Just before things turned red over here, I made one last trip over the border. I cut it so close, in fact the day I touched Amsterdam it turned red, that we joked I was a Covid Coyote. Grabbing people out of Covid country and sneaking them into the pure, clean, clear green zone. Except I went in the bright light of day, albeit a rainy day, and our zone was far from green, or clean, or clear. Or pure.

I had gone into the outskirts of Amsterdam, to Schiphol airport, to pick up Alana. My extra #5,673,213 (see Extra #5,673, 212). We’re in our second year having Alana in our family & I need another name than extra. Extra is just a little bit of sore subject, she’s the third in a set of triplets that include identical twin boys, and bonus is too associated with step. She is family. She has chores. I hear her laughter ring throughout the house at all hours. There must be a term for this. Isn’t there?

A quick review, Alana & Tess went to high school together here on base in Stuttgart. Alana’s mom was transferred to South Korea & Alana had a hard time adjusting. It’s not easy changing schools within the last two years of high school. Tess went there to cheer her up (Seoul Latern Fest), and then she came here for Senior pictures (Senior Photo Shoot). While Tess spent a gap year traveling, until it was cut short by Covid, Alana spent a gap year at a folkehøgskule in Norway. That year, last year, Alana came “home” on break to us in Germany and we went to Norway for parents weekend (Husky Heaven). Alana’s trip “home” and our trip to Norway for her graduation were canceled because of Covid. She barely made it home-home to South Korea before the world closed in March.

This first year of college for the girls has been a very rough start. Would they even get to go? How will it work? We knew Tess would be doing online, Alana’s first year was up in the air. Finally, on the day she was to get her roommate assignment, she got the notice that Smith was going online only. She wouldn’t be going to college. But. South Korea is very far, a very different time zone, than Smith (in Massachusetts). Alana’s mom came up with the idea to give the girls a mini-college experience. Alana would come here to Germany in the Fall, and Tess will go to South Korea in 2021. They are sharing a room, they have matching beds with a big IKEA shelf in between. It’s their own dorm room for online school! Even better? Christian is in school too and it really is almost like a real college. A tiny, highly personalized college of three.

And now I’ve babbled so much my pictures for the day make no sense LOL. We picked Alana up at Schiphol, with a super safe plastic screen in the back of the car, and stopped in Den Bosch (s’-Hertogenbosch) for a little bit of home before heading to Germany.