It seems like yesterday that we arrived here in Switzerland, but it was already a year ago. Time flies when you're walking dogs in a beautiful country.
The harvest is here. The kids are back in school. Last year at this time we were just beginning to explore the farms and though now they are so familiar to us, it still feels like we're on borrowed time. Each day I appreciate our surroundings, I realize how temporary it is and how three years (and now two) will go by so quickly. There is so much to do and yet impossible to do it all. I feel like we've done so much and yet nothing at all.
"This 2011 Chardonnay will be noteworthy since a Siberian has worked at keeping the ground moles away all summer!"
It took the first half of the year to settle in. Some may be surprised, but living in a different country is not like a vacation. You can't ask an English-speaking bell hop to call a cab for the airport or fix the heater. It's the little things that took so long to adjust to: reading the labels on the food, buying gas, getting your hair cut, returning items at a store, calling for service for the boiler, getting your hair cut, asking the gardener to trim the hedges, getting your hair cut, trying to make it through a yoga class without looking at other students for a clue, getting your hair cut, parking garages, getting your hair cut. I never realized how language can make you feel so close or so distant from people. And how important it is to getting your hair cut. I'm so thankful to those who speak English in times when it's really important, at the doctor's office or the vet. Our gardener speaks 3 or 4 languages, none of them English. But we get by. But my coiffure? Well, the language barrier always makes that a special adventure for me!
"Work, work, work! A Sibe's mole-hunting work is never done."
The farms we walk are tranquil and yet alive. In the late mornings and mid day, they are deserted, occasionally we pass only the working farmers. In the late afternoon, the adjacent sports field is filled with action and the walking paths are busy with joggers, cyclists, horseback riders and dog walkers. But even at that time, we'll be lucky to pass just 2 or 3 people on our chosen path. With miles and miles of vines, corn and sunflowers crops and open views of all the plots, it's easy to choose your own path to avoid horseback riders or choose the path with known dog pals for a hello. Our walks are never the same. And it's a great area to let the dogs roam off lead to stretch their legs and chase moles and birds. Between Juno's talent for catching moles and Loki's talent for driving off crows, the crops are safe from predators, at least while we're there.
"Princess, do you think we should put a resume together for our farm care services?"
"Resume, sch-mesume. Big Boy, our reputations precede us."
It's funny, I get the feeling that Juno, being true to her breed and the adventurous-seeking husky that she is, loves being here in Switzerland. But Loki? Something tells me he senses the impermanence of it all and is constantly wondering when we'll go home. The one he knows as his. He's adjusted to living here and has even adjusted to staying at Bernard's when we vacation. And like us, he's learning to appreciate the new experiences with peace and a sense of adventure. A small part of me can't wait for the day we drive down our driveway in California with him. But for now, we'll continue to appreciate our adventurous, yet tranquil life here, because I know that day will come far too soon.