Two weeks ago, early on a Monday morning, my kidney attempted to pass a stone. It failed. I got an ambulance ride, a short stay in the hospital (The Roommate), and minor surgery.  That Tuesday morning, after months of enthusiastic planning, Boo (Booland Designs) and her daughter Elly were picked up at the airport by Dave.

I was devastated I couldn’t be there too, although, I would have been happy anywhere but in a hospital. While I bonded with my roommate, Dave took care of my guests. He treated them out to a wonderful dinner at our favorite Brauhaus… without me. I stared at the dry slices of bread and measly cold cuts that were my dinner and felt very sorry for myself.

On Wednesday they came by to say “hello”. My roommate was impressed with the small herd that trooped into my room. I felt a little like a zoo animal on display, but their smiles and happy faces made me forget my pain. If only for a little while. By Thursday morning it was clear, my kidney was not letting the stone go and they wheeled me of to surgery for a stent.

The only good part about a stent is… I got to go home the next day! I happily waddled out of the hospital and climbed into our van. At home I was greeted by a sea of smiling faces, my kids (especially Dane!), Boo and Elly. It was amazing to be in my own home. My own bed.

The stent is not a magic wand. It gives my kidney a break, but it is uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and it’s just exhausting. Luckily Boo didn’t mind sitting around & just visiting and the kids were happy to drag Elly around. I managed a short trip to the store, to stock up on food, and I managed a couple of not-quite-gourmet meals. Nothing makes me happier than a full dinner table.

Finally, the pain subsided and I wanted to try something more. I wanted to get out of the house. I wanted to show Boo my world. There are so many amazing places right next door, it was hard to pick just one. But the big, twisty, super fast slide at the Baumwipfelpfad in nearby Bad Wildbad won. I loaded everyone into the van and set out on a bright, sunny afternoon.

Boo and I slowly, very, very slowly, made our way up the path to the ski chalet at the bottom of the taller-than-the-treetops tower. The kids explored the wooden path high up in the trees, testing each learning station while making their way to the big, twisty, super fast slide. Sadly the ski chalet closed early and there was no soup applestrudel for us.

Still, we enjoyed the peace, quiet and beauty of the black forest immensely. Even the kids loved just sitting in the sun, amidst the trees, and just being… once their Euro’s for the big, twisty, super fast slide had run out. The fresh air, mountain smell and warm sunlight pushed the bad memories of my dark days in the hospital far away.

The kids took the path to the tower, we walked in the cool forest below.

Ha! I’m not used to someone “looking” back at me with a camera of their own. Go Elly!

The tower to the top of the trees… more importantly: the slide!

The ski chalet… sadly closed. No applestrudel for us.

Tess is rocking some blue hair this week.

If it’s on the ground, Dane love a cable car. In the air? Not so much.

The ski run, black forest & perfect skies

Simply gorgeous flowers in the chalets windows.

Boo & Elly in the Black Forest

Sky… by Tessa

Elly loves the camera as much as I do. I found a kindred spirit.

Beautiful, peaceful, forest. Dab!

We found a giving tree stump… Tess is thanking it.