Jan 102012

Jutta Engelhardt and Karen Goff meeting for lunch in Phoenix, Arizona

After a quiet day yesterday; there has to be some time to recover from jet lag, Jutta and I met my mother, Karen Goff, for lunch today. During Jutta’s 2009 visit, between remaining busy with so many activities and travels and my mother’s occasionally demanding work schedule, we missed the opportunity to meet up with my mom. That won’t happen during this vacation, as we make sure that these two have plenty of chances to get together between now and February 18 when Jutta returns to Frankfurt, Germany.

Jan 082012

Jutta Engelhardt playing the Theramin at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona

Mom and daughter time makes way for me time. Dropped the girls at The Musical Instrument Museum at 10:00, wished them well and encouraged Caroline and Jutta to take their time, enjoy a nice lunch at the cafe, before calling me to pick them up. While they walked the halls of the museum and listened to just a fraction of the instruments on display, I took off to celebrate that the next hours would be all-about-me! I would need that time, as tomorrow Caroline will go to work and Jutta and I will have the entire day to spend together. From the smile Jutta wore while playing the Theramin, I can only guess these two were enjoying themselves. Sorry, but there are no photos of me having an equal day of fun. Hmmm, as I now write this, I do not have the faintest idea what I did to spend my time productively, if in fact it was in any way put to good use.

Jutta Engelhardt playing the drum at The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona

An obvious trend is developing as a potential hobby for Jutta – drumming. On a previous visit, Caroline suggested we take her mom to a drum class with an old friend of ours, Frank Thompson. Reluctant at first, Jutta fell into the rhythm and thoroughly enjoyed herself as Frank taught us some basics. Now here at The Mim, Jutta is again, getting her groove on. Maybe we should pick her up a set of bongo’s to take back to Germany?

Caroline Wise and Jutta Engelhardt in a self-portrait at The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona

A picture worth a thousand memories. After more than seven hours the call came in, “We are ready to go.” If there is one regret during these visits between Caroline and her mom, it would be that there aren’t more days like this with such happy photos and big smiles.

Jan 072012

Caroline Wise, Jutta Engelhardt, and Celia Petersen

Our first visit was with Celia and Jimmie Petersen of Chile Acres Farm. Jimmie was at the downtown market, he directed us to head up north on Central Avenue to a new market where we would find Celia. After spending a bit of time with Jimmie, we found Celia and hugs ensued. Jutta has fond memories of her visits with the Petersen’s, as it was at their farm where she first took lessons riding a horse, she bottle-fed baby goats, and was invited into their home more than once to enjoy a home cooked meal featuring Celia’s homemade goat milk cheese, and goat milk ice cream for dessert. Over the past two years, Caroline calls her mom nearly every Sunday, and on every phone call, Jutta asks, “How are Celia and Jimmie doing?” Today, she was able to see for herself and passed on the hugs to show her affection for their warmth and sharing.

Jan 062012

Jutta Engelhardt hugging her daughter Caroline Wise at the Phoenix Airport after nearly 2 years

It was nearly two years ago that my mother-in-law last visited us, and what I thought might have been the last time she was going to fly over the Atlantic from Germany to visit us here in Phoenix, Arizona. Jutta’s flight was late by a few hours, as customs in Denver was bogged down, forcing her onto another airline late in the day.

Knowing Jutta’s routine of being the last to leave the plane, didn’t make it any easier while we were waiting, waiting, and impatiently waiting for her to descend the ramp that would let us relax seeing she made the later flight. Finally, that old familiar gait started to move closer, and before we saw her face, we knew who was moving slowly towards us. When her face did become clear, it had a smile 10 feet wide and her pace started her pressing into a near jog, we let her know it was okay to slow down; we’ve had our fair share of her falling over her feet on previous visits.

Reaching Caroline, Jutta couldn’t have been happier, not only was she in America after a day of traveling from Frankfurt, she had her arms wrapped snugly around her daughter. This is my mother-in-law’s 9th trip to America in 15 years. It will be during this visit just five days from today that she will pass her 365th day in the United States. Of her 77 years of age, a full year of that has been spent here, with Caroline and I. Welcome back Jutta.

Oct 282011

Madam, would you please remove your finger from my drink?

There’s a good reason my favorite coffee shop is my favorite, it’s because of things like this. Not only was Tori’s finger on my coffee cup, it’s still there stuck under the lid. What was a bit gross, is that it was dripping into my no-foam sugar-free soy latte. Interestingly, it tasted kind of lemony. What it smelled like? I’ll leave that to your imagination, but I will tell you, it didn’t smell like bacon. Where’s Tori’s finger going next? She wouldn’t want to know.

 Posted by at 9:38 am