So the day starts with Alan and Chloe taking the car to Neckarsteinach to catch the train into Heidelberg where their plan is to go to the Neckarweise (the park along the Neckar river) to play for a few hours. This is both for their enjoyment but also to get them out of the house so I can clean. Alan says he'll be back in time to ride his bus to Neckarsteinach where he'll then jump on the train to go to the Jungschar program (the after-school children's program in Meckesheim where he works every other Thursday). This is so that Chloe can go down and have a nap instead of me having to drive him there and her miss her nap. I say great and kiss them good-bye.
So they leave and I start to clean. The laundry has piled up so high since I've been in school every day that I can barely sort through it. I start the first load and then begin to just "straighten" the house. This to me is akin to going into one room and finding all the things that don't belong in that room and just putting them in the room where they do belong. This takes me 30 minutes or the time for the first cycle of clothes to finish in the wash. So then I'm outside on the balcony hanging the clothes to dry after starting the second load and I realize the balcony is a disaster. So I trim all the flowers and throw all the dead stuff away, scrub bird poop off the chairs and the ledge and realize that the cushions need bleaching.... again. I just did them a month ago when my parents were coming but ok so they have to be done again. Fine. As I'm finishing I need to get the dustpan which is kept in the back garden so I go around to get that and realize the back garden is a mess. So I finish with the front, move to the back and for the next half hour or more work on the back garden. OK so now it's looking good and it's time for another load of laundry. This continues until I've done 6 loads of laundry, completely cleaned and organized Chloe's bedroom, vacuumed the house, showered and I'm watching the clock wondering when Alan and Chloe are coming home.
I call. No answer. hmmm. ok so I call again. No answer. So I just go back to it. I start on the kitchen while gathering trash and trying to rearrange meetings so that Saskia and I can meet in the afternoon via Skype rather than in person at the CVJM (well because supposedly I don't have to drive Alan to the Jungscar program he's going to take the train). So I do all that, do another load of laundry, start back in the kitchen and Alan calls. It's 1:15 and he's just now leaving Heidelberg. Immediately I know he's not going to make it back in time to bike and then catch the train to Meckesheim. He's not convinced though so I just say ok and wait for him to come home. He calls from Neckarsteinach and says I do indeed need to drop him off and he'll just swing by to get me and leave Chloe in the car. OK so I do that. I take him to the Jungschar program, Chloe and I go to DM for a few toiletries and then to the bakery to get some bread. In the parking lot Alan calls again. The van he was supposed to pick up from the CVJM to pick up all the students in the morning won't be available now until 6:30 so he says he's gonna work at the CVJM until he can pick it up. I then rather quickly remind him that he can't do that as I have to leave at 5:45 at the latest to go to get the car cleaned out so I can be at the Bahnhof in Heidelberg at 6:45 when Danijela's train is arriving. He has forgotten this and says he'll call them back.
So I think he's sorting it out, go home and have decided it's too late now to put Chloe down for a nap and we'll just put her down early (actually Alan will since I will be at the bahnhof with Danijela) so I start cleaning again, give her something to eat and let her play in her room. An hour or so passes and Alan calls again. The van still won't be ready until 6:30. He's finished with the Jungscar program, has left his train ticket in Chloe's bag, has only 2 Euro's on him and has no key to get into the CVJM. So he's basically wandering the streets of Meckesheim and I'm at home up to my neck in laundry with a daughter who's exhausted and I'm suddenly realizing that no matter what now I'm going to have to take Chloe with me to clean out the car and go and get Danijela and deliver her to her host home. So I'm suddenly stressed.
Alan and I go back and forth a bit and we come to the conclusion that he'll use his 2 Euros to get to Neckargemund where I can pick him up, he can help me clean out the car and then he can take Chloe home from there on the bus or train and put her to bed. OK so I head out. 30 minutes later Alan calls again.
The train didn't stop in Neckargemund. He's now in Heidelberg and he's stuck.
ok so I say well I'll have to clean the car myself and I'll come to the Bahnhof and get you. Danijela is coming in in about an hour and a half anyway so it'll be ok.
I get to the car wash and there's a big line of cars which is ok because I have to vacuum and fill the car up with gas so I do that and then put the car into the car wash. Well Chloe is near breakdown stage at this point. She's soaking wet because it's so hot out and our car has no air conditioning. She's thirsty and has drunk the only drink I brought for her and now is wanting more. The vacuum terrifies her and when she sees the car go into car wash and then the dryer come on to dry the car she is in full sobbing mode. I try to reassure her, get back in the car and head to Heidelberg. Every couple of seconds Chloe is either saying, "home", "mommy" or "daddy". Non-stop for 30 minutes.
