Sep 9, 2009

Strassen Schaden

Matt and I are particularly fond of two German signs. One says "Ausfalt Freihalten" and the other is "Strassen Schaden". We like them not because of their meaning as much as how much we enjoy saying them.
Ausfault Freihalten (pronounced owsfault fryhalten) means "keep the car exit clear" or "don't block the driveway". We were pronouncing it "freehalten" for awhile and we think it sounds better that way, even though it is wrong. Randomly, throughout the day one of us might just blurt out "ausfault freihalten" and then laugh. The other laughs too. It is probably not funny, but we amuse ourselves easily. Out of respect for the native tongue and to keep from totally embarrassing ourselves we try to refrain from saying this in public.
Strassen Schaden is a fun one to say too. It means rough road. We have decided to use this to refer to all things "messed up". The house, a situation, my hair, my brain - all strassen schaden. Matt forgot to pick something up at the store and his only defense was that he was "strassen schaden". How can I argue with that?
The other day I was running on a gravel path through the forest, the stroller was bouncing all over, I was kicking pebbles and nearly tripping and the only thing that came to mind was "THIS is strassen schaden"! And because I have nothing else to do but think while running, I starting thinking about how our road has been a little rough over the past few weeks. Nothing too difficult to travel on, but just not that smooth Sunday drive that we enjoy. It is all little things: car buying, furniture buying, claims to turn in, boxes to unpack, church to find, missing things that I'm used to, the whole 220-110 issue, and so on. Stress in the little things gets us all riled up and then that makes everything else get crazy too. I can't wait to get out and go explore, get on the open road and discover this country, but I feel so weighed down by all these details we need to get sorted out and all the bumps we have to get around.
I have to remind myself that the road is strassen schaden but it isn't closed. It is passable with patience, understanding, and a sense of humor. And, thankfully, it doesn't go on forever. It is just a section of the road.
Slowly, we are starting to adjust and get used to this new life that we have here. I'm hoping that the end of this strassen schaden section is soon, until then I'm trying to dodge the big potholes and take the rest in stride - and avoid that path in the forest while pushing the stroller.

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