Bread and Butter

What is Bread and Butter? Livelihood, Ordinary, Routine, Essential Sustaining Elements, An Idiom, Actual Bread and Butter? Well to these lovely, incredible, devoted people, bread and butter is Everything. Every meal is Bread and Butter! It’s like God hand plucked me out of the United States and places me in Cinderella’s Castle where Bread and Butter flows like honey in Canaan’s land. Mom tells a story about when Hollyn was born, a family from church brought over a meal (because that’s what you do in the South – food is everything – it’s I’m Sorry, Congratulations, Hey What’s Up, etc.) Anyway, there was a stick of butter on the table and I had been silent for too long – and we all know if I’m silent for too long, I’m up to some sort of trouble. Dad came around the corner, and sure enough I had downed a stick of butter ~EMBARRASSING~ I’m still not sure that my body has ever recovered or forgiven me for that moment…. I’m sure forever I’ll have some part of my body that will choose to never reveal this six pack that’s mysteriously hiding no matter how many MGYM ab circuits I put it through because at age 2 I decided to sneak butter  – I digress.

Today we went shopping for Tira’s birthday party. Tira has a severe disability that they cannot diagnosis. She can’t speak. She can’t use the restroom by herself. She has no awareness about who she clings to in public. What she does have is constant inexplicable joy, a smile that would melt even Olaf, and an affinity for using their credit card – Seriously, she loves to pay for everything! As we were walking around this small and rural town, it is easy to see that Tira has found her way into the heart of this community. They hug her and love on her and treat her as their own daughter. The mom, Esther, and I talked for many months before I moved to Germany. She told me that they had a daughter with a disability and asked me if I was ok with that. To be honest, I was a little taken aback because I really wondered what kind of community they lived in and if there were people who were not ok with that. She is a human being. Nothing more and nothing less. Someone God created in his own image. I read an article today (Asher’s Story,) about a young family who has a child with Down Syndrome and my eyes are being opened to the fact that there are people who view human beings with disability as something less for something that is completely out of their control. Through all this, I am amazed at the Boggrefe family and their patience. I don’t mean to say that everything is always so easy here, but Tira is definitely teaching me more about patience. There are moments when I become frustrated because she doesn’t know to wipe her hands and gets sauce on my clothes, or when she takes my phone and randomly texts gibberish. but in the end….they are just clothes. They can be washed. When she takes my phone she is just trying to connect with others because she loves technology and that is how she communicates. She has a computer where she touches buttons when she wants her mom, or needs food, or wants to go to the bathroom. This whole journey is a learning experience, for me and for them. As they learn English, I learn German and patience. All is well.

At the birthday party today, there were 5 children and they all had some form of disability ranging from the unknown, to down syndrome, to paralysis. They chose to do the party at a horse farm nearby. There were two horses used, both of which were “pocket sized” and nothing short (excuse the pun) of adorable. Each child got the chance to ride several times and it was a beautiful thing to watch. Each child had a special connection with the patient horses and they lit up every time it was there turn. After a time, I wandered off to absorb the beauty of the country. It is so picturesque you feel as though this isn’t real life and instead you are simply a character overlooking a village scripted by an A-list writer in Hollywood.

 The gentle laughter and shrieks of glee interrupted my moment in solitude and I started walking back to the barn trying to dodge horse poo like the mud surrounding it was much better and to my utter surprise and delight, the children were painting horses. ~Picture Dorothy in Oz seeing the horse of a different color for the first time ~  It took me aback and despite my trivial attempts at dodging horse poo I landed foot first in a giant one… But really who cares? I mean I’M. IN. GERMANY! Who knew reeking of horse manure could be so sweet?  Watching these kids go to town creating a multi-colored polka-dotted horse was priceless.

At the party, I got to meet all of their family. Esther’s father was a music teacher here in Germany and played the clarinet. He has offered to let me borrow one of his clarinets which works on the German Tonal System ~ which I am trying to learn because I am applying to receive a Fulbright to study musician injuries in Germany, specifically the German Tonal System. *DingDingDing – Love notes from God!*

After we got the kids cleaned up, we spent some time wandering around the grounds and they talked about how the buildings were so new (350 years is apparently new here) and I just stood there in awe because these buildings that they consider “new,” are older than my entire country. Everything is relative right? And then I got to thinking about how getting out of the starch-like false reality of the hovel revolving around social media – I realize the slight irony as I write this on a form of social media – oops, allows you begin to experience life and things bigger than yourself. It’s truly amazing!

At the end, Tira passed out goody bags, and they had the cutest little pouch of gummy bears I had ever seen and I exclaimed OH MY GOSH GUMMY BEARS!!! Everyone erupted in laughter and asked me again what I called them. I said gummy bears and again they chuckled. Here they are called HARIBO. Meaning HAns RIegal BOnn. The company was founded in Bonn, a town about 10 minutes from me where Beethoven was born, by Hans Riegal! You learn something new everyday.

 Tomorrow, I attempt to venture by myself on the German Transportation System. Everyone take a moment to say a prayer for Kens! Love you all! Have a fabulous Saturday! I’m currently sitting here in my Auburn sweatshirt saying a small prayer that we don’t get trampled by LSU – ok actually it might have maybe been so that we have some fairy dust magic sprinkled on us so we win (Are we allowed to pray for that?) KIDDING Oh.My.Gosh…. I know I know but what about Michigan?? I just hear Kay thinking 4000 miles away but really??? We are playing UNLV if they don’t win that team needs prayers because of what Harbaugh might do in practice this upcoming week.

Have a lovely rest of your day peeps!




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