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For example, when the twins were very active and very small, they would race around the house. It was at times like these that she would yell, "Do you two always have to go racing around the house like mad-ass ducks?" For years we kids wondered what a "mad-ass duck" looked like
The one phrase that I hated was, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." To a teenager this meant one of two things:
- You are hanging out with your friends too much and I need you here to help with the chores.
- That boyfriend of yours is bad news, get rid of him.
It wasn't until the 19th century that the phrase began to be used more widely, with Thomas Haynes Bayly's (1797-1839) song Isle of Beauty, published posthumously in 1850:
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder, Isle of Beauty, Fare thee well!"
I hated that saying and I just knew that whenever she spoke it, something bad was to follow. How could staying away from a person you like to be around be a good thing? How could you be around them too much? Would being around them too often make them not want to be with you anymore? It was all too confusing and all too elusive for a young girl to conceive.
Through the years I have experienced the wisdom of this common saying, but not in the way that my mother had intended. When applied to a place, rather than a person, it becomes unbelievably clear to me. When I am in Munich, I so much want to be back home in the states. Now that I'm here in the states, I really want to return to Munich. It's such a contradiction!
What is it about not being somewhere that makes you long for it even when you're perfectly content where you are? I am so longing for the German simplicity of life. All I had to do there was decide was what time I wanted to exercise, go to town to do shopping, get a manicure or pedicure, work on my German, see friends, or play. Yet, when I was in Germany and doing these very things, I longed to be back in Ohio where I could see my dear friends, visit my beautiful grandchildren, visit our extended family, and catch up with some unfinished business back in the states.
Now, I absolutely know that I won't be back in Munich for less than 24 hours and I'll be wishing I was right back here...... where all of my loved ones are. But, I have to be truthful, with Germany comes a lot of "me" time and "us" time that equally fulfills me and strengthens our marriage.
I now believe that absence does make the heart grow fonder.... I do miss Munich.