Oktoberfest in the Neighborhood

Apparently my new neighborhood gets together on a semi-regular basis to have potlucks. As luck would have it, the one scheduled after my move into the area was at my next-door neighbor’s house, and I was welcomed to join in (at least partially thanks to the previous director making introductions for me).

The email that was sent around said that it was German themed, to wear lederhosen or dirndl if we have them, and that we were welcome to bring a German dish, type based on where our last names fell in the alphabet. My last name fell to the appetizers.

I made German pretzels with obatzda (a cheese butter spread).

It took me a couple of tries to get the twist of the pretzel semi-correct. I guess I had not perfected that skill when playing with playdough in my early childhood, and now I was paying for it. Since I did not go grocery shopping until this morning, there was not time to properly perfect my technique. Plus, the dough was continuing to rise.

Despite the child-art appearance of my pretzels, both they and the obatzda were quite tasty. Even Macy the Neighborly Macaw agreed.

The best surprise for me? Almost everyone was wearing authentic dirndl oder lederhosen, and the entire spread was homemade German food. It was amazing. But, then, I guess I should have known–living just outside the largest military installation in the United States, most of my neighbors have probably been stationed in Germany at least once.

As far as work goes, Friday I tabled at the VA Mental Health Summit and Tuesday I will be at the Ft. Bragg Special Victims Summit. I am still not finished unpacking . . .

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One Week in Fayetteville

Technically, yesterday was supposed to be my first day at Quaker House. But, at this moment (late Saturday night), I have been here exactly one week. Moving just works better on weekends than in the middle of the week, so everyone was in agreement that the switch would happen last Saturday.

There was food in that cooler on the right side
of the photo, thanks to the Osbornes of Spring Friends!

I am completely muscle-energy depleted, sleep-pattern jolted, and brain-wave scrambled. We crammed a 15-foot U-Haul and two cars full. I could not have done it without the incredible help I had from Carmen, Zac, Elizabeth and Ron. I will be forever grateful to them.

For now, I have gone from walking around mazes of boxes and items waiting to be packed to walking around mazes of boxes and items waiting to be put away. At the same time, I am trying to hit my stride in this new role, as quickly as possible.

The only bit of misalignment (that I know of) was when an evening gathering I assumed had been canceled for the week was not. I was just about to pull my car up closer to the garage to unload more stuff when I saw a person walking to my door. That required a quick re-calibration, but it all came together fine.

One of the unexpected joys I have found is when previous directors or their family members interact with one of my social media postings of photos of the house. Quaker House Directors live at the house. So, when I see their name pop up, I realize they have their own memories associated with that image. I have met three previous director units (directors or co-director couples) and some of their family members. It is a fun sense of continuity. It is also a bit comforting to think that they truly know what lies ahead for me.

As far as the mazes of unpacking and organizing that remain — I’m so glad Monday is Labor Day!