Karen has never been sweeter about this and I really needed her to be around for this ruckus. She is a lot of things I am not and most certainly did not deserve to have been the target of that pot-shot (Mum was incredibly careless there). All this extra time with her has undoubtedly gravitated me along the Blue Nile but my initial reservation for unfathomable reasons is still not completely dissipated. That bothers me no end, although I think I am getting there.
What was truly unfortunate was that Zurich and Geneva and all the splendour of an Alpine autumn had to happen before November 6th. The trip was not meticulously planned but there had been mumbles to join in Willi's big 80th celebration since I left Boston. As expected, mum was not keen, egged on by her bowels which were even less keen. However the magnificence of the crystal lakes bathing the banks lined with rows after rows of golden grape vines, blooming into variegated splashes of orange, red and gold was certain to have made impact on the positive side. As we witnessed the expanse of Lake Geneva proudly sprawling out, shimmering in the evening glow, gently caressing the torsos of bold swimmers (or dippers) and lapping at the feet of swans so overfed that they were practically cripples on dry land, we breathed in a deep sigh of Switzerland.
It is almost unimaginable that I grew up a little bit here (from 5 to 6 and a half). Mum and dad wanted to revisit what they remembered. The communal place up in the mountains of St. Cergue where the Migros bus chugged up weekly for our grocery; the low wall along the primary school in the tiny town of Moudon where I tried (and failed miserably) to fight off the local kids; the creaking attic with the lonely looking windows overseeing the baker's across the street where I ventured daily to get our baguette that measured longer than I was tall; the stony deck on the ground floor with slabs so smooth that I learned roller-skating on… It's unimaginable how 25 years just sped right past us without ever looking back. We could not recognise everything as much has since changed. But I could tell that it was a good trip from the gleam in their eyes, and that was enough.