Last night, completely last minute & unplanned, at 23:33, we all piled into the car and raced to Böblingen. Our plan had been to stay home, set off a couple of fireworks and cuddle up on our big new couch to watch movies. At 23:00, Cole changed the plans. He had buddies in town & wanted to ring in the New Year with them.
I’m all about making my kids happy. Especially my kids serving our country. Cole had block leave, and then back to the Army he goes. Next year is uncertain. Who knows where he’ll be? How safe he’ll be? So when Cole said he wanted to go party in Böblingen at 23:00? We piled everyone into the car and took him to Böblingen.
We’d also spent the last 4-5 days in various hospitals. Tess has been sick. Really, really, really sick. Her drugs were finally working, not perfectly, but working. We finally had her illness under control. It was nice to get out of our isolated haze and be with people. Not that Tess could get out of the car, but we parked on top of the highest hill in Böblingen and she had a fabulous view from the backseat. I tried very, very hard to sit with her but it was too amazing. I had to get out & walk around.
If you’ve never been in Germany at midnight, it is dynamite! It is not for the weak of heart, or those with PTSD, or pets. It is for all the rest of us with a sense of adventure & excitement to see all the things. Germany goes bezonkers! By the time we pulled up on top of the hill, behind the Stadkirche (or city church), incredibly there was parking left at 23:50, fireworks were already going off all around us, as far as the eye could see. To anyone who hasn’t been in Germany, it would appear that no one can tell time & everyone shot off their fireworks early. There were that many. But. We knew. We knew that was just a drop in the ocean for when the bell rings at midnight on December 31, 2019.
Tess was happily wrapped up in a couple of blankets, epipen at her side, seemingly perfectly healthy, when I slipped out the car and made my way to the edge of the wall surrounding the church. Fireworks were everywhere. On my left, on my right, just below, above & in a 360° circle all around me. Only the big, tall, church flanking me kept me safe from attack.
I’m not exaggerating. Germans, whom I consider the safest people on earth, are not safe with fireworks. They deliberately toss little fireworks at people, at your feet, or bouncing off coats to land at your feet. Roman candles & bottle rockets get fired at groups of people. Occasionally the big batteries get kicked on their side and fireworks shoot dangerously close. More than one giggling partier got burned. Giggling and burned, but burned. I got hit with two small fireworks, luckily not even my coat has a burnhole. Most of the time that’s really all that happens. Still, it gets the heart racing.
At midnight World War III burst loose. Maybe that’s an inappropriate analogy, given that we are in Germany, but it is the most accurate description of midnight on New Years Eve in Germany. I mentioned we were standing right by the church? Five steps back and I would be touching the church. At midnight the church bells went off. At midnight you couldn’t hear the bells.