As you all know, I live in a tidy (tidy, meaning you need serious coin to buy in ), little enclave bordering Walnut Creek. It’s beautiful and vibrant due to the combination of it’s location (facing the sun) and on the foothills of Mt Diablo with all it’s flora and fauna, (that includes tarantulas, mountain lions and rattlesnakes and many other types of snakes for that manner. It’s a community that draws in an eclectic bunch. Well the old folks are pretty staid but us with newer money sure know how to ruck it up.
So anyhow. Easter time in Alamo.
It’s weird how Spring Break did not coincide this year with Easter and how fully commercialized the celebration is. In Germany and New Zealand you have Friday through Monday off. The shops are shut and you grill with your family. Drink beer and eat meat. Not so in aspirational California.
Friday the kids are at school and I’m navigating Safeway. The parking lot at Alamo Plaza is a basket case by 8.30am. Quiet one minute and then the panicky wave of humanity descends. You have to be a serious cart jockey to maneuver through the isles. I still have the time and space to have a ten minute discussion with Janet in deli meats about how our favourite brand of baloney has been discontinued. I side-eye the substitute then take it anyway. Americans are masters at the art of discussing minutiae. The back and forth is like a game of ping pong. I used to struggle and drop the ball, the other’s party’s eyes would suddenly glaze and bring the convo to a quick end. Now I can parry like a pro.
Then I check out. Lloyd who retired and then reentered the workforce helps me out and we have a ten minute discussion about his stint in Berlin in Germany where he was stationed for eighteen months in the military police in the 50’s. He had a Fraulein who’s father was quite high up. He spent most nights eating at their house and enjoying the local beer and sausage.
Oh yeah. I learned from Markus recently a few new words. We had a reasonably relaxed Spring Break. A lot of packs of beer were demolished. Primarily by hubby and Markus. I won’t confirm or deny if I currently drink but I can say I’ve done a lot of research in this area in the past.
Drinking before noon in Germany has a specific term. Direct translation is “Early Shopping”. Fruhshoppen.
As in “Hey dude, what are you up too”?
Dude 2 “I’m early shopping
Commence high fives.
Must look up the translation for that.Â What we used to call in New Zealand a roadie (as in one for the road) literally translates to “foot beer”.
Yes we talk shit a lot Markus and I. Maybe we’ll wrestle one day. My twin daughter Kaelyn called for a shoulder ride from Markus after Kindergarten that same day. I did suggest he give us all shoulder rides in order of age. Hasn’t happened yet.
Finally I get away from Safeway. Thirty minutes chattin’ and thirty minutes shopping. My eyes are prickly and red and my nose is a little drippy. Everyone else is the same. Allergy season. Everyone looks a little crossfaded due to the high level of pollen in the air. Either that or maybe there is a disproportionate number of pot smokers here. Could be the case. You can certainly smell it everywhere. Both my Au Pairs have commented that it’ll waft past while out driving or walking. Â And here I thought it was a skunk!
We collect the twins from Kindergarten and go home to make dyed Easter eggs. You blow out the white and yolk using a pin to make holes and then use dye to color them. This was Markus’s idea. I’m transported back in time to when I did it as a kid. A lot of fun.
That was Friday. It’s egg hunt day Saturday. The wonderful Rotary organise this annual event.
An American egg hunt is something else. Hundreds descend on our local park. By 9am the carpark is full. Parents are a little jaded but we yank ourselves out of bed to do the traditional. Plus you cannot miss one of the biggest social occasions of the year. Many of us wish our kids have aged out but the brats still want to do it this year. After one roadie and a coffee from Safeway I’m fit to go.
Love that about Americans. The culture is so celebration oriented. Not like Kim Jong Un styles but definitely all the communityÂ will turn out for the children to chat and talk about minutiae. I learned a lot about everyone’s planned vacations to Mexico this morning. Including a scorpion catching jaunt!
Kids are all lined up in fighting form behind the tape. At 10.am prompt the whistle blows and the kids launch forward. It’s over in seconds. The victorious emerge with their spoils (plastic eggs full of candy). The losers grizzle a little but are entertained by balloon animals. I’m proud of my kids. They did well this year. Me and my little Buzz (boy twin) walk home and I’m stunned by how green and beautiful it is. Maybe the effect of the roadie is settling in.
Sunday is church. So this morning the wave of Alamo humanity descend on the New Life church. 9.30am service. It’s probably fairly irreverent to say but it’s like someone has slipped us a tab of acid on the way in. We grab our coffees find our seats and the band starts playing and praising. We’re all clapping and raising our hands. Yup. We’re in the dark, loud music and rocking and clapping! Nightclub styles! The Presbyterian church has nothing on this ðŸ™‚ In between songs and sermons broadcast live on three screens over the stage we laugh and meet other church goers. The pastor knows how to lift a crowd that’s for sure. It was great.Coffee and cookies after and then probably wine for many.
And now. At home sacrificing pizza for dinner cooked by hubby. I’m exhausted after the three day observance and celebration. But probably not as exhausted as Markus who volunteered wearing a bunny suit for the San Francisco Bunny Run.