I arrive, Alan and I hug and we say it's better to laugh then cry and I go inside to check on Danijela's train. It's 12 minutes late. ok no problem, Alan and I sit in the car, Chloe has fallen asleep and we wait. And we wait. No Danijela. I go back in, check everywhere and she's nowhere to be found. I ask everyone that even slightly resembles her with a suitcase if she's Danijela and the same response - nein, tut mir leid. OK so now what? We've been there for 45 minutes and we have no clue what to do. I try Danijela's phone. Beep, beep, beep. No voicemail, nothing. I use FB to contact Garret and he hasn't heard anything. He tries to ring her but gets the same. Then my phone dies.
UGH! And I didn't bring my charger! My phone was full of charge when I left but all the calls to and from Alan and checking the internet for information and now my phone is dead. And Danijela only has my number. So now what???
I go back around the train station for about the 5th time and see two classmates of mine from the Volkshochschule. They say hello and we chat briefly and I tell them our predicament. They say they are sorry, ask if there is anything they can do to help which I say thanks but no and then they head to McDonald's for dinner. Fifteen minutes pass and still nothing. I ask my classmate if I can use her phone to check FB and let Garret know my phone has died. She says sure. I get Danijela's phone number from my email over the internet, give Garret Alans phone number and now we're all talking about what could have happened. Garret reasons she's not missed the train because she would have called. He thinks she may have just accidentally missed the stop. So I go back inside the HBF and the guy says that the train's next stop was Frankfurt and that if she missed the stop she'd have to get off there at 8pm and catch a train back putting her in sometime between 9-10pm.
Chloe is awake now and realllllllllllllllllllllllly tired. She also hasn't eaten in over 5 hours and we have no way of knowing whether Danijela is trying to reach us because my phone is dead and the charger is at home. We decide to leave and take Alan to Meckesheim to get the van. He'll then go back to the bahnhof and wait to hear from me. In the meantime I'll go home and put Chloe down and check my phone. So we get to Neckargemund, Alan jumps out of the car and literally sprints to catch the train to Meckesheim trying to save me 30 minutes in extra driving time and I head home. Nearly home I realize I've not given him the sat nav to find Danijela's host home or her train ticket for tomorrow morning AND I remember that my mobile phone doesn't work at my home so even if I did get it home and charge it I wouldn't be able to check messages. ARGHHHHHHHHH!!
So Chloe and I are home now and I don't even park. I lock Chloe in the car, sprint up the 30 plus stairs to our apartment and grab my charger. I'm thinking that if I can just drive back into Schoenau and call Alan and tell him then he can come home, get everything, park the van and take my car back into Heidelberg. Unfortunately even plugged in, the phone won't turn on it's so dead. I decide I might as well start driving back into Neckargemund and I can meet Alan and give him everything. Almost there my phone turns on and I have four messages - from two different German phones. I'm confused.
I check them and hear Danijela's voice. "I'm here! Where are you?"
I call the number back. A German woman answers.
In my broken German I ask if Daniela Zorak is with her. She is. Same question. "I'm here! Where are you?"
I ask the same back in return.
She's at the bahnhof. Apparently due to the flooding in Munich they made everyone get off their original train and get on another one that arrived an hour later. Too bad they didn't happen to mention that when I asked about the train in Heidelberg. So she got to McDonald's (our meeting point), about 8 minutes after we left. She had now been waiting an hour and you could tell she was stressed and a bit frightened. She handed the phone back to the German lady and I explained that I was on my way to Heidelberg as was my husband and that we'd come and get Danijela. The woman asked where I was at that moment and I said nearly to Neckargemund. She said that she would bring Danijela to Neckargemund as they were heading that way. I thanked her and hung up then called Alan and told him.
When the two German ladies arrived at the Bahnhof I got an ear full in German from them both. I tried to explain our situation and what had happened and in the end they were very understanding. Alan arrived and took Danijela to her host home and I came back here with Chloe. Chloe had dinner at 10:30, a bath at 11pm and was in bed by 11:15. At 11:30 I got an email from the pastor's wife asking if I'll preach the sermon on Sunday as she's not well. I almost cried.
And this is only day one!!
Please pray the remainder of our days with the team are not as exciting as today. Five Americans arrive in the morning. It's 12:30 and we have to be up again in 5 and a half hours. I've been doing paperwork for the last hour for our meeting tomorrow, still have done no grocery shopping for our team breakfast at 9am, missed my meeting with Saskia tonight to get everything organized and just about everything else that could have gone wrong, did. But still we praise God for what He's going to do this summer and we know that if the devil is trying this hard to break us down then that just means God is up to something great.