Last year Katy, Debbie and I found ourselves with the opportunity to go to Germany, just the 3 of us. It turned out to be one of the best trips, and sisters weekends we’ve ever had. For me, there is something about when the 3 of us are together that’s both relaxing and invigorating at the same time. It’s like a grounding and centering feeling. We comfort each other and encourage each other and it’s not in what we’re saying necessarily, sometimes it’s just in being there.
This year is our Aunt’s, Tante Kathe’s, 70th birthday which is a very big deal in Germany. There will be a huge party with everyone from around there. As it turned out, each of us are able to make the trip as well.
Tante Kathe is incredible. She’s young, vibrant, fashionable, cosmopolitan, fun loving, funny, inviting, with an infectious laugh and makes the best soup I’ve ever had. To give you an idea how good it really is. One year I got a smok’n deal on flight to Zurich, yes, Switzerland. The original plan was to stay the night close to the airport because my mom would be flying in the next morning. Once I picked her up we would drive to Germany. I arrived at 9:00 am in the morning and decided to drive the streets of Zurich to see what it was like. Within a half hour, as happens regularly upon arriving in Germany, I started to get hungry. As my hunger grew all I could think about was Tante Kathe’s soup. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and decided to drive the 5 hours to Tante Kathe’s and surprise her. Sure enough, when I arrived, she was very surprised and happy to see me and offered me soup! It was soooooo good and worth every hour driving there and every hour driving back to Zurich at 4:00 am the next morning to pick up my mom.
So, being from a family who may enjoy partaking in a gambling opportunity here and there, I would be willing to wager money if you asked anyone in our family to name their favorite memories of being in Germany, each of them will include sitting at Tante Kathe’s table visiting, enjoying coffee, tea, or maybe “ein Glas Sekt” with some cake or pastry in the afternoon. Sometimes our cousins would be there as well (one of whom is an incredible baker) sometimes neighbors and friends stop up and sometimes it’s just us. There’s no TV on in the background, no internet, no cell phones, no “gotta get this done”. The static and hustle and bustle of the outside world seems to surrender, for a couple of hours, to cake, music on the radio, conversation and laughter, lots of laughter. It’s a stammtisch.
With every trip to Germany, the stammtisch is the thing, and experience, we most want to bring back with us to share with our families and friends. Now with a stammtisch already planned in Phoenix in April I know, while we’re here, we’ll be even more attentive, soak it all in, hold onto it bursting with excitement renewed commitment to spread the tradition in our homes and with a community of like minded, fun loving, laughing, cake eating women (OK, you don't really have to eat cake, if you don't want to)!.
But first … I’m having soup!
Wish you were here!
P.S. My favorite phrase for today: "WIFI on Board"