night, but at the end of the camp everyone went back home hale and hearty – and with smoke-charred faces.

In June Hannah and Marie climbed their first via ferrata in the Vosges Mountains with our friends Jean-Luc, Catherine and their daughter Elsa. They were so thrilled that they repeated it in July in the Gardon Canyon in southern France.

In June Hannah took the plane alone for the first time to visit her friends in Santa Fe. She made it back safely although her suitcase was heavier by quite a few books on her return flight.  If things work out, she will be leaving again for Santa Fe in August 2015 for ten months as an exchange student.


Provence in July

During the rainy first week of July Hannah and Marie attended their first international chamber music camp. For 7 days they played music, made new friends in all languages from French to English and sipped hot tea in the cozy basement of the old mansion.

After two weeks of vacation in our beloved Provence and Camargue we stopped in Valence for a night to meet sweet little Elie. She is the beautiful daughter of Michèle’s goddaughter Michaele and was then just about three months old. Her grandmother – Michèle’s cousin Betty –and we were completely blown away. Elie is definitely the most wonderful new beginning this year!

This 1st of August was our first national holiday as newly naturalized Swiss citizens. We had applied early 2012 and been interviewed by a local commission in February 2014, after Michèle had passed a written test. In June the community assembly finally approved us by a show of hands. We will receive our passport by the end of 2015.

During the Adonia camp for younger kids in August Hannah mothered ten little girls. Every night she brewed “sleepy-time tea” and made sure they hadn’t lost all their belongings until the performance at the end of the week – including Hannah’s own patience.

Marie has been playing the violin for 6 years and since 2010 also in the Youth Orchestra Freiamt. In June and November, the orchestra gave its first Klezmer and film score concerts, for example soundtracks from Fiddler on the roof, Barry Lyndon and Ordinary People.
For the Klezmer pieces it was special that everyone (including Marie) could play a solo or duo or even improvise. You can tell by her face how much fun it was!


Hannah in “Haley”, a theater project at her high school

In October we celebrated Michèle’s birthday in an isolated, ancient cottage in the middle of the Irish mire, by Donegal. We – that would be the three of us and a dozen of nosy sheep.
We savored the short time-out at the end of the world by candlelight and the unfamiliar but addictive smell of peat fire.

Late October Hannah performed in a play with four older students at the High School she has been visiting since August. Not only did she find a drama group there but also many new friends who are just as crazy and addicted to books as she is.

In November Hannah went to her first 1920s ball at her High School. She even managed not to step on anyone’s toes during the waltz and the foxtrot!

December 12: While Michèle attended the traditional Christmas party at her institute without Matthias for the first time, Hannah introduced innovations: she invited five friends to bake Christmas cookies with her and Marie.  The result was very pleasing to everyone – also for Michèle, who had been worried about her great new kitchen, which had been fully remodeled in January.

"Attitude is everything": Alles liegt in der Einstellung

“Attitude is everything”

We wish that you God’s blessings all through 2015 along your ways, old and new.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Hannah, Marie and Michèle


PS: Here’s a slide show with some more pictures (click to see larger pictures):


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