Shortly after we broke the news to my parents (who have been real troopers–helping me sort stuff, finding homes for things I can’t take, planning a big party for us in FOD), my mom asked me what I was going to miss most.
I hadn’t really thought about it until then; and then it was all I could think about for a week. After that, I went back to normal: what exciting things await? (Plus, I’ve been assured my basic needs will be satisfied: peanut butter, MLB Gameday Audio, January’s new episodes of the X-Files, clumping cat litter.)
But tonight I was picking up a few things in Meijer (which I will miss) and stopped at the rack of single-bottle beers to see if there was anything I needed to taste (there was) and just about lost it: it’s pumpkin beer season and the Reinheitsgebot means this is probably the last time I’ll ever have six different ones to choose from right in front of me.
Things I will miss:
- Fruit beers, including pumpkin (I am trying them all but I am in love with Southern Tier’s Pumpking). Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss was my gateway into real beers, and it’s still a treat while I’m listening to the Brewers lose while I do some chores. Also spiced beers, stouts with chocolate and coffee, porters with vanilla–anything with a flavor from additional ingredients. I understand there’s an emerging craft beer scene in Munich but they are still bound by the Reinheitsgebot. Mitigation: Imported beers can have adjuncts, but they’ll be expensive and I’ll have to go looking (and I’m not sure pumpkin is a big thing in Belgium). Or I could brew my own. I made a decent raspberry wheat beer last summer–could be good with some tweaking–and Homebrewtalk can hook me up with a recipe for Kürbisbier. Just need to figure out how to control the fermentation temperatures.
- Cardinals. No mitigation for this; they’re only found in North America. I will miss them on walks.
- Hummingbirds. Only found in the Western Hemisphere.
- Hobby Lobby. There will shops to buy paint, and ribbon, and beads, and fancy papers, and fake flowers, and glass jars–but they won’t all be the same shop and they probably won’t be so affordable.
- Live sports. Roland subscribes to a US sports channel that shows a lot of games from ESPN, but all those Iowa State Cyclones basketball games that start at 8:00 p.m. Central U.S. Time are going down at 3:00 a.m. Central European Time. The 1 p.m. Eastern NFL game starts at 7 p.m. Central European Standard Time, so there will be football, but there will be no guarantee it will be worth watching (there were a lot of Vikings on my last visits). I can listen to the radio feed of all the Brewers games over the internet, as I have for the last several years now, but only the day games (Milwaukee time) will be live. Mitigation: I can set an alarm for 2 a.m. for Colts vs Patriots this year because I probably won’t have work yet. The US sports channel will also show replays and recaps during German prime time.
- Fried cheese curds. Sigh. I love fried cheese curds.
- Mexican food.
- Mike-sells. My dad will miss them, too; he grew up with them so I’ve been trying to bring them at Christmas since I moved to Indiana in 2011.
I suspect I will be updating this list periodically as I notice new things. (Also, if you bring me a suitcase full of Pumpking next year for Oktoberfest I’ll let you sleep in my sewing room.)
Things I won’t miss:
- Only seeing Roland three times a year.
- Eating 20 meals a week alone.
- Going new places alone.
- Tasting new beers alone.
- Hiking alone.
- Tape-delayed Indy 500: it’s live in Germany, unlike Indianapolis.