This was actually my 6th trip to the beautiful country of Switzerland. My mother’s side of the family has lived in the Bern area of Switzerland for as far back as we have records – more than 200 years. Since my mother only immigrated to the US in 1969, in Switzerland I have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in abundance.
The first time I flew to Switzerland was in 1979 at the age of 5.
My second trip was exactly ten years later in 1989. I celebrated both my 5th and 15th birthdays in Switzerland.
Lisa and I at the top of the Jungfrau.
My third trip was a short 3 1/2 years later in December of 1992.
This is dinner at my grandparents apartment.
And a personal favorite…
Some random St. Bernard we met on the train that I befriended.
My next trip wasn’t until the summer of 2000. I had graduated from college and worked a year, and finally had a little extra money. This was probably my favorite trip, I stayed a month, traveling mostly with Leslie, but Mom was there too.
In 2004, my Swiss family organized a huge family reunion, so my 5th trip was with Clark and little Ben. The family rented a huge Chalet and we spent a few days there together. My grandparents have seven children, and with their kids, and their kids, we totaled about 100 people at the reunion. Three of the seven children have immigrated the the US. The other four stayed in Switzerland, but one daughter married a man from Geneva, so that branch of the family speaks French. On Sunday we had a short church service together, in three languages. German, French, and English. It was great fun trying to communicate with each other.
This is us at the reunion.
Little Ben with his great grandparents.
Ben and I at the Bear Pits in Bern.
And so it had been 6 1/2 years since my last visit. I was talking to my mother in December and she mentioned that my sweet grossmama is turning 95 years old in September. I so dearly wanted to fly over and see her and my grosspapa one more time. Mom was going in March for a little family reunion and Clark suggested that I go with her, but Jacob would only have been 7 months old – too young for me to leave. (I wasn’t interested in taking him with me) So Clark suggested May.
“But what about work, and how will you take care of all 4 kids by yourself?”
“Don’t worry about, I’ll make it work”
And he did. His wonderful parents came to help, and my cousin watched the kids a few morning. I left and didn’t worry about a thing! Ten days just my sister and I, enjoying our Swiss family and beautiful Switzerland.