This weekend, before everyone but me got sick with a cold (seriously, there were reports around my family, both in my house and other households in my family, on the same weekend, of 4 different people sick, with sore throats, sniffles, headache, coughing, fever, bronchitis, sinusitis...it really hit - I am thankful I've been fine so far), David and Emily and I enjoyed a beautiful day in the Swiss Alps near Flums, an hour from our house.
First we saw and HEARD the end of a cow festival of some kind (likely the Désalpage/Alpabfahrt, i.e. when the cows come down from the mountain heights for the winter). We missed the parade (we have yet to see one) but heard the jangling of scores of huge cow bells as they milled around in a small field with flowers on their heads. SO LOUD. CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG ad nauseam.
Then up the mountain to Flumserberg, where we had lunch, observed some really cute cats playing in the meadow below the restaurant terrace, and rode the Floomzer, an awesomely long and fast summer toboggan (that last link is to a video someone took of riding it - what I wish I had figured out how to do; their ride looks slow compared to how it felt when I finally took Emily's advice not to brake AT ALL the WHOLE way...after the supervising guy agreed it was impossible to fall off and that the "Bremsen" signs were to be ignored). It's 2 kilometres (1.25 miles) of downhill through the alpine beauty.
Then home again with a couple of stops to enjoy the Walensee, one of the loveliest lakes in the world, with cliffs climbing up from it. Thank You so much, Lord, for letting me live in Switzerland twice, and being able to see Your creativity and beauty all around so clearly. And thank You for my precious family.