Guess what!? I got a whole garbage bag of evergreen branches for FREE! I know that might not impress you Oregonians, because you can just go out in your yard and clip a few if you want to make a wreath. Still, it's a fact that evergreens are wiley tempters this time of year. I bet that like me, you enviously cast your eye upon the neighbors trees and catch yourself thinking things like, "they wouldn't even miss this half; they totally can't even see it from their window." At home, even with our own collection of fir trees on the property, I can hardly walk down the hill toward the cemetery, past the big, glorious field of squat little Douglas firs, without thinking about my hatchet and which tree would look best in the living room. That none of them is for sale (how stingy!) and the owners don't live on the hill doesn't help the situation. I'm sure you can sympathize. Here in Basel though, Christmas greens are EXPENSIVE! Five francs for a couple lousy short sticks on Marktplatz last week!
(As an aside...when we were little, Brian had a particular affinity for sticks. Well, ok, we all did, truth be told. But Brian left his around the yard and would get quite upset if we picked one of his sticks up and tried to use it for whatever we wanted a stick for (poking around in our gardens, for example, or stirring the "cement" in the dump truck). Gregg and I tried to respect Brian's right to personal property and use sticks that he hadn't laid claim to, but we agreed he was taking things too far when he began claiming sticks that were still on the apple tree. After that, we decreed by the authority of being older that all twigs on the tree belonged to no one and could, therefore, be claimed by anybody. After that, when Brian tried to argue that the stick I had in hand was his, demonstrating that I got it off the tree was a swift and sure defense of rightful ownership).
But back to my story...the neighbors were cutting down a couple trees yesterday, so I toodled up the road and asked if I could take some branches home. They said yes, and voila! Enough greenery (in a variety of colors, no less) to make at least 2 wreathes. Now I just need ribbon and wire.
Would you believe I started out to write about Zurich?! Saturday I went to the Brandi Carlile concert with Melanie from school and Raphael. The concert was good--about what I expected, and well-worth going (check it out on youtube). I knew all the songs she played except for 2. The best "unexpected" thing about the concert was noticing they were all looking very Northwest in their western style, button up shirts. One guy in the band even had his blue plaid flannel on. Does that say Great Northwest, or what!? :) It was my first time in Zurich, and it was a good time to go. The city is alight with Christmas decorations and there was snow. I stayed at Melanie's house overnight and Sunday I saw Zwingli’s church, the university and old town, and this funky little boat-theater that moves around the lake giving regular performances. It would be fun to go to a show sometime.
Back to preparing tomorrow's presentation on historiography in South Africa...but then, afterward (after tomorrow's presentation, that is), I'm going to a handball game. Handball in CH isn't like handball in the states. The best way to imagine it is this: It's just like Basketball, only with soccer nets and goalies instead of hoops, and you don't dribble--you throw a sticky ball around instead. Oh, and you can travel. :) That's my pre-handball experience description of the game. I'll let you know if I need to revise it afterward.